The MMO Gypsy is on the rant path again, this time against all us forlorn fools that have been struck with the MMO malaise that seems to be going around right now – it seems to be seasonal as well, like the winter flue. She makes a few good points but from my point of view it isn’t so simple to just blame the players, well not entirely. I get that sometimes it seems to be a problem with expectations, or maybe even people that are unsuited to a particular mmo or even the genre. Sometimes you do just get burnt out of a particular game for a time… that’s not unusual.
But maybe, just maybe it isn’t just the people hmmmm. Let’s have a look at the major Western releases to prove a point shall we.
Rift – pve themepark
Swtor story focused pve themepark
Tera – dungeon focused pve themepark
Gw2 – pve themepark with what was an open world focus
Eso – single player pve themepark
Wildstar – basic pve themepark
FF14 – refined pve thempark
Everquest – old pve themepark with options
Skyforge – instanced pve themepark
Neverwinter – instanced pve themepark
secret world – story focused pve themepark
DnD online – instanced pve themepark
Lotro – story focused pve themepark
Star trek online – story focused pve themepark
Wealth of diversity right there huh although I am noticing a certain pattern here… Hmm what could it possibly be. Do you like your eggs sunny side up or scrambled, well I would like a steak… Scrambled it is… *sigh*. And that’s just it. The choice seems wonderful, but only if you like a specific style, with a specific set of features. It’s the same basic PvE foundation, with slight variations in mechanics and content, and I hope you like the same kinds of content just recycled in different ways. I don’t really call that diversity in choice, and I don’t seem to value accessibility of these titles as much as some.
I’ve always been after a certain type of gameplay I used to hear about but has never eventuated in any reasonable standard lately. The only current releases that run counter could be Darkfall 2.0(a hideous abomination, probably due to lack of funds.. also talent), mortal Online, Wurm online, Xyson (very small pve/pvp sandbox), And of course Archeage which could have been good if not for a terrible monetisation strategy. There is of course Eve ticking over in the background that I’m still seriously debating getting involved with.
Having started up with mmo’s in this millennium as well I tend to like some of the more modern styles, features and of course polish. I don’t require perfection of course but the incredibly rough gameplay of the few mmo’s that deviate from the prescribed pve themepark script just don’t appeal to me unfortunately, at least not as much anymore. And it doesn’t seem to just be me either; forums are full of the same cries and it is no coincidence that so many mmo blogs have fallen quiet, and a great many others aren’t playing the genre anymore.
I know my entire guild has had pretty much the same feeling over this time. A general malaise that stems from dissatisfaction with most of the “choices” out there right now. A lot of us flit between a variety of mo’s, checking out new releases and going back to a few occasionally but it’s nothing consistent and certain not something that unites us in the same way as a new world to explore, discover, and exploit.
MMO’s can be a lot more than what we have right now. More than a single minded quest to end game. More than instanced dungeons. More than pvp arena fighting. More than irrelevant crafting. Just more. They can stress one of these elements or many and I really don’t think we’ve seen but a fraction of what mmo’s can be so far but remain hopeful with the glut of Crowdfunded titles coming out.
Until then I will continue to assume that there’s more possible than the incredibly boring, repetitive and single-minded approach mmo’s have been stuck on for so long now. I enjoy it occasionally, even now but I just need something more than that.