MMORPG’s And Me

MMO’s and me have had a tumultuous relationship throughout the years, and by tumultuous i mean ignore completely despite the fact everyone and everything is shouting at me to play them, the biggest culprit being World Of Warcraft. Now I have played WoW but I just never really got into it, I mean I have played it with several characters but It always got to a point at roughly level 20 where the novelty wore off and i started to not care about my character or the story or anything in the game so I decided I would just stop as I wasnt getting anything out of it.

Upon people hearing my story about WoW they always say you didn’t give it enough of a chance or you weren’t playing it right etc and to them I say BLEH! A game has to have that hook to make you want to continue playing it to experience its full potential, not grind through hours of boring quests to get to the good bits (see Final Fantasy XIII!). However i realise im a part of the minority when it comes to WoW, with its subscription base being that of a small country im putting it down to perhaps its something that’s just not meant for me, despite all the advertising and word of mouth from my friends ive just given up trying to get into it, it just wont happen.

Trying to figure out why WoW never did it for me i could apply to the majority of MMO’s as i love a good story to a game, just questing and leveling up finding incrementally better stuff isn’t enough of a justification for me, i need a point an over arching reason rather than just for shits and giggles. And also most games from the genre have fairly similar quest structures for example collect X amount of goblin heads for quest giver Y. The only variations are the names and that’s just not enough for me (perhaps im not quite OCD enough for it). The combat however does hold my attention for significantly longer than anything else because who wouldn’t love to become an all-powerful fire-breathing magic wizard or something like that? Wasting all the evil minions in your path with a single devastating firestorm. Then of course it gets to a point where you get bogged down with so many attacks and spells that you have to start micro managing it and managing short cuts so you can make it easier to access your best spells, and this is where I start to draw the line because I always thought if you have to change the UI to make it easier to use your best spells/attacks smacks of bad design? Or maybe that’s just me.

Anyway before I fill up the post with one long huge rant of text, let me just say there have been MMO’s I have played and got a lot of play time…. Granted only 3, but still I enjoyed them immensely.

The first one being Guild Wars 1 which was the first one id maxed out my characters level which I was very proud of, until you see that the level cap was 20 at the time….. I never bought the expansion packs etc so I have no idea if they ever did raise the level cap. Still I ended up being a serious tank in the game and loved it and the story was just about worthy enough to give you a decent amount of justification for the quests you do in the game. Granted it wasnt great but it was adequate.

The sequel aptly named Guild Wars 2 was much bigger in scope and ambition, and to its credit it works really well. It’s a lot of fun and like its older brother uses a no monthly subscription model, choosing to get its money from micro transactions from trading posts etc. At time of writing ive got to level 34 as ive taken a break from it lately but I will come back to it soon to see if it’s changed at all and to see if my opinion of it has changed at all.

The last one for me was Star Wars The Old Republic which was really good (granted I havent played it in aggesss) I probably ploughed a good 30-40 hours into this and I still hadn’t completed the story line, oh yes there’s a story line and a proper one more like its counterparts,  Star Wars knights of the old republic games on xbox 1 and pc/steam. And that’s what drew me to it because I was crying out for a storyline to get me into an MMO because I felt like I was hugely missing out on the craze. So with some excitement I got to playing it and I was pleasantly surprised with how good it was (just my opinion of course), as im such a loner you can comfortably play and probably complete the game on your own if you so wish.

Very quickly however you get the distinct impression that this isn’t an MMO in the traditional sense, it plays more like an online enabled star wars knights of the old republic (remember knights of the old republic was a story driven western RPG… A thoroughly single player affair) and I think that’s one of the reasons for its declining subscription base because it didn’t integrate multiplayer very well, which is kind of the core essence of an MMO! I loved it of course… Being a loner n all, or a serious reason is that it played like the sequel I always wanted to the knights of the old republic series as I was disappointed on hearing they were making an MMO rather than a full-blown RPG which probably would have been a lot of money for them and been a hell of a lot cheaper to make since the MMO apparently was arse clenchingly expensive to make. So just jumping to conclusions im blaming EA on this one!

The old republic is the one shining example for me of great story telling in a genre which has next to no story at all but hey, perhaps you don’t play them for its story. Now I don’t hate MMORPG im open to suggestions for different ones to try, it’s just at this point im thinking of giving up on it as a genre that has just passed me by.

Thank you for reading

Dave

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