Friday, July 29, 2011

A Double Edged Sword

As mentioned before, I have a good number of MMORPG's installed on my desktop at this moment. Most of them I don't play, but for some reason keep installed on the computer. DDO, Age of Conan, Pirates of the Burning Sea, Warhammer Online, Guild Wars, LOTRO and Forsaken World would rank as the least played on there. The most currently are City of Heroes, World of Warcraft and Star Trek Online, which coincidentally are the ones I have active in terms of subscriptions, STO just being the 30 days I got out of the 10 dollar deal from Steam.

I like these games. The ones I don't play each have features about them I am totally in favor of. Conan's directional melee combat is fun, Guild Wars' mandatory dual-classing, DDO's...connection to D&D...actually, lemme go uninstall that now.

Regardless, each has features I appreciate. Yet I've never been able to commit to any of them to the level I have City of Heroes and WoW. These games are my home. For as long as I've played MMO's, I've had a subscription to one or the other. For some strange reason, I'd prefer to play these games when faced with a similar game. AoC, GW, Forsaken World; all those fantasy titles I can't commit to because I'm already invested in WoW. I can't get into Champions Online or DCUO because of City of Heroes.

I'd like to explore that a bit further though. I don't feel like it's a matter of laziness, such as not wanting to learn what Fate is in LOTRO (I still don't know.) or not enjoying the setting or content (Mark Hamill as the Joker? I'm game.) No, it's about making myself a new home in a place that isn't fundamentally different from my old one. I suppose it would be similar to the saying, "Why fix what isn't broken?" in that I don't want to change what I'm enjoying. I've made myself two "homes" that work perfectly fine, and I've painted the walls the colors I want them and set up all my stuff how I like. Why would I move into a house that has the same square footing, similar floor plan but a bit fancier kitchen? Ergo, why would I play RIFT when I already have a couple 80's in WoW?

Yes, I am looking for something radically different. But MMO companies count on that familiarity. Those who get really into an MMO pride themselves on being good at the game, and being able to give that feeling to players quickly is a way of getting them to stay. So certain conventions are kept: Controls schemes, the concept of talent trees, the "holy trinity" of RPG's; that sort of thing. All of this is meant to make players feel more comfortable. It works, admittedly, but it doesn't work for me.

Though, let's look at it from a different angle: I SHOULDN'T be playing all these different MMO's at once. MMO's are not like other games. They require large time sinks and investment into a character, and I would barely be scratching the surface of them all if I hopped between all the ones I have installed. Game hopping is not the right way to play an MMO. So I guess it is good I have found what works for me. Let's hope I'm willing to at least give some of the new games coming up a fair shot.

On a side note, I googled "What does a double edged sword look like?" The search results were not helpful. The image results were even less helpful. I'm not terribly sure how an asian woman in a bikini was supposed to answer my question, Google.

1 comment:

  1. I understand where you are coming from. I'm somewhat in the same boat right now myself. Lately I've been hoping around to different games, but not really making a commitment to any of them. It's been somewhat relaxing though. I don't have that strange feeling of a responsibility to play anything. There are plenty of exciting titles coming up, so I would just say keep playing what you like, and what is comfortable until another game takes it's place. Don't force it.