All words presented in this blog are purely opinion, not fact - unless specifically stated otherwise in the post.

Monday, 6 August 2012

MMOs, What is my problem...?

I just wanted to take a general look at Massively Multiplayer Online games, and what my problem is with them.
I've played a lot of MMOs. Star Wars: The Old Republic, Rift, DC Universe, Star Trek, Champions Online, Warhammer, Aion, Pirates of the Caribean, Lord of the Rings, RF Online, Dungeons and Dragons, The Matrix, City of Villains, Guild Wars, World of Warcraft, City of Heroes, Everquest II - for about two hours - Star Wars Galaxies, Ragnarok and - my first experience - Runescape.

Yet I rarely last more than a month or two unless the game is free to play. I don't know why I only last a month or so, but I do. I love the idea of an MMO, a game that you can play with thousands, sometimes millions of other players.
A game where you can work together or compete for prestige or prizes.
I love the idea that you get recognition for your accomplishments in an MMO, sure you have to stand out brighter and better than anyone else, it's hard, gruelling work, but when you accomplish it people on your server know.
I've completed a lot of single player games, had a lot of accomplishments but nobody knows that. I've logged over 300 hours of Skies of Arcadia, but nobody will ever know that unless they read this blog.
I, however, know that a player named Cally on Eve online ran a bank for months, collecting people’s money and looking after it for them, until he walked in one day and took the 790 billion ISK - about 170,000 real world American dollars - used half the money to buy the biggest, baddest war ship in the game, kitted it out with the best gear and put a massive bounty on his own head with the other half, daring people to come after him for it on a fifteen minute YouTube video.
I know all about it and I've only ever played eve online for about twenty minutes.

Still, as amazing as it all should be I've rarely enjoyed an MMO enough to maintain a subscription for an extended period of time. I think, most likely, because they don't make me like my characters. I don't feel like I'm putting a character through the game so much as an avatar. Star Wars: The Old Republic is the only game I've played that does it well - and coincidentally it's the only MMO I've ever maintained my subscription from day one until now and got to the max level on any characters.

You can't really talk about MMOs without mentioning WoW I suppose, but all I have to say about it is that I got to level 30 out of (at the time) 85 and I was so bored I quit. It does so well now, not because it's the best MMO, but because it has so many people who have put so much of their lives in it. if they quit now they'd have thrown away half their lives. Sorry, no, not because they will have, but because they'll have to accept that they did.

Another problem I have is that I'm not great at chatting to other people in game. In my experience people are happy to jump on, get your help with a quest then disappear, but you rarely have conversations with them, rarely interact on any decent level.
I dunno, it just feels like there should be more to it. I've been playing through SW:TOR with a friend, so maybe it's that rather than my character that's keeping me going. Still I played WoW with a friend a couple of times and it always just felt boring.

Maybe I'm just a Bioware/Star Wars fan boy. Who knows.

Fairly pointless post, but hey you still get a YouTube video!
- James

P.S. Let’s be honest, they weren't all going to be winners, at least it's coherent... ish.

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