Wednesday, August 17, 2011

A Directionless Post

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?


  1. Cooperative has suffered a great deal in WoW, in favor of flexibility and self-sufficiency. it makes from a financial PoV, but no, I don't think you're wrong in asking an MMO to be about teamplay and multiplayer effort. funny enough, with WoW still being in its very classic 3-role setup, we can see that this is not how cooperative is enforced - which is why for me personally, GW2's approach at cooperative play and class focus is going to be very interesting.

    Until then, I'm at a bit of a loss myself. I'd love to have a game to play during the upcoming winter (it gets dark and cold here!), but I am not sure what MMO that could be (SW does not excite me). while WoW holds nostalgia, I know there is nothing left for me there and well, some of the changes in the recent patch are coming way too late...
    So, not sure. Most likely I will update my AoC though now that it's gone FTP, I still have a character there and their new chaos server sounds fascinating. I'll hope you can find something to catch your interest soon! =)

  2. I think a delicate balance needs to be struck, personally. The option to solo should be there, but it should never be more efficient than teaming. Once that happens, there is no game-supported reason to be social.

    I booted up AoC too. Tried to install Darkfall but too many install problem made me scrap that idea. And thanks for the wishes, I hope you find something as well! I will probably make some noise on this blog if I do find something.

  3. The apparent early termination of Cataclysm is a good sign for the future of the game, in my opinion. It shows they understand they've messed up, and are taking strong steps to fix the problems.

    Couple this with Street and Chilton's comments about a third raid difficulty setting and I think the next expansion could be much better received.

  4. A third raid difficulty setting? Now that's interesting, I don't recall reading about that.

    And now that you mention it, yeah, it does seem like a move that says "We messed up." But like Syl wrote, is it too little too late for most subscribers? I'm sure most of us would love to believe WoW will keep going into the ground (myself included at times) but it will likely stabilize at some point that is still higher than most MMORPG subscriber points.