When I get a bit nostalgic, I log into some of the old mmorpgs and subscribe for a month. It is usually fun for a while. You reminisce with friends about past challenges conquered and fun times. At some point you begin to remember all the major flaws of the game and your fun begins to sour.
Recently I decided, what the hell, I will resub to Dark Age of Camelot. I heard that they added the ability to gain aurulite from PvP and this idea intrigued me. Not being able to attain gear through battlegrounds has always been a major flaw of DAoC, in my opinion. I would say that the idea, the theory of DAoC draws a crowd that enjoys competitive PvP above all else. In practice and by mechanics, this game still draws in the wrong crowd, an elitest crowd.
What I mean by " Elitiest Gameplay " is a game that caters to the elite players overly in such a way that it does not allow the vast majority of players to compete. DAoC still has its horrible buff system in which it caters to those elite players in a very big way. A majority of the current players still own multiple accounts which allows them to run a buff bot to give them that edge in PvP. This brings to mind that the biggest flaw to DAoC is the players themselves. These players, usually by Thidranki, scare off almost all newcomers that would delve into the PvP environment.
I have always played games under the assumption that fair play equals fun. What I mean by fair play is that every part of the game runs in such a way that makes combat challenging and fair. We have all played those games that are unbalanced in such a huge way that make the game feel unfair and playing it feels like a lesson in masochism. You know, those games like DAoC, where you walk across a bridge at level 24 in Thidranki, and die about the same time the Shadowblade appears, cause you know that Shadowblade is running a template as well as buffs from his bot.
Everyone enjoys to win, but at what cost. Players seem driven to what I would call " Insanity " by losing. It seems that if you do not win 100% of your confrontations, a player must in turn " Rage " to the world and then find a new way to defeat the player that beat them by any means necessary, be that running 3 accounts, whatever it takes. I have to find that mechanic thats a bit off and abuse it til patch day. Then after a year of play, this Rager wonders, " Why am I playing this game alone? ".
One day a game will come out with little to no abuseable mechanics. A game where everyone has fun competeing with each other. A game that embraces intelligent character creation choices. A game where, by player choice, that determines the style to which the character/player enters combat. A game where your decisions make or break you. So much emphasis has been put on items that the main point of role playing games are set aside, that point being " Personal Choice ". Yes, we all want gear and skill to be involved, but at what point does the mind have to take a role.
At what point do we balance twitch reaction with intelligent decisions like a classic role playing game. Are your most memorable rpg moments, " Man I really clicked Q then R fast while aiming well and of course I have 9000 more health than him due to my epics, I own " or are they " Damn we were outnumbered, I made a good decision there and saved a teammate from death, while getting the kill ".
The day a game comes out that is less time intentsive. A game that focuses less on the trinity of grind, gear, win. A game that takes player intelligence into account more than gear or skill. A game where everyone has a chance to compete in an environment that punishes the elitests. i doubt anyone will play it, because it seems that people can not tolerate the enjoyment of others. Its all about me. I must win.