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Gaming To Hell In A Handbasket

The trials, tribulations and musings of an MMO veteran trying to find the next holy grail.

Author: Strayfe

The Wheel of MMORPGs

Posted by Strayfe Monday June 8 2009 at 2:33PM
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Because that's what I feel like I'm in at the moment...

Like nothing can hold my interest, and I simply stand by, idly with my thumb up my arse, both real and virtual, with free time that cannot be filled by anything but an MMORPG.

I will save you all the pithy dissertation on my social life and the witty repartee regarding potential other activities I could be doing, since I already engage in them, and this is hardly the correct place to air out that dirty laundry.

Suffice to say that I have free time for an MMORPG, and no MMORPG to fill it.  I've plowed through probably 20 games in the last 6 months.  Some have held my interest longer than others, some have been able to offer me nothing more than a brief look of disbelief, and a derisive chuckle before receiving a one-way ticket to my recycle bin.

Having chugged my way through that many games in such a short period of time, you would think I'd have a general idea of what I did and didn't like about certain games and/or certain aspects thereof.  I don't.

When I pause and look at the games I've gone through, all I can do is scratch my head and declare to the world that I want a "good" game to play.  That's it.

I don't care if it's pvp or pve.  I don't care if it's repetitive, grindy, or any other catchphrase used to describe MMOs these days, I want it to grab me, pull me in, and tell me in no uncertain terms that THIS is the game I should be playing next.

None of these games seem to be doing that, and no, I don't know why that is.

It's difficult to talk to friends and get suggestions from other people on games to play when the first question they ask you is: Well, what type of MMOs do you like?  What do you want out of your new MMO?

I can't pigeonhole myself like that.  The games I have liked in the past, that I've played for more than a couple months... what do they have in common?  Not a bloody thing.

Final Fantasy XI, World of Warcraft, Vanguard, Warhammer Online, Atlantica Online, Perfect World, Mabinogi, Gemstone IV.

These are the games I've played for any appreciable length of time.  In that list is a text MUD, group-based PvE gaming, PvE raiding, PvP focused games, F2P, RvR, turn based... etc...

Where's the common thread in these games? 

Vanguard and WoW are similar, but if you were to suggest that these games mean I like raid content, I never raided in Vanguard, and I barely did in WoW.  I'm not fond of raiding truth be told.  

Atlantica's PvP was addicting, but the PvE was far too easy and boring.

FFXI drew me in with group-based leveling and felt more like an MMO than any of the others, but it evolved in a direction that I didn't approve of.

Warhammer is almost 100% PvP-focused, and it did a lot of things right, but it suffered from a couple of glaring fundamental flaws, and a low population.

Perfect World and Mabinogi are both F2P games, and are as different as night and day.

So again, where is the common thread?  When somebody asks me what MMOs did I like, and what do I want out of my next MMO, what do I tell them when there is no answer?

How do I judge which subscription MMO is worth my next $50, plus another $15/month?  Are there any F2P games that are worth my time that I haven't tried yet?  That remains to be seen, and doubtless I will keep trying to find them, but I'm rapidly running out of titles and patience. 

I'm a consumer who can't find anything fit for consumption.

Next on the list of games to try: Aion, Runes of Magic, Cabal Online

We'll see if any of these spark an interest.

Annwyn writes:

I doubt you will like Cabal and Runes Of Magic is very similar to WoW with added content (such as Public Quest taken from WAR) and many more.

You could try Dragonica  (which is an ok game, though you it would be better to wait for Dungeon&Fighter which is an even greater game). 
Dofus if you haven't already (turn-based MMORPG P2P with a free zone model)
Based on the games you mentionned I take it you might not be a huge fan of sci-fi so I'll skip EVE Online.
Give Warrior Epic a chance (it's an ok game)
Take a quick look at E3 since there's a few interesting titles coming out soon (especially in the F2P market). 
Maybe SAGA or BattleForge (sort of MMORTS with RPG elements)
NeoSteam if you want a game with some decent PvP.

When I re-read your blog, I think Dofus might be the only game in my list that  you will find to be "ok" or possibly good despite the dated graphics. Turn-based (Final Fantasy Tactic style) which offers challenging match, Zone Control PvP (which is optional unless you join a "Faction"), becomes group-based pretty early in my opinion (level 20-30+) as the gap between the monsters strength from level 1-19 and 20+ is big. It's P2P though with a Free Zone (no level cap except for Crafting which is capped at 30.) The Free Zone includes 1 dungeons and monsters up to level 24, 90% of the crafter jobs can be leveled there (few expections are Mining,and Magic Crafting) but others jobs such as Peasant, Baker, Alchemist, Hunter, Fisher and many more are available. Monthly subscription fee is about $8/month.

Mon Jun 08 2009 4:15PM Report
Strayfe writes:

Thanks for the suggestions.  I looked at a couple of those and NeoSteam and Dofus in particular seem like they might be interesting to try.  I'll add those to my list.

Tue Jun 09 2009 10:52AM Report
daltanious writes:

Fortunately i do not have this problems. Despite being pretty active otherwise, i love to play games and dedicate a lot of time to them. I'm just fine with Wow and Aoc as my mains .... from time to time also War and Lotro. Tried also many other games, but none were interesting to play for more than day or two. From time to time i play regular rpg, .... but with exception of Two worlds i have been unable to find anything fun. I never raid, but i try to develop all possible classes, compare them, respeccing, crafting, .... all very fun. I have "work" :-) for years to come .... as there are new expansion packs arriving.

Thu Jun 11 2009 1:42AM Report writes:
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