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Hermit's Perspective

In my recent re-immersion into the MMO genre, I've noticed a sad decrease in the quality of the industry I've always loved, and an unfortunate increase of cynicism in the community I previously cherished. I have a few thoughts on the matter...

Author: spirit007

Progressing For the Sake of Progression (Old is Always Bad)

Posted by spirit007 Thursday March 25 2010 at 1:11AM
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First, the backstory.

When I was 9 years old, my dad got me started in Asheron's Call, which if you don't know, is a pretty damn old game right about now (sadly it seems to get overlooked a lot of the time on the 'best games' list). During this time, it was all I knew about the MMO world, apart from DAoC, which most AC players seemed to have a rivalry with. But hey, even if I had known about other games, I wouldn't have switched over to them; AC let me play how I wanted, and it had a fantastic community.

Anyways, I played around on AC for another 3 years or so, up till my dad decided to quit, me along with him. Nothing MMO related happened for a year or two, too busy doing kid stuff ya know. Around 14ish I got into City of Heroes which really didn't hold my enthusiasm, kind of just felt boring.

Moving on. Here I am, all grown up, and I very recently got back into MMOs. Seriously, like a month ago.

IT IS NOTHING LIKE I REMEMBER IT. At. Freaking. All.

In my time away, the community seems to have descended into an ugly, cynical, and unrecognizable version of itself. No, not all of you, but damn it's a fair few, and I do not blame you for this, and I feel your pain.

With the increasing surplus of games, the quality of games has decreased. Developers get too caught up in implementing ideas from other MMOs and in doing so they take away what made MMOs unique: their uniqueness!

It's such a hopeless, crash and burn way of thinking and the continuation along this path will only end in the estrangement of the original players, making room for people who like the idea of being spoon-fed garbage.

The same garbage-eating people that think just because it's old, it must be worthless. I mentioned AC before, because to me, it is the perfect definition of what an MMO should be; exactly what I wanted. I am by no means saying AC would be good for you.

This should be mirrored by game developers and publishers. They get so damn intent on making their games accessible to every person on the planet; they end up making it completely inaccessible. I sincerely doubt a game will ever come out that will appeal to every player, but the MMO industry has yet to learn this.

Analogy time. Car companies make a wide variety of vehicles, because they understand that, "Hey, not all people want to drive a truck, and not all people want to drive a sedan." They understand that variety is necessary to assure profits. If all their focus went into only one specific car, their overall profits would be a fraction of its potential.

So why don't developers do this? Instead of putting all their energy and money into one gigantor 'mega' game that tries to appeal to everyone, why not allocate resources to several smaller games, each catering to a specific target audience? The answer?

The MMO industry is still new, still getting their feet firmly dug into the ground, and sadly mistaken into believing that old ideas must be bad, so progression must occur for progressions sake. The automobile industry didn't learn all their lessons in one night, and it wasn't just one company doing it. It was a whole boatload of people. And a lot of those changes came from good old consumers like us, I'd imagine.

So, just one developer. That's all we need. One radical, seemingly crazy developer, willing to take a step back and say, "No, this current system is not going to work at all. We need a reboot."

And it's our job to encourage this rebellion from modern ideas.