There are many other important elements to games, but those — especially Surprise — are the most essential ingredients to any great game. Without all of these, we are merely playing with toys, and we will find ourselves bored quickly.–Ciderhelm
Ciderhelm, Adminstrator over at Tankspot (link to the right), wrote a very intriguing article yesterday asking a very simple question: Does WoW still provide everything that one expects from a game? I encourage everyone to go ahead and read it as it provides some great perspective on where WoW really stands currently, and puts forth some very valid concerns that Blizzard should be addressing if it wishes to keep it’s industry-revolutionizing MMO at the top of the heap at least until it’s next MMO venture is ready (we think maybe within the next 10 to 45 years). Below is my take on this issue.
There is a very real difference between something that’s a Toy and a Game. A football is a toy. You can use that Toy with a group of friends and turn it into a Game, but a football on it’s own is something you pick up, toss around a bit and then set back in the garage when raid time rolls around. Specifically, a game should provide some measure of challenge and provide a reward for completing this challenge. The strategy used to complete said challenge and if any surprises crop up all go into how good or bad this game is.