We’re facing an epidemic here, people. Over the past several years vast quantities of water have been rapidly disappearing from our online virtual worlds. We’re already at the point where you cannot find a body of water that is more than knee-deep. If we don’t do anything to solve this crisis– Yeah, this bit is going on too long… But really, where has all the water gone? Some of my fondest memories in MMORPGs have been related to water and now it seems like most games don’t bother with it at all.
First off I should probably mention that large bodies of water are terrifying. If you don’t agree then you are a crazy person. You don’t know what kind of crazy, messed up stuff is going on down there. Giant sharks, huge kraken things, slumbering old gods, male water horses that give birth? It’s a freakshow, man. And no, I do not have an irrational fear of water that stems back to a horrific family vacation on a house-boat. This shit is legit. On a more serious note… Water can be really frightening but also very exciting. Back in EQ I LOVED raising my swimming skill and exploring underwater locations. When I got the water-breathing spell I was happier than the fat kid in school on pizza day. Of course I was that kid, but that’s neither here nor there.
WoW did do some pretty good stuff with water, and GW2 tried (though I think they missed the mark), but aside from that I can’t really think of another game that has really done much at all to create a real underwater experience, and that’s a real shame. Underwater zones offer the opportunity for some more interesting encounters and tense situations that you don’t normally find on dry-land. It really doesn’t have to be underwater, either. Navigating the ocean on your own ship and suddenly being ambushed by water monsters that leap onto your deck would be AWESOME. Even better would be some kind of giant sea creature, leviathan or kraken dude wrapped around your vessel. I mean, dang… That sounds like it would be so much fun but nobody wants to do it. I won’t go into detail about how many games have promised me boats and straight-up LIED to me. It’s a sore subject around here.
It really bums me out that water is pretty much only knee-high these days. Maybe I’m alone in this but I want the danger and excitement of sailing the open seas, exploring under-sea ruins, and stabbing some fish dudes in the face.