One of my favorite things about following MMOs is the excitement that comes from looking forward to a new title. This year, it was Aion. Last year, it was WAR. Neither title could live up to the massive amount of hype it received even though both are fun games in their own right. As a result, people feel let down, burned, and jaded. I know that happened to me after WAR. It leaves a bitter taste, not unlike getting a sweater on Christmas morning.
Yet, after the fact, I don’t regret falling that far down the rabbit hole. It was fun and it gave me something to look forward to during the doldrums of my WoW career. And that’s why, even though some people might not understand it, I find myself now looking at games like SW:TOR and All Points Bulletin that I really didn’t give a wit for before Aion’s release.
As an MMO fan, I think we have a unique place amongst the gamer community. When we care about something, we get invested in it; it can be a class, profession, playstyle, whatever. I seriously doubt as many Xbox fans can say the same thing. Which leads me to wonder, do MMO bloggers occupy an even more unique place in how we look forward to games? I don’t know whether the average player cares enough about the genre as a whole to have that “always looking forward” attitude.
We know that MMO players follow trends, hence the WoW tourist effect. I would be willing to wager, though, that most of those players only find look into those games within the month before they come out and probably from the more “hardcore” players in their guild. I, on the other hand, make it a habit to check sites like Massively everyday.
I love the little pieces of meat the developers throw to us. I love having something to look forward to and wonder about. It gives me that “night before Christmas” feeling more often than I could ever expect to otherwise because I love these games that we play. I’d imagine that most general MMO bloggers are the same, otherwise, why put up the effort to write?
I’m having a great time in Aion, as my review probably suggests. When I look back over my front page, I see that screenshots from the game make up the bulk of what catches the eye. I don’t see it as a problem but we’re not an Aion blog. I plan on staying with Aion but, like always, I’ll be looking forward while I’m doing it.