OK I have officially reached burnout on MMOs.
So I thought to retrace my steps a little and find out where things got to this point.
So looking back on 2007 I was playing World of Warcraft full speed. By that time I had been working here at MMORPG for nearly two years as a writer and news editor. There were two monster games on the menu. Age of Conan and Warhammer Online, both of these games were going to challenge the elephant for rights to rule the jungle.
Keep in mind something very important, I am a HUGE Conan fan (so big we'll be doing interviews in the coming months about the new Conan movie). I also have played Warhammer Fantasy, 40K and Fantasy Role Play from the time I was about 13 years old (before that it was only D&D).
In 2008 I quickly left WoW to join up with Conan in the world of Hyboria. AoC carried me through the summer and Warcraft became an after-thought. In a convention heavy 2008 I saw everything. NYCC was great, but more importantly Leipzig was the place to see Warhammer Online. The trailer was insane, the hype was high, and I had spent many hours writing and covering the game.
In September with the launch of W.A.R. I jumped in full speed, leaving Hyboria behind to play my all time favorite race Orcs! However, with Warhammer I only had one option as an Orc and was unhappy with the choice. So I played a Gobbo Shaman. I pushed and pushed and got to level 30.
Then, I was at the Lich King Launch in NYC and happen to head home that night with a copy of WotLK (thanks Joe). After chatting with the WoW guys they kept saying to give the new expansion a try. So I did, I started a Death Knight. The single best MMO starting experience I have ever had was the opening zone of the Death Knight class. Sure it was pure evil, but it was fun...a lot of fun. Isn't that the point of games, to be fun?
Lich King hooked me in and bam a year of WoW has followed. I took stints into DDO again but still went back to WoW. Over the last few months I was part of a hardcore raid guild that grew very quickly and did really well in terms of the new patches. However, the demands of raiding got to be a lot with work and the family so I slowed down.
This slow down though has led to a dead stop. Now I find it hard to even log into WoW or any other game due to shear burn out. Was it too much to keep up with WoW raids? Was it the short falls of AoC or W.A.R. that started to get to me?
None of the above, I think I have found out the answer. It is the daunting idea that if I log into an MMO I have to work to get somewhere. Even if it is a ten minute instance run in WoW, there is still this idea that you have to progress...progress...progress....
It rings in my ears like a bell of doom. Would it be revolutionary to ask MMOs to tone down the progression, and add more fun short term elements to games? Looking back on DAOC, one of my all time favorite MMOs, I remember logging into the end game at level 50 to go out and hunt around the frontiers for a while and get in some fights. If no one was on, I'd log out and jump back in later on, but the feeling of progression or work was not there. Sure there were Realms Ranks and all that, but it was fun and there was no obligation.
I think the entire concept of progression in MMOs needs to be re-thought, re-defined, and re-worked so that the games we play do not feel like part time jobs.
Just one MMO player's opinion.