Gamer Bob says: MMOs suck.

People often credit WoW’s success because, in part, it’s a little bit of everything for everyone (in theory at least), and while that’s a great way to get into the genre, if you really want to focus on any one aspect you soon find WoW is somewhat limited. Yes WoW has PvP, but it’s limited by WoW’s PvE side, Blizzard’s somewhat disinterest in expanding WoW’s PvP, and by the fact that the engine is simply not built for it. Messing around in the BGs or arena is all well and good, but if you really want to PvP you play a game like Guild Wars, DarkFall, or WAR, depending on how far you want to take it. Same goes for the economy; WoW has an auction house and mods built around it, but no one is going to confuse the economic challenges of EVE or ATitD with making gold in WoW. Even for PvE, which is (or should be) WoW’s main focus, other games distill the formula and offer more focused gameplay, like the all-instanced PvE of DDO, the hardcore raiding of FFXI, or the casual do anything nature of CoX.

If we were to break down the MMO genre by category (raiding, PvP, economy, questing, graphics, sound, hardware demands, ect), and rate each game on ALL categories, WoW would likely come out with the highest overall total, yet it would not be the winner in any one single category, making it the jack-of-all-trades or most ‘mass market’ game. This of course is supported by WoW having millions of subs while everyone else is trying to hit 500k (or far less when we throw in more niche games like DF or ATitD).

What’s interesting is that overall, WoW players have NOT progressed from the entry game of the genre into other, more focused offerings. Aside from EVE’s continual growth, the genre as a whole has not seen subscription numbers grow from the height of EQ1’s popularity (500k-ish), and whether a game hits its mark (LotRO) or slightly misses (WAR), subscription numbers don’t vary greatly short of the massive disasters (TR, Hellgate). There are more MMOs out now with 100k+ subscribers than prior to WoW’s release in 2004, but it would appear that the majority of WoW players don’t move on to other games and stay. If anything, they try a game for a month, leave, and either return to WoW or leave the genre altogether.

Tourist jokes aside (not that the tourist problem is a joke, mind you), I’ve come to this brilliant conclusion: MMOs are just not that fun for most people.

I know, shocking.

With all the time we spend going back and forth on how X game is awesome and your MMO sucks, or how game Y would be so much better with feature Z, the majority of gamers are telling of us ALL our games suck. The whole genre, garbage. And in a way they are right. Why in gods name would I pay $15 a month to complete 100 kill x mob quests when I could do far more interesting tasks in a single player RPG? Why would I grind up an imbalanced character so I can PvP ‘sometimes’ when I can just get a FPS for cheap and have all-access to PvP of all flavors?

The ‘why’ of course is because I like MMOs, a lot, but WoW aside (and hence more support for the ‘perfect storm’ theory), most people just don’t. Beyond the 50-500k that WILL buy into your product, everyone else is just not that interested in the core ideas behind the genre, and short of abandoning that core (like Guild Wars does, and perhaps even Free Realms), no matter what you do you won’t attract and keep them. It’s not about how great your questing is, or how balanced the PvP turns out, or what form of character progression you go with, those who are not into the genre just can’t be bothered with the basics, details be damned.

And as long as developers understand this and stop trying to chase those who don’t care, the genre will continue on its path of success or failure based on the details, rather then the core. There is plenty of money to be made off those who DO care, and that base is slowly expanding, it’s just not seeing the massive growth WoW lead people to believe it was capable of.

45 Responses to Gamer Bob says: MMOs suck.

  1. Frank says:

    You’re right. WoW was my first MMO and I’ve tried others, but can’t seem to get into them. Plus I get bored with WoW fairly often and let my subscription lapse until I get the bug to play it again. I guess it’s the perfect casual MMO.

  2. Ceadrick says:

    Ding Ding Ding, I think you have something there. I started playing MMO’s back in ’98 with UO, moved to EQ, which I played till WOW came out. I played all the rest, but nothing has ever kept my interest like UO, EQ or wow. Most of my friends think I’m nuts spending so much time playing a game. They will play their consoles, like the Wee, and have some fun, but they would never “waste” so much time playing in a persistent world. Like you say, if the companies go after the real market and not the perceived market they will do okay.

  3. Yeebo says:

    Sad, but likely very true. Unless you live in South Korea.

  4. evizaer says:

    I’ve been of the opinion that the MMO genre is fundamentally crap for the past four years. I’ve tried out a number of different MMOs in this time, playing for a few months here and there and even picking up WoW and dropping it again, but I’ve always come back to thinking that these games just aren’t good. They’re chock full of boring mechanics, half-assed design, and valueless, endless time sinks that leave people bitter.

    On the mechanics side, I wrote a post about how MMORPGs are fundamentally broken. You may find it worth a read.

    http://thatsaterribleidea.blogspot.com/2009/06/save-world-and-level-up.html

  5. Slurms says:

    Heh, while yours is written on a larger scope of the genre, I wrote something up today about bringing the PvP elements of an MMO to an TF2 style of game:

    http://www.multiplaying.net/archives/250

    I’m totally pickin up what you’re putting down though. Ive had a hard time getting hardcore into a MMO since DAOC. WAR was close, but I think it was only close because I really wanted it to follow in DAOCs footsteps.

  6. Anjin says:

    You know, I can’t really argue with this. Many WoW fans are WoW fans, not of MMOs in general. The sooner developers figure out who their audience is, the better. And if Free Realms can do it, so can the big boy games.

  7. Kessiaan says:

    I think the reason EvE keeps growing while other games flounder, more than anything, is that CCP understands MMO gamers in general have always been and will forever be very hardcore compared to the mainstream crowd, and build all their content around that assumption.

    Joe Casual whose idea of gaming is playing Madden on the weekends with his buds is never going to be successful in a persistent world of any sort. These games require a large and continuing investment of, at the very least, your free time and money.

    WoW is WoW. It’s the best game for people getting a taste of what MMOs are like and their sub numbers reflect that. Some go on to other games when they’re tired of WoW, but most just quit.

  8. ScytheNoire says:

    It’s not MMO, it’s the majority of the current generation MMO’s. They are all mostly designed the same, and that’s the problem. We haven’t seen the expanding of the genre, and most are MMORPG’s.

    I think upcoming games can help change things. I think a lot of people like the idea of their accomplishments in a game meaning something and being permanent. Look at how popular achievements are. And a lot of people like online multiplayer games, that’s a given.

    It’s simply that today’s current crop of MMORPG’s isn’t doing it right. They are old school and don’t move beyond the same old thing we’ve been seeing for the past decade. If they actually took time to innovate and create new forms of the MMO genre, you would see a lot more players.

    Of course, this also requires a change in business models, as many gamers who don’t play MMO’s and many who do and are former MMO players, are not fond of the subscription model or the idea of being forced to both buy a box game and then pay a monthly fee ontop of that, no matter if they play for five hours or fifty hours, it’s the same fee.

    Business models need to change, and the way MMO’s are presented need to change. Persistent worlds online with many players isn’t the problem, it’s the design of those games.

  9. Squirrt says:

    Syn one thing, MMO’s are very much about the social aspect. WOW started out with a hard core raiding model requiring 40 players to work together to down bosses and get the cookies. This required a guild, guild leaders, scheduling, websites, and Vent. This type of social interaction, shared experiences, and excitement (I still remember my guilds first kill of Ragnerous) is what had me hooked on WOW for 3 years. I would say that the last year I was purely staying for the social network of people in my guild than really enjoying the game. This type of interaction and shared experience I feel is what many people look for when they leave WOW for their next MMO. But seldom find it so go back to WOW because at least they can hang with their virtual friends and run a vent instance every once and a while.

  10. Rostam says:

    Hey Syn, I agree with Squirrt above, you missed the social aspect of MMO’s which is why the majority of peoplt that play MMO’s continue to play them. If you strip out the social side to MMO’s and just look at the game itself then they will look fairly bland and inferior to other genres.

    • syncaine says:

      But this assumes a player engages in that social aspect, which would be a given if we ignore that WoW (and the genre overall) has continually made changes to improve the solo aspect of the game.

      So yes, the core MMO player has that social aspect, either in a multi-game guild or in his/her specific circle in a given MMO. However, Gamer Bob might solo WoW 1-80, keeping to himself and just barely noticing the social side (since at no point is he forced to), and then goes to try other MMOs with that same “I can do whatever I want” mindframe (and depending on the game, he will fail outright because the game might require some level of social)

      • Squirrt says:

        True that 1-80 is possible solo, but the gamer would have to be anti-social to the extreme to do this. Except for the most recent changes in WOW with Rep Grinds and Crafting epix’s in the last year this was the only way to get better gear. Via 5, 10, 15, 25, 40 man raids. But once people get into a guild they generally find guild chat and vent to be fun and much more interesting than grinding dailies. The fact that grinding dailies is more the stimulus for the social aspect is more the to a point.

        Now that I think about it more I think it has more to do with expectations than anything else. Currently WOW has become that MMO that is very easy to play at ANY level. From mindless, to casual, to hard core, and to spammer buddies. It can be played at any of these levels without a tremendous amount of effort. The players get used to this and then are unable to adjust to other MMO’s that are not forgiving.

        WAR – You need a good guild that has its shit together at 40 to own in premade scenario’s or to effectivly defend a fort against a zerg.

        EVE – Steep learning curve.

        Darkfall – Requires preplanning and imagination.

        DDO – Forced Grouping.

        I personally feel the reason why WOW has been so successful is that it is easy at so many different levels and has a critical mass population so each individual player can play and be successful at the level they want to play at, of course it does get boring.

  11. Rostam says:

    I’ve posted this elsewhere, but I’ve decided to leave the MMO genre. What bothers me the most is that the games are designed to be time sinks and in order to experience the full extent of the game you also must take part in these time sinks in order to ensure your character is strong enough to contribute. A keeping up with the Jones’ type of scenario.

    Combine that with the fact that many MMO’s today have broken games mechanics, the ups and downs of MMO releases, horrible patching cycles and the fact that character development and balanced PvP are mutually exclusive. There are better ways of spending my time.

  12. Bonedead says:

    Call me anti social but I hate relying on other people to have fun. -Gamer Bobby
    “If you ain’t first, you’re last!”

  13. syncaine says:

    @Squirrt: As someone who has a father who has multiple 80s and has never joined a guild, you would be surprised how easy WoW makes it to never talk to anyone and still see 90% of the content.

    As for the other games, I think that was the point I was alluding to. Not everyone is going to look for a game like DDO with forced grouping, but out of the millions who have played WoW, should we not at least have 100k or so who do? Same for WAR, out of the millions, is there not 500k that want deeper PvP on a guild level?

    Out of the millions, there should be, but for whatever reason, most never take that ‘next step’ and transition fully into other MMOs like the core MMO players do.

  14. Squirrt says:

    Hmm, I agree to a certain extent. I wouldn’t blam the MMO players as much as the MMO companies really.
    To many MMO companies released to early, getting a half finished product out the door to start earning revenues. MMO players are very unforgiving. When we leave one MMO we tend to leave for good and need something drastic to get us to revisit the game, free 15-30 day trial or F2P model with RMT.

    MMO companies that have been able to provide the specific environment and have been able to do it well have grown and will continue to grow. Even if they had a poor start. Specifically – EVE & LOTRO

    DDO might be falling into this catagory and I have heard good changes with Age of Conan.

    WAR seems to not have any clue where it is going. But still is currently the only MMO I want to go back to playing.

    WOW’s latest expansion was a cash cow and really only added a lot of fluf and rep grinding to a already grindy game. I would be greatly suprised if they did not see a significant decline in subscriptions in the next year. And the decline is the reason for all the new special services being provided to the game, vs content. It is easier and more lucrative to add these services than new content.

  15. Tesh says:

    I tend to think this is a problem because “MMO” has been conflated with DIKU design, which is largely repetitive, mindless treadmill running in most subscription-sucking implementations. The potential of the MMO genre is largely being wasted, and yes, it does burn people out on the notion, especially when WoW is the prototype that most devs angle to mimic.

    When the major appeal of other games is “bigger, better, bustier” more of the same, but the core game mechanics are still dull as dirt, there’s little impetus to transition, especially once WoW has its addiction hooks in you, and you have a circle of friends.

  16. You are assuming that everyone chooses a specific style they enjoy and focus on that. That someone is going to evlove from pvp in wow to pvp in war. I think, however, that the majority of players in WoW don’t stick to a specifc genre in a game.

    As a result someone who has interest in all these things has the choice to play 3 or 4 different MMO’s or play one and while it may not be the best it certainly makes the most sense.

    Also most fps games have a tpyical main storyline of 10 hours. After that you are either replaying the exact same thing on a different difficulty (aka WoW hardmodes) or playing PvP. Last I checked there haven’t been any major advancements in fps multiplayer.

    If you are hardcore enough you are allready playing a Niche game instead of WoW. If you like variety and a good all around game you are probably still playing WoW.

    Of course none of the above is taking into account social bonds which is another aspect that keeps people playing.

  17. Anjin says:

    If there are any social bonds holding most people to WoW, they are the ones external to the game. WoW has greater cultural penetration than any MMO on the market. You just have to look at Saylah’s article about her cousin adamantly stating that she wanted to play “Worldcraft.”

  18. [...] Hardcore Casual: Tourist jokes aside (not that the tourist problem is a joke, mind you), I’ve come to this brilliant conclusion: MMOs are just not that fun for most people. [...]

  19. Melf_Himself says:

    “And as long as developers understand this and stop trying to chase those who don’t care”

    This is the part where you failed. Perhaps there’s a reason that most gamers don’t care about MMO’s? Perhaps if the “core” MMO aspects were tweaked, the genre would really take off?

    Think Diablo 2 speed of progression instead of epic WoW grindfest speed of progression, and watch the mass-market appeal skyrocket. Of course, designers don’t want to do this because they’re worried that people will “finish” the game sooner and stop paying them money.

    • syncaine says:

      Or more likely, changing the basics of what makes an MMO drives out the core MMO gamers, and the masses might still not care. Are you honestly telling me you would pay $15 for Diablo 2? Because I sure as hell would not.

      There is a reason the masses don’t care about the genre, just like there is a reason only a certain crowd really cares to buy a sports title year in year out. So long as you know your market, you make money.

      • Tesh says:

        That’s exactly what needs to be challenged, though. What “MMO” has come to mean, a DIKU dungeon crawl, is just a narrow niche of what online multiplayer games really *could* be.

      • Melf_Himself says:

        Let’s face it, the “core MMO gamers” are a bunch of unemployed tards. Note that I’m not trying to insult unemployed people or tards individually – it is where they overlap on the Venn diagram of social misfits that the core MMO gamers lie.

        Anyway, I’m quite certain that designing games in a less time-sink grind-fest way would appeal to a much greater cross-section of gamers. This in turn would make the companies involved a lot more money (instead of going bust within 12 months of release more often than not), so win-win (except for the unemployed tards).

        No, I wouldn’t pay $15/month for Diablo 2. Then again, I wouldn’t pay it for WoW or some clone of WoW either.

        My point with Diablo 2 is that if you made it an open-world game and updated the graphics, the only difference compared to most modern MMO’s would be the much reduced grind. Same loot-whore appeal, same depth in character creation, but with the added bonuses that 100% of people can see all the content, and that lveling is fast so it’s easy to jump in with friends wherever they’re at.

        Oh, and servers that run just off ads instead of the ridiculously inflated $15/month price tag.

      • Doug says:

        I would *absolutely* pay $15 a month for Diablo 2, *if* that got me a continuous stream of fresh content, of new, professionally-written quests and lore. No question. I would drop WoW in a heartbeat and switch if that option were given to me.

        I play WoW in *spite* of the fact that it’s an MMO, not *because* it’s an MMO.

  20. Gooney says:

    MMO´s aren´t made for the people who blog about them or make podcasts about them.

    Broadly speaking, they are made for people who will just take what is offered, pay the fee and stfu.

    MMO’s are a product, nothing more, they are produced from an investment and are expected to generate revenue.

    Just like virtually every product aimed at a hobbiest a certain percentage of those consumers will develop into a passionate fan base. Generally, this aids in the market viability of the product being sold and with very modest investment can provide a great deal of near free marketing.

    Take “The Instance” as an example, a very high quality, focused podcast that Blizzard doesn´t have to invest anything in but returns massive amounts of free, self moderated, high quality advertising. Each podcast is essentially an hour long infomercial.

    Blogs work on the same principal.

    There is not now and will never ever be “THE MM0″ rather a whole slew of products that may or may not be attractive to you personally.

    -Gooney

  21. Dblade says:

    You are ignoring free to play though, and I think that’s where they are progressing to. That’s where the action is, most subscription MMO’s are really floundering. I started playing mabinogi, and what amazed me was how many people congregated in areas, to the point where all 4 channels to a server got busy this weekend. Free realms and wizard 101 also seemed poised to catch WoW goers.

    The genre is fine, considering we probably have more MMOs now than in history, and people keep making more. It’s just a malaise on the subscription end.

  22. The Claw says:

    I think you are som ewhat underestimating the appeal

  23. The Claw says:

    Gah slipped and hit submit.

    I agree that “if you really want to focus on any one aspect you soon find WoW is somewhat limited” but I think you are overestimating the number of people who really DO want to focus on one aspect, and underestimating the appeal of an MMO which can do a lot of different things (PvP/PvE, solo/group, casual/hardcore, etc.) all “pretty well”.

  24. J.C. Smith says:

    Most MMOGs right now are diku-muds. Evolutionary products that first tried to clone Everquest, and then WOW. Not much originality in most of them. They don’t have to consist of only kill __ mobs or deliver this quests, and they don’t have to require players to grind. The problem is, companies aren’t willing or aren’t able to come up with better alternatives. Instead they come up with ideas like, “Think WOW with better PVP” or “It’s like WOW, but in space.” That’s not going to cut it.

    WOW was a success because it was the right game at the right time. Just as Everquest’s success was largely in part to it being 3D, and not having the forced PVP issues that players were exposed to in the other MMO of that time (Ultima Online). It got good numbers, and it held them because there wasn’t a whole lot of competition. Brad made the mistake a couple of years ago though by thinking that Everquest’s success was becuase it was such a well designed game, and the result was a monumental flop in Vanguard.

    WOW came along at a time when the market was filled with Everquest clones, and when Everquest’s sequel had just been released. The market was filled with hardcore games, and forced grouping and large raiding was thought to be the way to go to form bonds between players. Slow leveling was the way to go, becuase it allowed you to get by with less content. WOW offered gamers something different, at a time when the competition wasn’t, and as a result it had huge success. The fact that it ran well on old systems helped, as did the fact that it was a solid all around game. But more than anything, it was the right game, at the right time.

    But in the aftermath of WOW, just as in the aftermath of Everquest, everyone else’s solution has been to clone it and offer a couple twists. That’s not going to cut it. People have already been there and done that. The genre needs to evolve.

  25. Wyrm says:

    I agree. The genre has to evolve. But why must it evolve in the pure entertainment direction. What about the challenge? I am not unemployed or “tard” but I like a game that is hard to beat, where you have to know what you’re doing. It’s like the difference between white water rafting or those “white water” simulators you see in theme parks: the former is a challenge while the latter is entertainment.

    I’d like to stress that there is nothing wrong with entertainment but some degree of challenge is required at least for me. And I mean challenge, not mindless grind.

    • Gallows says:

      WoW would still have been challenging if the time to level was divided in half.

      I liked WoW (until lich king unbalancing act) but I couldn’t justify paying 15 bucks on top of half of my free time. Like you, I am not an unemployed tard but all the successful people who had all the gear and the time to invest into raiding seemed to be unemployed.

      An MMO subscription is fine, but I better see something for it. Paying for a game I already paid for when I bought it seems a little redundant and.. idk, retarded?

      If the time was divided in half then a person like me could be entertained and challenged at the same time. Not that WoW is challenging since it’s all a math game anyway and takes no skill once you figure out the calculations.

      • Self Important says:

        I’m Sorry if you Found wow “chalangeing” You may have missed Wyrms Point

        • gallows says:

          What’s with the word in quotations? I don’t see the misspelling you’re attempting to make fun of. Must be a fail troll. Go back to /2.

  26. robsolo says:

    I agree with Smith. I think we forget what a big deal WoW was when it came out. I started with moved on to EQ and DaoC and I even tried Ultima for a month.

    WoW was so much better (for me) than any of those other games. The fact that i made it up to 60 (whereas in EQ and DaoC I couldn’t get past 30 because of hardware issues or not being in group issues) proves it.

    I like WoW because it is like a first person RPG game, except there are other people around. I can solo by myself fine til 60 (or 80 now) or I can get in groups and do instances or do PvP. You can do everything as little, or as much, as you want. Crafting, gathering and the Auction House are set up in a way that’s simple to understand and use.

    No other game I have tries has such ease of use and ‘easy fun’. If I’m going to waste time killing x number of Y then yeah, I want it to be nicely laid out and possible.

    When I fist hear about WAR I was so excited (because I love the Warhammer franchise) but I was let down by the complete PvP nature. I tries LoTR but it just didn’t click with me. I really wanted to like Eve….but I just got lost in the learning curve. Star Wars Galaxies was just meh.

    Maybe WoW is so popular because even with it’s repetitiveness and cartoony graphics it’s actually easy to understand and fun to play! Someone once described WoW as, ‘not a game, but a social networking tool with a really really nice graphic interface.’

    Of course, now I’m looking forward to Bio-Ware’s new Star Wars MMO. I don’t care if it’s a ‘WoW killer’, I just hope that it’s fun to play.

    • robsolo says:

      sorry for the horrid grammar. I think I should proofread what I write or at least wait til after breakfast when I’m thinking more coherently to write anything.

  27. Steve says:

    WoW was my first MMO, and like you say I’ve tried the others (and even tried single player games again, that was weird…), and in addition to the things you’ve outlined, WoW has *polish*. Before you even get to the gameplay, there’s a bit of “wow” factor in WoW. Right from entering the game, WoW builds you up with a big encouraging voice over and the camera swoops around behind you… and you’re there. The cinematography alone makes you care about this character and interested in the world you’ve just jumped into.

    From there, the art direction, the animations, the sound and the music all come together more cohesively and with a feeling of immersion that is sorely lacking from other games. Believe me, I wanted to play Eve Online (the spaceships were amazing, and warping around the systems was thrilling), but the complexity of the menu system and tiny low-contrast fonts made me focus more on figuring out how to play than actually playing.

    WoW also gives you the feeling of being part of an epic conflict right out of the box, even though it doesn’t actually place you into any epic conflict from the beginning (kill some wolves, please). A failing of the other games I have tried (particularly Guild Wars and Eve Online) is that they throw too much at you too quickly; there’s a big backstory, you’re part of a dying race and/or rescuing someone who is, and you’re supposed to care about these things.

    I think depth is great, and the conclusion that you’ve drawn in your article appears to be that there is room in the market for depth as much as there is for breadth. It is my wish, however, that future MMOs that seek to focus on depth do so whilst not forgetting that there are users who may need to wade in the shallow end of the pool first – not just for the gameplay, but for the interface and the story too.

    • Steve says:

      One more point:

      A lot of MMOs have 10-day trials, but personally, my trial of a game for which I would ultimately have to subscribe is going to be about 2 seconds if the trial download doesn’t work (not uncommon with 10GB downloads, and frustrating for those of us in countries where download caps are the norm i.e. Australia), or 2 hours if I can’t get into it due to difficulties with the interface or frustration with the gameplay (barriers to entry). Beyond 2 hours, I’m starting to explore character classes and the gameplay itself, so I’m good with actually getting on with the trial.

      There’s something about time-limited trials that makes me anxious to make a decision in advance of the due date, and so I feel rushed or pushed into opting in or out (often, out). My suggestion there is to remove the time trial, and let me get to level X or reach zone Y before I’m stopped from progressing; I’m able to play the game and figure it out at my own pace (my having a busy week at work shouldn’t count against trial time, surely). If I like it and want to progress further then I’m just a subscription away.

  28. syncaine says:

    @Steve: The whole trial thing is basically a choice between a ‘trail island’ with no timeframe, and the 10 day or whatever trial. Both have plus/minus factors, and I think it comes down to the game and what trial fits it best. An EVE trial without actually taking place on the giant world would really limit what EVE is all about, for instance.

    As for WoW, while it certainly does everything you describe, and that does explain when so many people TRY it, MMOs are not about how many people you can get to try your game like a single player, $50 for the box and that’s it game. MMOs are all about keeping someone interested for 6+ months (sub ones anyway, F2P are different), and while the first step to that is indeed getting them to try it, trying it won’t do much good if your design fails to keep them past one month, no matter how easy it was to get in.

  29. Empiricist says:

    I believe that the main reason why players prefer WoW than other MMOs (which based on your reasoning they score better marks in individual parts(PvE ,PvP Economy etc)) can be broken in 2 :

    1st.A huge player population which not only can contribute to helping not just finishing content(i.e Raiding) but also is the main reason why MMOs even exist(ill reflect on that in abit){by existance i mean to be so popular since being not popular propably leads you to non existance)

    2nd.The mechanics are easy to grasp conceptually which makes the gamer not stuggling in trying to learn how to play it but in clearing as much content as he want to( even if that is being done repeatedly ->Dailies)

    Now about the previous notion , i reckon that bacause everything one do has an actual meaning while it is percieved by his counterparts in the real world(also known as humans) WoW is succesful on account of the fact that players compete each other either intentionally or unintentionally.For example , someone’s success in “y” exams wont have a real meaning (hence they wont amount for any satisfaction)if none person percieves the existance of these marks . Now respectively in WoW progressing in PvE wouldnt have any psychologigal profit if there wasnt any competition.We play MMOs to compete with others and whether we want it or not we are being leaded to that direction in the long run.

  30. Meridian says:

    Most mmorpg players that I personally know have great nostalgia for the early Everquest period, and the reason for that is that it’s unlike what we’ve seen for the rest of the decade. It was much less aggressive and more focus on the imagination. I guess what I’m saying is that while I’m a guy and I like action as much as the next guy, there’s something to be said for toning down the high-testosterone approach of WoW, Warhammer, Age of Conan and so on. If you make a gentler mmorpg, you’ll make up with female players what you lose in bored teen boys. But no company as yet seems to have the drive to try that. That’s why I think the supposed WoW killers are failing – they are just trying to be even more aggressive. Try going the other direction, bring back that calm, imaginative spark that early EQ had and you’ll have a chance at luring people away.

  31. Morildar says:

    I’ve tried several MMOs in my day(including WoW, which I played for a few months), and have struggled in vain to find them entertaining. My issue with MMOs is just the endless dungeon crawl grind-athon that they try to pass off as RPGs.

    A game is considered entertaining if they require: skill, strategy, or skill and strategy. The RPG genre typically requires neither. Most RPG combat boils down to experience level of your character and the equipment that character carries. There are a few very obvious tactical choices to make by the player, but it would be a stretch to call this strategy. And there is certainly no skill involved in any RPG.

    This lack of game mechanics isn’t necessarily a problem for single player RPGs, of which I am a fan. Single player RPGs are engaging because of the interesting environment, characters, and the interactive narrative that they present to the player. The boring combat might help the player immerse themselves in the world and feel that they are changing the world by the their actions.

    What MMOs have done is excise all that interesting story and interaction from the genre, and simply reduce it down to the god awful mechanics of RPG combat. There is no longer any story, no longer any interesting interaction with NPC characters, and no longer the sense that the character is having any impact on the virtual world of the RPG(bosses simply respawn after all).

    This is the equivalent of action game being stripped of it’s action and reduced to the god awful cutscenes and story that are present in most action games. MMORPGs have stripped RPGs of their best elements and focused entirely on the worst elements of the RPG genre: Repitive grinding combat and meaningless level advancement.

    For these reasons, I hate MMOs.

  32. Vyper says:

    Great read. There have been studies claiming that most MMO players will always retain their first online game experience in memory and use it as a basis of comparison for all future games.

    For me, and many friends it was UO, and we spent years lamenting about how no game will ever get pvp right like they did. But the truth is, it wasn’t all that great, it was (I think now) mostly just exciting and a new experience.

    A lot of us legacy MMO players (UO/EQ1/AC era) have been hung out to dry one to many times and the new bloods don’t have any substantial measure of comparison (they start the genre on crap, and drop it as such). There just seems to be a lack of substance in the MMO market now.

    WoW hangs in there and keeps high retention for many reasons, but I think one of the largest is simply because it has so many people. During the time I played WoW, I met and interacted with more people (guilds, ventrilo, offline friendships) than in any other game. It almost defines social gaming. Even though ultimately there just wasn’t enough of the right content for me personally,

    I have sorely missed that social interaction in gaming. These days it seems like most “MMOs” are simply solo grind fests with a global chat window.

    Not that it’s entirely the developers faults, but that’s another topic.

  33. disgusted gamer says:

    MMO is to hardcore fan as shitty band is to hardcore fan

    Play a single player RPG if you want a good interactive story/character experience

    Play a multiplayer non-MMO rpg/shooter if you want a good multiplayer experience

    Now fuck off with your MMOs. They’re a sorry excuse for a game and shouldn’t even have “RPG” in them.

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