So lately I've gotten bitten by the MMO bug again. This is something that just happens to me from time to time. My first MMO was Lineage 2, which I started about a week before Closed Beta ended. I think I got hooked on the first day of Open Beta (which began with a character wipe). The intensity of jostling with hundreds of Level 1 characters for frogs and wolves, the excitement of what was to come... such elements cannot be matched in any other kind of game. Ever since then I've been itching to match the amount of fun, excitement, and pure adrenaline that battling in L2 gave me. It's like cocaine, only legal.
All that being said, my first foray back into the world of MMOs has been Lord of the Rings Online. I'm now one solid week into it and I've been very impressed by the game world, quests, and storyline. But here's the deal. That's all stuff that doesn't even require talking to another player; what's the point? What am I working towards with all these quests and storylines? One might say that the goal is simply to "stop and smell the roses" as it were. But the truth is if I wanted a Lord of the Rings storyline, I'd just read the Lord of the Rings books (again).
So what's missing? Meaningful PvP and territorial conflict. I know, I know... everybody has a gripe about any given MMO. The hardcore LOTRO fans will respond by saying, "Hey, there's PvMP!" Yes, but it has no impact on the actual game world. LotRO Fan then counters with, "Well LotRO is about PvE and exploration and cool stories and things like that, if you want PvP stop crying and go elsewhere". Well my friend, that may be my destiny but I want to give LotRO a chance, you see. I want to like it because it's really a well-made game with some cool classes.
Give me something to fight for. Something to boast about when I've won it along with my guild compadres. I don't want to kill the same boss mob that 100,000 other players have killed and then pretend I've accomplished something. I want to have control of a city or a territorial region which I can defend from some other band of hooligans that is trying to take it from me. That's the kind of thing I'm talking about.
"Hey noob", chimes in the now-very irritated LotRO fan, "that sounds like Guild Wars. So why don't you stop pissing on LotRO for not being something it never wanted to be in the first place." An excellent point. But what if you were successful at combining something like LotRO and Guild Wars into one game? That would be pretty amazing, methinks.