Your favorite MMO is becoming WOW. Little by little, gameplay mechanics and design philosophy from WOW are being copied and pasted into your world with a thin coat of paint on top. The question is… do you like it?
No producer can ignore WOW. It’s the only MMO which can measure it’s subscribers in the millions. So producers think, “What can we copy in order to get millions of subscriptions?” and “What do we need to have in order for a few million WOW subscribers to feel comfortable making the switch?”
Blizzard does a lot of things right with WOW. So it’s kind of nice to have concepts that work transported to your favorite game. But there is a very large and very real draw back to WOWification. The individual uniqueness of each MMO is being washed away. WOW is the McDonalds of MMOs. If McDonalds has a dollar menu, every other chain will have one soon. Every place you go has basically the same stuff to offer, just wrapped in different packaging.
It’s the niche titles that really suffer the worst. When you have a game which is distinctly not WOW, a title which does things so different that it couldn’t exist in a quest-driven level-based world like WOW, the very thing which made the game extreamly appealing to a small market is erased in favor of being just another watered down version of McWOW.