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Concerns about War and the general state of MMO's

Posted by Lhex Monday April 14 2008 at 1:43PM
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Even thought I am very excited about War, I also have some concerns that I would like to share and see where the community stands in response to them.

First, DAOC recently incorporated cross-realm, which means you can play characters from each realm. Many DAOC vets, including myself, think this is another move that compares itself similar to "that other game". One reason is during a keep siege players can switch sides easily  known as "Keep flipping" resulting in a degradation of loyalty for your realm. It becomes more about the player's individual gain rather than his/her realm's status.

The reason I bring this up is because many times during a game's life it will become more and more watered down to cater to a player base that needs more and more for less and less to achieve any results. For example, both "that other game" and DAOC removed many prereqs to higher tiered content as the game grows older and specifically in DAOC level 50 players can create immediate lvl 20 characters and I forgot to mention both games have increased exp gain.

Its never more frustration after coming back to a game after a few years to see a whole set of prereqs gone and remember all those hours your wasted.

Furthermore, I think its relevant to convey how developers have grand and often times unrealistic ideas and as a release reaches closer the game's unique features begin to fall away. Resulting in a game more like the status quo.  And we should all know what game out there now is setting the status quo.

What disturbs me is the idea that WAR can easily fall into this pitfall of attrition. To compete with the juggernaut of "that other game" will the developers have to incorporate x-realming? Resulting in eliminating loyalty among your realm?  Some would say x-realm characters can no way ruin loyalty but many say it can. How about when things get to tough and your losing your keep just log on your "other main".

I believe there is no official word as of yet regarding x-realming but what worries me is the prospect of how the game must compete in a younger and much different mmo market than it was 10 years ago and eliminating player choices will probably turn those that play "that other game" away. Even though WAR wants to illustrate that they are different and don't care about such an issue I guarantee pressure to secure subscriptions is priority number one.  If the game does poorly, we can expect the game to change to be more like the big guy on the block, we see that happening with every current game on the market and even games in development.

Also, the idea of players from multiple servers joining in on the same instanced scenario also has been a point of contention among hardcore RvR purists and casuals.  Take for example, you join a scenario, you have no idea who you are playing with and you don't even care to remember any of the players name just because you will never see them again.  This completely eliminates the positive affect of what a strong community can bring to a game. How many times have you been playing in "that other game" and after leaving the group you had no idea who you just played with and you don't really care as long as you got your loot.

The devs of War talk about becoming renown within your realm, but how is this truly possible with this system? Luckily there is still open RvR.

This combined with the possibility of x-realming creates a simple picture of how the community and the lack of loyalty the game could have.

This is why I continue to pressure the devs and others to keep stricter and often a hardcore ruleset. Unfortunately, due to the mmo market being watered down and catered to the casual and often ADHD player, important aspects such as having a strong community is last on a dev teams to do list.

We are definately in the age of large Massively Online Single Player Role Playing Games.