An Oldie, but a Goodie

An Oldie, but a Goodie

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In my last post I reflected on how 2016 brought little growth to MMOs, and how 2017’s prospects looks even bleaker. One of our regular commenters, Bhagpuss, left a comment that struck up some thought and conversation.

If it’s not MMO I’m not interested. The new MMO prospects for 2017 do look slim it’s true but with all the magnificent, wonderful, compelling MMOs we already have, who needs anything new?

The sentiment is not lost on me. In fact, I often find more enjoyment in the older MMOs than anything new. Perhaps even to an extreme of liking MMOs that were even older than many of the MMOs Bhagpuss refers to in his comment.

I’ve returned to EverQuest many times. I’ve had equally long sessions in games like UO, an I’ve even spent time going back to play DAoC, SWG, and other MMOs from the golden era.

Just like there is nothing wrong with enjoying older games, there’s also nothing wrong with wanting something new.

Maybe I should use my old cake metaphor again. If I make a wonderful chocolate cake, I can eat many slices. It’s so rich, creamy, and moist. But eventually I will stop and have the feeling that I’ve perhaps had enough chocolate cake for now. It was amazing. Absolutely nothing wrong with it. I’ve just had enough chocolate cake.

The great MMOs of old are the chocolate cake for me. I can only eat so much before I decide that maybe I would like to have some ice cream next, or pie. I’ll always look back and say, “remember that amazing chocolate cake?” I might even make another one and enjoy the same recipe, but wanting to try something else next isn’t a criticism of the cake or of my tastes in dessert.

My desire for a new MMO to come out is like wanting to try new desserts. I already know what flavors I don’t like, and I know the ingredients that should never go into a cake. I’m just waiting for someone to make a great cake with the types of flavors I like. Until then, it looks like I’m on a diet!

  • Very fair point. Even the greatest taste can stale and we all hanker for new flavors once in a while.

    Thing is, though, there are a lot of MMOs and MMOs take a long time to experience in anything like full. A couple of years ago I made a list of all the MMOs I’ve played and it came to well over a hundred. I’ve played quite a few more since then and the total is probably closing in on a hundred and fifty, and yet there are more MMOs running right now that I haven’t even tried than all the ones I have put together.

    What’s more, some of the ones I’ve never tried are big AAA titles – EVE, Aion, Lineage (1 and 2), SW:tOR, AOC for example, just off the top of my head. And of the hundred plus I’ve played I’ve probably only spent what I’d consider to be a significant amount of time in less than half of them and only reached end game/level cap in a dozen or so – and of those most have moved way past the cap I reached by now.

    The plain fact is that if no new MMO is ever made I will not live long enough to exhaust the content of even the existing ones in which I already know I’m interested. And who knows how much I might like one of the ones that already exists but which I have yet to try? The best MMO I ever play may already be out there, unplayed.

    That said, I do hope they keep on making new MMOs (whoever they are) and that they make some good ones. I like a new drug as much as the next addict!

    • Taste is also such a strong factor here. While you’ve played 100 MMOs, I would struggle to name even 20. Our definitions may perhaps differ.

      I’m also more selective in which I try. I prefer a very, very particular style which inevitably makes my wait between them much longer.

      I can also burn through an MMO faster than some. I can play 5 hours a day sometimes. That’s 5x faster than people who play 1 hour a day.

      Lots of different factors to consider.

  • Oh, and for some reason I seem to be getting caught in your spam filter again – had to add an extra “s” to my name to get a comment through. Haven’t had that problem for a long time.

    • So weird. I found your comments in the spam filter and marked them as not spam. Sorry about that. It may be your .com.uk in the URL that perhaps triggers it since lots of spammers seem to have a .uk address. Hopefully you can post again with the correct number of S’s!

  • I’ve decided that for some of us (and maybe it’s a tiny minority) MMOs are dead. That’s because they used to be hard, and you either had to be very good or you could be bad and spend a ton of time doing it and sorta “win” anyway.

    Now they are all basically the same with new graphics but easy. Real easy. You want to raid something and get all the best loot? Just join autoraid which will take a few minutes to find 15 other players that can all DPS like crazy and heal too. Not 72 players. That couldn’t heal too. And had no auto join raid options.

    And most funnily, WoW used to be the lame easy one. Now it’s sorta the most modern that’s not a complete joke.

    But some didn’t play to “win”. It’s a big socialization thing for them. So all the new ones are fine. They are dead for me though and perhaps a few more.

    • The issue for me is not as black and white in terms of difficulty. I actually do not like when MMOs are brutally hard, or when difficulty simply translates as a time investment or numbers game.

      I like depth most of all.

  • Tbh mmo’s as we know them might be dead. I am exactly like you. I play something for a few days, get bored, move on.

    Unless there is some significant leap forward in gameplay, either through technolgy or pure genius gameplay, the market likely will never pick up. Btw copying he same systems popular since Everquest is not genius gameplay.

    Otoh there are a few half decent ARPGs in the works and maybe one of these might be more compelling than a mmo. Might even buy a Switch so I can play Zelda.

  • Speaking of trying out old MMOs, I ended up picking up ESO for $15 after christmas and have been trying that out. It apparently changed massively with the last patch, and now is fully scaled so you can go anywhere at any time. I’ve actually been having a lot of fun, though I am taking it really slow and casual instead of trying to get to endgame as fast as possible. It’s definitely scratching an itch and was worth the money.

    I forget, but you tried out ESO for a while on release, right?

    • Yes, I played ESO during release as well as two more times during major updates. I have not played since the most recent update to make the game scale wherever you go, though.

      I think that ESO has merit. It’s far, FAR, from a great game, but it’s coming along. I think it survives and will continue to survive simply on its namesake.

  • I’m quite the opposite of Bhagpuss. If it is an mmo, I am not interested. I’m playing WoW and Warframe actively, with a community, and occasionally dabble in one of the classics. I would not know how to fit a new one into my time, and it would have to be exceptional to bump an old one out of my playtime.

  • I’ve been dabbling in various flavors of EQ (P99, P2002, Phinigel) as I wait for Pantheon.

    I still raid in WoW twice a week but that is really starting to wear on me. Bashing our head against mythic Cenarius for wipe number 50, 60, 70-something? I don’t know, I’ve lost count. Whatever it is it’s not fun anymore. My weapon is rank 46 and I just want the AP grind to be over. It feels like a chore.

    Someone mentioned already difficulty and think that’s something important to me that is completely lost in modern MMORPG’s outside of progression raiding. Everything is so mind-numbingly easy I just get bored. I’ve also hopped-on Elysium Project in preparation for the new server and vanilla WoW posed a modicum of challenge. You at least had to think about what you were doing once in a while or use some sort of strategy.

    I don’t know, I don’t have the answers. Pantheon sounds really good to me so I’m cautiously optimistic. It may be the first game I pledge for despite my frequently telling people to stop pre-ordering games. I can say the rule of the 3-monther holds true for me and in my gaming circles. I can’t think of a single game, aside from WoW, to hold the interest of myself or any of my friends for more than 3-months. Sure we might go back to something when there’s a big patch or an expansion but everyone burns out after a month. I’m still raiding in WoW right now which is the longest I’ve lasted since WotLK. Once I determine the flavor of old EQ that is right for me I’ll probably stick around there until Pantheon. All these years later and it still manages to capture my interest in a way most games don’t.