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What Happened to the MMO?

Posted by Bakath , 08 August 2012 · 696 views

I have played almost every MMO that has come out, be it the beta or a subscription for the last 16 years. My first was a little 2d gem called The Realm that was actually a lot of fun.

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Then came what I feel is the MMO that started it all, it was not the first but in my option is still the best, UO. The only game to date that made me feel as I was part of a living breathing world. Others have tried but failed and most do not even come close or even try. It's sad and I blame it on the next MMO I tried which was EQ or the beginning of the end.

EQ while being 3D for the first time started the amusement park style game which WoW then copied, perfected and plagues the market still.

Before EQ I never had to go collect 6 rat tails and turn them in for a reward. I just grabbed my sword, ran out into the world and tried not to die. :)

Before EQ I never had to camp mobs looking for some drop that might take 12 hours to get. I would join my buds in an edge of your seat romp through a dungeon trying not to be killed by NPC and PKers.

Scripted boss battles are the norm now, if you are the first to fight it then great the trial and error trying to figure it out can be fun. But that's not how it works, you read the strategy on the web and go through the motions, over and over and over again.

End game raiding, end game? Why do I want my game to have an end? So I run around collected rat tails long enough to where I can go to some place to get some gear by doing scripted boss battles so that I can move to the next tier dungeon for more scripted fun? Blah blah blah blah.

The above also started all the DPS counter BS which then alienates guild members and creates an unfriendly atmosphere. You can't come to the raid you only have a dull sword, you need a shiny one so get out. Players end up getting a superiority complex because then can follow a script better then the next guy. Way to go guys!!

Leveling up to gain new skills so you can watch your icon bars and click a button once a cool down is complete is also lame in my opinion. but that's what they all do these days and when playing I find myself just watching a bar to click a series of icon rather then being in the moment.

The amusement park ride gets old as you can tell by how just the members here jump from game to game looking for the one to no avail. I do not think the MMO genre will last if there is not a change in the way these games are made.

Grim and I have been playing UO on a free shard which once I was back in that world reminded me of what MMOs have become and how sad it is.

UO is not for everyone that is for certain, it's the wild wild west. The moment you step out of the protection of the town guards you need to be prepared to die and loose everything you have on you. Not only to PKers but even the NPCs will rummage through your gear and steal you stuff. Plus you're a ghost and will be standing next to your body watching the looting of your corpse until you can find a healer to rez you and make a mad dash back to your body. As nasty as that sounds it's what makes it so fun and exciting.

Some games have tried to capture what UO had, Darkfall and Mortal made good attempts at it. Darkfall I will not comment on as well that was a living hell for me and I do not want to go back there. Mortal sadly might have done it but I could not get used to playing in the first person view.

Man I could rant on for hours but I better get back to work before someone catches me :P

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Something else you need to take into your thoughts : at the time of UO, there were not much choices of game, so every MMO players ended up on a few games, meaning UO had crafters, traders, explorers, carebears, PKs, all in the same world, which forced them to coexists, and make few rules and swear by.

Nowadays, crafters are on LOTRO, traders are on EVE, carebears are on WoW, PKs are on DF, and explorers are wherever. Each type has its own game.

But ofc I agree on what you said, the whole genre is going worse and worse and every new game supposed to save it is dooming MMO players a bit more. But I'm sure [Insert the next overhyped game, ill say ArcheAge] will save our world.
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...not supposed to say that out-loud Numz....you'll jinx the savior of MMO's.
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Hehe - you're so right bakath! The good old days, you spent one evening running for your life, the other ganging up on a thief and the third sitting at the river side and cought in idle chatter, merely socializing for the fun of it. I miss those good days...
Not that I'd mind the individual maniac mass murder, who now inhabits pvp-worlds, but it would be nice to also see some other population every now and then. I guess those days will never return though, unless all but one MMORPG disapear from the market ;)

Don't mention Darkfall though! Not getting an account months into the game, despite beta participation,... no further comment needed. Should you folks ever hear of a nice pvp world with extensive crafting system though, let me know and I'll try make up for my lack in Darkfall.
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UO... what memories =) Good times!
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I agree with you also Bak, there really is no fun in MMOs.  Rift was the last one I stopped playing when the truth finally hit.  What?  you're dps tracker says I suck, so until I have the exact build you specify, i can go collect crafting gear?  And the whole, do this raid, grind it, love it, do it til your fingers bleed...because if you don't, you can't get the shiny that lets you do the next one, and the next one, and the next....wtf?  What am I doing here?  Endless grinding for crap that will be useless after you finish the next grind raid.  What happened to the free world like you mentioned?  The danger is gone, the exploration is gone, we can look up anything and everything about a game before we even do it.  You're told what to do and how to do it at every turn.  That's not fun, and the rapidity with which you see games folding and losing players is the proof.  We all are coming to the same conclusion.

 

I'm surprised the game companies don't hunt down the walk-through, character build sites for stealing their content and using it to drive ads for the rats own website.

 

Times change, the MMO has run it's course.  If you think about it, with all the gaming power we have to create with today, where are the good, mystery, cloak and dagger games, with rich social aspects like a bank account, to buy a home, a vault to store your crap, start a small business to make passive income selling chickens or rail guns?  Form a guild, build a city, mark your territory, and try to hold on to it, etc.

 

Oh, their too hard, you actually have to think.  So they just turn them into combat games.

 

Another thought, did you play the original FarCry?  Was that not awesome?  Why?  You had no clue what was going on and what to expect.  That cluelessness is what makes a game good - the exploration, the unknown.  Bah enough, you are right, we can write forever about it.

 

Anyone for a game of Magic the Gathering or D&D on Sunday?  I'll bring Easter Candy!  8-)

 

Peace.

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