WoW Is A Rip-off Of ‘Warhammer Online’; NOT The Other Way Around!

For some time now, I’ve been planning to write a post on this topic. This discussion thread on nudged me into finally doing it.

I’ve been a gamer since the earliest days of anything that can properly be called “gaming.” My first video game was Pong. My first computer was a TRS-80. My first role-playing game was “blue book” D&D. My first anime was Macross. I’m the original paleogamer.

I played all the great Games Workshop games; Warhammer Fantasy Battle, Warhammer 40,000, Space Hulk, Blood Bowl, and Talisman. Chaos Marauders is one of the greatest games of all time, and I still play it.

I’ve also followed the efforts of the Blizzard folks, who have yet to release a bad game. Lost Vikings 1 & 2, Warcraft 1-3, StarCraft, Diablo 1&2, and World of Warcraft. Hell, I even played StarCraft: Ghost at Blizzcon.

That said, I can assure all you young Padawan gamer n00bs that Warcraft is a direct and obvious rip-off of Warhammer. I have been informed by a reliable source that in the beginning, this was intentional — Blizzard and Games Workshop had an abortive relationship. But much if not most of the look, feel, and characterization of the Warcraft universe was at least inspired by the Warhammer universe.

Am I criticizing Blizzard in saying this? Nah. It’s really not a big deal. It’s all just a rip-off of Tolkien anyway. And Blizzard has certainly developed the Warcraft franchise into its own original, massive creative endeavor. The two legendaria have evolved in different directions; the Warcraft universe features serious storylines intermixed with light comedy and anachronisms, while Warhammer is noted for dark comedy in a grim and gritty world. At this point, saying that Azeroth is a ripoff of the World of Warhammer is just sniping.

What’s annoying is when uneducated howards, munchkins, n00bs and trolls complain that Warhammer Online rips off World of Warcraft. You know, because WoW was published first. Let’s ignore the fact that each game is part of a legacy of games.

They also complain that WOAR’s control scheme mimicks the WoW interface. No god, I should hope so! WoW has the best interface of any MMO I’ve played to date. Please, MMO publishers, steal WoW’s interface. I’m begging you.

In conclusion, WoW is a great game, indeed my favorite game of the moment. But it’s a rip-off of Warhammer. And I am very much looking forward to Warhammer Online.


  1. A very, well written post. Many of the comments, were fun to read as well. Like watching the extras on a DVD.

    As you said, virtually all fantasy, can at some point, trace its roots back, not only to other authors from the past, but to ancient folklore.

    Tolkien, may have created the Orcs as a malicious race, he did not, however, create the word.

    In the poem Beowulf, the word orc is used. That was around, well before Tolkien existed. The word was most often used, to describe vicious and often monstrous, creatures that dwelt in the deep. It was later used, to describe creatures which were hellish. Such as it was used in Beowulf.

    I believe, that it is a good thing, for people to build upon existing ideas. To change them, and add their own ideas to them. To be honest, i try and stay clear of fantasy novels, which involve, Elves and Dwarves. Simply because, authors, do not attempt to change anything, with those species. There are a few exceptions to this however.

    Unless something is a blatant rip off, of something. In which a person, literally steals something, doesn’t alter, or add his\her own input, then claims it as their own. Then i have no real problem, with people using one anothers ideas. Certainly Tolkien, shared his ideas with his close friend, C.S Lewis, Charles Williams and others.

    Sharing, is a part of our way of life.

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