This week I’ve discovered an interesting topic currently being discussed on our General Discussion forums. The thread I’m thinking of is called “Did MMORPG.com ruin MMOs for you?” and was posted by the user Ozreth. In the original post, Ozreth discusses the difference in the way he views MMOGs and the genre now that he has been a longtime member on our site, and he wonders if all our in-depth coverage and the sometimes overwhelming amount of information on our forums has essentially ruined MMOGs for him. He says, “I sometimes feel like the discovery of this web site is what began my downward spiral of MMO gaming. Not only did it open my eyes up to so many new games that I tried them all and felt stale afterwards, but reading all of the stupid critiques about games makes me actually notice and be annoyed by the smallest things in game that I probably never would have noticed before.”
Oddly enough, I entirely understand Ozreth’s plight. I’ve been a gamer all my life, but I only got into MMOGs in my mid teens, starting out with the much maligned Star Wars Galaxies. I didn’t visit forums then, or really have many expectations for the game. I was just a huge Star Wars fan and finally the “right game” came along to get me to take the dive so to speak. When I first played Star Wars Galaxies, it was a total mess, but I really didn’t pay attention to it because I was still having so much fun, oblivious to the common issues the game exhibited, issues that seasoned MMOG veterans had experienced in many games before it. Eventually, I did get onto the game’s forums and read about the overwhelming amount of issues the game had. Having read all these things, it became incredibly hard to not notice them now. Eventually, I sought them out, and fortunately for my job I have a good eye for them, but unfortunately I’ve also lost my “innocence” as Ozreth so aptly describes it.
Spending time on forums, especially forums like ours where we have such a passionate community can be both extremely informing and also incredibly deflating. So, I suppose the question I would ask Ozreth would be– is it worth it? I would say yes, and a simple reply by user windsoul44 illuminates why,” MMO sites have saved me countless amounts of $$$.” Also, an Nizur makes an interesting point, adding, “MMORPG.com has helped me more easily research and weed out some games. It's also introduced me to some games I had never heard of before. Forums always attract trolls, haters, fanboys and more, but the extra information available here outweighs the junk.”
Zaxxon 23 says, “most mmos today are mostly copies of each other with subtle differences.” And he would be right on the money. The fact of the matter is, the MMOG genre is high risk, and so the genre is saturated with a lot of derivative dreck that doesn’t really do much differently. The coverage here at MMORPG.com, and the passionate community that we try to cultivate here can really help inform fans of the genre in order to help separate the wheat from the chaff.
I know it might sound like were tooting our own horn here, and in some ways we are. But I genuinely believe that PC gaming, and more specifically MMOGs, are definitely a genre where being more informed can save you a lot of headaches. However, there is something to be said about that “innocence” that Ozreth describes, as being an informed consumer can be a double-edged sword. As qazyman says, “Ignorance is bliss aye.” Sometimes, I would have to agree.
Editor's Note: This is an edition of a weekly column by Community Manager Michael Bitton. Each week, Bitton takes to our message boards and examines a specific topic raised by our community. The opinions expressed are those of the author and not necessarily those of MMORPG.com, its staff or management.