MMOs and the Their Future Use of Virtual Reality
VR exploded quite a bit in the last two years. It sort of slowed a bit, probably to let the tech catch up a little, but it hasn't gone away.
The Pantheon twitter asked the following.
Virtual Reality - Which side of the fence are you on, do you think Virtual Reality is the future of gaming or will it be a passing trend?
I'm going to tailor my thoughts a little more towards MMOs, but they'll apply to gaming in general as well.
I think VR as it is currently implemented is a bit of a passing trend. Heavy helmets the current controllers aren't going to remain this way and accelerate to mainstream adoption.
If the tech were in a position where it felt like wearing my normal eyeglasses, wireless, and less bulky/limited, then I would be a heck of a lot more ready to put on the device. While I say that, I can't help but think about VR TV's. That was definitely a passing trend.
There's also the limitations placed upon game development. While it adds so many layers to let developers tell immersive stories, it's also a LOT more complicated and in many ways limiting to gameplay too.
Right now we're seeing AR gain so much traction because it's easily integrated into every-day actions. I can pull out my iPhone which is in my pocket already and play Pokemon Go. I don't need another device, and it doesn't limit my mobility.
As much as I want MMOs to go virtual reality like a Star Trek holodeck, I don't think they can without radically changing the gameplay. WoW's model is the current mainstream. I can't imagine playing that way in VR.
VR lends itself to physical movements/inputs. That didn't work so well in Darkfall. It works in Skyrim and single-player games fairly well, but combining all of that with latency and other players becomes much more challenging to execute in an MMO.
I just don't see it without radical alterations that I'm having a hard time believing will ever happen.
Verdict: Passing trend.