What makes WoW so damn addictive?

This is a discussion on What makes WoW so damn addictive? within the A Brief History of Cprogramming.com forums, part of the Community Boards category; I've never gotten into WoW and I don't intend to. Since I'm a novice game developer I've been doing as ...

  1. #1
    Supermassive black hole cboard_member's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    1,709

    What makes WoW so damn addictive?

    I've never gotten into WoW and I don't intend to. Since I'm a novice game developer I've been doing as much research as I can in various places, but one place I haven't researched is "what keeps gamers coming back for more", in a way.

    Since it's a truely massive online RPG and there's a good chance that a sizable group of people here play it, I thought I'd use it as my first case.

    Whay makes it so damn addictive? I'm hearing of someone dying while (?) playing it because they starved themselves (or something to that effect). What is it the developers are doing to keep gamers coming back for more (or never leaving in some cases) ?

    So, anyone who plays it (or not, I guess), shoot your thoughts into this thread. Me needs to do some gameplay research.

    <offtopic>
    Muse's Supermassive Black Hole is the best song I've heard all week.
    </offtopic>
    Good class architecture is not like a Swiss Army Knife; it should be more like a well balanced throwing knife.

    - Mike McShaffry

  2. #2
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    847
    The reason they want to make it so addictive is because it's pay to play.

    It's so addtictive because of the way the game is structured. There's that next level, that better weapon. Playing with other players adds a kind of realism to the game, making these better levels, weapons etc seem to mean more then in a single player rpg.

  3. #3
    Devil's Advocate SlyMaelstrom's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Out of scope
    Posts
    4,077
    Promise major updates that never come.
    Sent from my iPad®

  4. #4
    & the hat of GPL slaying Thantos's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Posts
    5,681
    Someone published a paper on why Everquest was addictive. It was probably close to 4 or 5 years ago.

    One of the main reason for the addictive property is that it has multiple levels of random rewards. In a case involving mice, it was found that rewards offered up in a random fashion resulted in the mice preforming the same action more often.

    I wasn't able to find it during a quick search but if no one links to it by the time I do find it (much later tonight) I'll link it.

    As far as those who kill themselves because of the game I can only say thanks to the developers for helping improve the gene pool. Do we really need people like that reproducing?

  5. #5
    (?<!re)tired Mario F.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Portugal
    Posts
    7,581
    WoW is not alone. MMPORGs, MUDS and a few multiplayer games (Diablo II comes to mind) are generally very addictive. WoW is not even a phenomena. Everquest and Ultima Online where. As where MUDs before them. WoW just follows on their steps providing the same general formula.

    The necessity many players (especially young people) have to feel they are strong/powerful/invincible is what makes these games so rewarding to many. That and the social interaction mostly based on their perceived characters, instead of the real person behind the character.

    If a given game provides a progressive rewarding system in which power is the main concern, but also the game is developed around the notion that power establishes an hierarchy in the game, players flock in big numbers. If those rewards are then randomized somehow (Blizzard introduced this old concept to its own games starting with Diablo and made it an art in Diablo II. However MUDs where probably the ones inventing the concept), players stick to the game for much longer than what is probably advisable.

    Skill is an element, but not the major one, to achieve a given reward. Persistence is the word. Some objects in Diablo II have "drop rates" so low, they closely match your chances at winning the lottery. And yet that is exactly what drives players to slowly get addicted to the game. The same feeling of... "hope" that makes people play the lottery.

    The eyecandy a game may have to offer is not a factor. MUDs are renowned for being text based only and drawing players that dwarf most MMPORGs in numbers. However the game must establish a culture. And this is perhaps the most important reason to addictiveness. If the game is nothing more than rewards, it will fail. But if it is successful in establishing a culture that goes way beyond what the developers can code in any programming language, then you have a winner (for the developers. A nightmare for the parents).

    That culture is usually clued in by game elements. It's up to the players to develop it. Programmers can only sit and cross their fingers. Guilds, Clans, certain objects, a layered society, races, allowing the so called "renames" or "alters", providing the skeleton for a in-game economics... all these clue the players to willingly or not create a game culture. Once that is established, the player can definitely become addicted for more (much more) than just a fortnight.

    Rewards are fundamental. But without the social mimicking, any game is doomed to failure.

    This is just my opinion.
    The programmer’s wife tells him: “Run to the store and pick up a loaf of bread. If they have eggs, get a dozen.”
    The programmer comes home with 12 loaves of bread.


    Originally Posted by brewbuck:
    Reimplementing a large system in another language to get a 25% performance boost is nonsense. It would be cheaper to just get a computer which is 25% faster.

  6. #6
    Slave MadCow257's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    735

  7. #7
    Banned SniperSAS's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    175
    I guess I am a freak because I bought it, played it for a few days and then maybe once a week for a month after that and then reformated my computer and never touched it again

    I have yet to see an innovative or even well designed MMO but for some reason people keep eating them up

    It should also be noted that WoW is no different from any other MMO, you hear about people dying for MMO's all the time, especially in Korea. Did anyone hear about the guy who murdered his friend because he sold a really good sword of his in game?

  8. #8
    Slave MadCow257's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    735
    http://www.firingsquad.com/news/news...?searchid=8201

    Love this line

    "Attempts to take the dispute to the police failed because there is currently no law in China to protect virtual property."

  9. #9
    Banned SniperSAS's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    175
    Oh he was chinese? My bad, I could've sworn he was korean

  10. #10

    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    1,041
    wow makes your monitor emit pure heroin while you play.

    That really happens...true story.
    I'm not immature, I'm refined in the opposite direction.

  11. #11
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    847
    It does seem to be people living in asian countries who are more susceptible to WOW addiction. I think all of the WOW related deaths were asians. I don't really know why this would be the case.
    Last edited by Quantum1024; 06-19-2006 at 03:24 PM.

  12. #12
    (?<!re)tired Mario F.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Portugal
    Posts
    7,581
    Many of those so-called deaths are probably the product of urban myths too. I wouldn't give them too much credibility unless the source is strong enough. The only thing convincing me of this particular incident was the link to BBC Online. The firingsquad article, on the other hand didn't remove my skepticism.
    The programmer’s wife tells him: “Run to the store and pick up a loaf of bread. If they have eggs, get a dozen.”
    The programmer comes home with 12 loaves of bread.


    Originally Posted by brewbuck:
    Reimplementing a large system in another language to get a 25% performance boost is nonsense. It would be cheaper to just get a computer which is 25% faster.

  13. #13
    The Right Honourable psychopath's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Where circles begin.
    Posts
    1,070
    <offtopic>
    @ahluka:
    May I recommend "Stockholm Syndrome" and "Hysteria"? Those are my favorite songs by Muse. I haven't heard Supermassive Black Hole yet.
    </offtopic>
    Memorial University of Newfoundland
    Computer Science

    Mac and OpenGL evangelist.

  14. #14

    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    1,041
    >>Many of those so-called deaths are probably the product of urban myths too. I wouldn't give them too much credibility unless the source is strong enough

    *sigh* all right, somebody go to Mario's basement with a laptop and die.
    I'm not immature, I'm refined in the opposite direction.

  15. #15
    Devil's Advocate SlyMaelstrom's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Out of scope
    Posts
    4,077
    Quote Originally Posted by BobMcGee123
    wow makes your monitor emit pure heroin while you play.

    That really happens...true story.
    That's not true! If it was, then I'd be addicted to heroin, and I'm not, because I can stop heroin anytime I want to.
    Sent from my iPad®

Page 1 of 7 1234567 LastLast
Popular pages Recent additions subscribe to a feed

Similar Threads

  1. Damn ATI!
    By AloneInTheDark in forum Tech Board
    Replies: 48
    Last Post: 02-16-2008, 09:34 PM
  2. strcmp returning 1...
    By Axel in forum C Programming
    Replies: 12
    Last Post: 09-08-2006, 08:48 PM
  3. This makes me SO mad!!
    By minesweeper in forum A Brief History of Cprogramming.com
    Replies: 14
    Last Post: 12-06-2002, 06:34 PM
  4. What makes it so special?
    By sean in forum C# Programming
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 01-04-2002, 10:48 AM

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21