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Hrothmund's random ramblings.

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Author: Hrothmund

What I look for in a new MMO, and why so far I have been disappointed.

Posted by Hrothmund Friday April 3 2009 at 11:02AM
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I want to be awed again by a new MMO. I want to log in for the first time and be blown away, and still retain that initial excitement after the first couple of months of playing. Only two games so far have exceeded my expectations in this manner before, Everquest and World of Warcraft. Sadly, I dont see a new game with the pedigree of those two titles hitting the shelves any time soon.

WoW wasn't a revolutionary game in terms of gameplay mechanics. In fact, it didn't offer nearly any completely unique experiences to MMO veterans. However, the quality of the implementation of the key features and mechanics, the extremely well thought-out game world and atmosphere, and the slightly infantile look that appealed to the young and young at heart so well made this game a success. It was what Super Mario World was to Super Mario 2, a prettier look, better gameplay mechanics and a more straightforward, some may call it simple, design. Needless to say, it worked, and worked well.

Why is it, that today no developer has found a similar recipe for success?  Especially during this unideal economic situation, I would think innovation and creativity would be something that development executives would promote to their teams. If you want to succeed, a WoW-clone will not do it. However, I think many developers have lost track of the big picture when they do produce an original title. There is a reason why WoW is successful, one of the main reasons being that it is easily approachable and caters very well to the casual player. If you go with a new design feature and take it to an extreme, no matter how well it is implement you will lose a large faction of your player-base.

You've got me there, I've put forward some pretty conflicting arguments. My opinion is, if you want to create an extremely successful MMO you have to have those new, exciting and creative features, but they have to implemented with that 'Blizzard polish'. Easy and fun to learn, difficult to master. There is nothing more addictive than being able to develop your  skills/character relatively quickly, and then being thrust into competition with thousands, if not millions of toher players on a relatively even footing. After all, even in the world of MMOs, the natural competitive drive within us all is what drives forward in developing our characters and skills.

To sum it up, what I want is next-gen technology, contemporary game-play features, state-of-the art technical execution/stability and and overall bang-on game design that combines all of these features into a gaming experience that rewards you immediately, sucks you in the game world and provides unparalled longevity when compared with other titles.

Yes, it is a lot to ask, but hey I'm just an other crazed consumer voting with my wallet, and devs/publishers, there's a bunch of us highly critical gamers out there, who will not support an other mediocre title in any way.