Crowfall is the MMO I’ve pinned my future hopes on (and a decent chunk of change is backing that up), but since it is still fairly far away, and I know I can ‘catch up’ when I get access to the alpha/beta, I’ve not really kept up with all of the info tidbits released.
ARK is the game I’m playing most right now (a recent move has heavily cut into my gaming time, but that is mostly over for now), and while it’s not an MMO technically, in a lot of ways it sorta is. What I find interesting right now is what ‘first post on this blog me’ would think of ARK, especially in terms of “is it an MMO”, vs what ‘current me’ thinks of it.
I think ‘first post me’ would certainly say ARK isn’t an MMO, and possibly be a lot less interested in it. Back then I think I placed a much higher emphasis on massive, but also far rarer ‘epic moments’ in an MMO. One such moment would justify days or even weeks of less-than-awesome gameplay. Basically, my tolerance for long valleys was higher because the high peaks justified them, and I would experience enough of those peaks often enough to keep me going.
Current me still loved the idea of that peak, and still believes it’s the pinnacle of gaming experiences, but also recognizes that the level of effort to reach that peak isn’t always doable anymore, or even something I want to chase after. I think in a lot of ways this explains why I’m not currently playing EVE; I know as far as MMOs go, it’s still a gem amount a sea of trash, but I also know I can’t reasonably obsess over it the way I would need to hit the peaks I’d want to. I’ve been down the EVE rabbit hole far enough that simply playing it casually wouldn’t work for me like it does for others.
Getting back to Crowfall, I think one of the big reasons I’m high on it is because, on paper, it should allow for a mix of peaks and valleys. I think it will cater to those who obsess over it and give them truly epic moments. I also think it will allow those who don’t obsess as much to still see a peak, but either less often or not to the same scale. The different ‘world’ rules, the continued progression outside of those worlds, and the fact that you can decide to go ‘hardcore’ on one world and then take a more casual approach to the next, all leads me to believe that Crowfall, more than previous MMOs, will more flexibly give you back what you put in.
For someone who, if we are being honest, is still a pretty hardcore gamer, though can’t 100% commit to a ‘raiding schedule’ life anymore, Crowfall sounds like the natural evolution of the genre. ‘Growing up’ doesn’t mean I only have 15 minute chunks of time. It doesn’t mean I expect everything handed to me for an hour’s worth of effort. I am still willing to set that alarm clock if needed. I’m just not going to set the alarm on a regular schedule, or commit to 5 hour chunks 3 days a week, every week, for a year. With Crowfall, I don’t think I’ll need to, but I do also believe the option will exist. So long as both options ‘balance out’, it should be a great experience.