Plenty of interesting posts around the blogosphere today. Bio Break, Hardcore Casual, Killed in a Smiling Accident, Levelcapped, MMO Symposium, Stabbed Up, The Ancient Gaming Noob and West Karana in particular. Why yes, those were listed in alphabetical order. I don't expect you to read all of them, nor will I take on the behemoth task of trying to examine them all here. But they did leave me with a certain state of mind.
Firstly, the news of course. We have our typical doom and gloom posts going on about WoW, given that 4.3 is going to be Deathwing and likely the end of the expansion, combined with the sudden changes to attempt to appease areas of the playerbase they have until now ignored. Many, including myself, believe this is damage control in an attempt to stabilize their subscription numbers. Though successful, let's face it: The game is old. Copying its formula now is like writing an expiration date on your MMO. You have to either make a game in response to what WoW did not address, or somehow innovate on that formula to keep that crowd around. Many are hoping SWTOR will do the second.
Which moves me on to the topic of "other mmo's". I find myself writing like this quite often in this blog. There is WoW and its disciples, and then there are the Other Ones. Though on one hand I feel as though I am not being fair to the genre by focusing so much attention on the first group, I don't have much to say about the second. The MMO industry is at a burgeoning point where its sub-genres are still being developed. Similar to how you can say a Shooter game and refer to anything from Doom to Rainbow Six, an MMO does not have to be what WoW is. The problem with this theory, of course, is that there aren't enough not-WoW-like examples to choose from.
I've made no secret that I am shopping for a new MMO to call home. WoW and its derivatives have lost their luster for me, and I can't seem to delve deep into any other ones. At the moment I am looking at Global Agenda and plan on trying out the free trial of Darkfall. Levelcapped's allegory comes to mind here. I find myself hyping myself up about a game instead of enjoying it for what it is. In that case, I sincerely need to stop trying to get out of games what they don't offer and keep looking. Or enjoy it for what it does offer.
I'll end with Stabs' post on community in mind. I recently attempted to start an RP guild on my WoW server, and abandoned the project when I found people interested in being in the guild, but in no way interested in helping create it. I feel as though the players have taken a severe turn towards independence, and what benefits the individual rather than the community. In one regard, I find it obnoxious to try and start any storytelling project in WoW due to this nature. On the other hand, do I have the same mindset by assuming that people should help me accomplish something I want?