Back in 2010 I concluded that the MMO industry is working backwords. January 3, 2010 I said, “Looking at what the MMORPGâ€™s of the past were able to accomplish, and what is being designed and attempted today, does it not appear as though we are working backwards?”Â MMOs were once achieving certain things, progressing (EQ/AC to DAoC to SWG, etc) but MMOs today are going down a path which leads them in a direction where it’s impossible to become better.
Over three years later, I am haunted by this industry’s perpetual failure to recognize the greatness in games long past, and an industry now plagued by horrific ideas thought to be ‘just how games are made these days.’Â Embracing worlds which are instanced to the point of being single-player experiences, PvP in little frag boxes, absolutely no reason to ever interact or socialize with anyone, and nothing but the same game being made one iteration after the next.
When is a game going to come along that bucks the trend, stands up against this regression, and starts us back on the path moving forward?Â Inspiration for this musing comes from Camelot Unchained’s Kickstarter page:
“In the rush to cash in on the WoW phenomenon, publishers/designers tried to simply â€œout-WoW WoWâ€, leading to most MMORPGs becoming more risk-averse, more â€œcasual playerâ€-focused, and overall, less challenging.”
Developers and players alike these days seem to think this was an evolutionary trend, and the ones drinking the cool-aid think it was a revolution, when in fact it was a devolution.Â Now to buck this trend we must begin an era of (as CSE puts it) counter-revolutionary MMO design.
That’s why I’m willing to back a game like CU years in advance.Â I believe in their ideology.Â I have no idea if the game will even be any good — I mean I really hope it is, but I’m not investing in this like a pre-order banking on hype. This is me throwing my support and backing what I believe.Â I believe we’re never going to get back to making MMOs that actually innovate and move beyond what was originally being developed a decade ago until someone steps up and takes us back to a point in which we can actually begin moving forward in the right direction.