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Malachi's Madhouse

Hi and welcome to my madhouse. I'm Malachi, and I'll be throwing my random ideas, reviews, and rants at you in the form of blog posts. You can see more at Reigning Sun, my personal blog and fansite network!

Author: ReigningSun

My Name is Malachi and I’m a Grumpy Gamer

Posted by ReigningSun Wednesday June 5 2013 at 2:59PM
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“Hi, my name is Malachi and I’m a grumpy gamer.” I feel like I need a support group. Gaming has become so depressing for me lately. It used to bring me so much joy and entertainment – I’d spend hours upon hours slaughtering kobolds, crafting weapons and armor, playing the economy, or just doing whatever. Now, I can’t find a single game that can hold my attention. What is wrong with me? Is it even a problem with me, or with the gaming industry? Have I become too spoiled and I want something impossible or are game developers getting boring and becoming stagnant?

 

What I Love

To me, a great game is one that gives you lots of options. Sure, games like WoW that are nothing but total theme parks and very streamlined are nice, but I truly love a game where I can do anything I want. I like getting experience for things other than killing or questing. I like knowing I’m not confined to one class, and that I can learn any skills I want. I love mixing and matching. I just love Sandbox MMOs.

I also love graphics, which is why I won’t go back and play some games that brought me lots of joy in the past. You can call me a snob, or say that graphics don’t matter, and that’s great for you, but they really matter to me. I don’t care if it was my favorite game in the world, if I go back to a game and the graphics are awful, then I won’t enjoy the game and I’ll be saying “Oh my god, did it really look this ugly before?” the entire time.

So what kind of features keep me hooked on a game? Well, I absolutely love Player Housing! There is no greater feature, no other activity, that can demand my attention for such a long period of time. Let me choose what my house looks like, even better if I get to choose where it goes, and then let me decorate it with no limits. Obviously, Star Wars Galaxies did this best. I used to have an empire of houses, crafting workshops, resource collectors, and shops. I could log on, spend 5 hours in my city, and not go kill a single creature or do a single quest, and I loved it.

malachi player housing

Screenshot of Player Housing in Star Wars Galaxies

 

Another mandatory feature that I think all games need, and this one isn’t just my preference – I really think it’s needed in every game – is a Carrot on a Stick. I really, really want to like Guild Wars 2. It’s a great game – fantastic combat, beautiful graphics, huge immersive world, with infinite amount of things to do and discoveries to find and it’s just so much fun. But, once you reach that max level, and you’ve done all the zones, you’re done with the game. Sure, there’s dungeons and “fractals”, and some PvP… but nothing that gives good enough reward for anything to keep me interested. I don’t care about PvP or group content if I have no reason to care. You can say that rewarding better gear causes imbalance, and that it’s a gimmick, but having only cosmetic stuff just isn’t enough for many players.

I don’t know about you guys, but I usually find one outfit in a game and that’s the only one I use. I don’t care about earning new outfits/costumes/armor whatever if I already have an outfit that looks totally awesome. With games like Guild Wars 2 and Defiance, I’ve already got my character looking the way I want him to, so when I get a new outfit it’s just like “meh, you’ll sit in my inventory and I’ll never use you”. Cosmetic isn’t enough. I need better gear that I can actually get excited about using, or at least something else that I can use if it’s not gear. I need that carrot on a stick to keep me going forward, because going “sideways” is just silly.

 

So is it Me or the Gaming Industry?

I could be wrong, but I actually think the problem is with the gaming industry. They’re not trying anymore. Developers are too focused on how they’re going to squeeze money out of their players than they are in making a high quality game. It’s ironic, really, because making that high quality game would bring in enough players to make more money than they could ever imagine. But their publishers don’t see that, they just see production costs and then they want to know what the developers will implement (such as item malls) that will squeeze money out of what little players their crappy game with have. You see this time and time again lately, in brand new games like Defiance and Neverwinter. These games come from huge companies with a record of making great games, but now all they care about is micro-transactions.

neverwinter item mall

Neverwinter’s Item Mall

 

Another reason that I think the problem is with the gaming industry is that there are other developers out there making games the right way. At least, I hope so. Games such as WildStar and ArcheAge look to be very promising. Even if their launches are awful, which of course they will be because all launches are awful, the games should have a strong enough core that they will be great. These developers seem to be focusing on delivering a sandbox environment that has enough features to keep any player interested for a long time. So while I’m a Grumpy Gamer for now, hopefully in the not too distant future I’ll be happy once again.

 

How Do You Feel?

Are you in the same boat as me? Or are you quite content in the available games out right now? Do you currently have a game that has you hooked? What were your favorite games in the past? Let me know in the comments!