I’ll start right off - this list is going to ruffle feathers. But also, if you actually read this far before getting angry with me, note - I am guilty of each of these five things myself. The MMO Genre is in the middle of the awkward teenage years (even if it’s closer to drinking age). At this time in our favorite pastime’s life, it’s natural to be brazen d*ckheads bicking with anyone and everyone about every little thing we think is important or righteous. But it’s time to grow up. If we can’t move past these tired arguments we’ll never see the genre grow the way it should.
So here we go - Five Things MMO Fans Need to Get Over.
5 - The Acronym
We’re going to have a column with the staff later this week discussing the finer points of this one, and we’ve got articles abound across the site discussing this very topic. My own recent point of view on Destiny’s worth for the industry sparked a debate about the MMO/RPG acronym that I really wasn’t hoping for. Frankly, we may never come to an agreement about what constitutes an MMO. And for that very reason, we need to move on to bigger problems - like “why are 90% of the games we’re getting such crap?”
4 - PVP vs PVE
There’s no wrong way to play a videogame like MMOs, folks. Some people like the competitive thrill of player versus player, while others like the chill camaraderie of group cooperative content. There is room for both in all games, and for those designed specifically for one or the other? Stop trying to force your own agenda on its creators. I’m not a FFA PVP fan, and yes there are some games I’d like more with stricter PVP rulesets - but dammit, I’m not making the games.
3 - Sandbox vs. Theme Park
Like the above, this one is purely driven by one type being fed a ton of games while the other gets jack. When theme park design was all the rage, it wasn’t the theme park fans that caused the gold rush of development money - it was the phenomenal success of World of Warcraft. It sucks that Ultima Online didn’t take off the same way as Azeroth, but them’s the breaks kids. The Sandbox is getting closer to its day in the sun though, and when the time comes for theme park, scripted content fans to be angry, I hope they’ll remember just how dry things were for sandbox fans for over a decade.
2 - Group versus Solo
Everyone likes things their own way. Like just about everything on this list, personal taste plays a factor more than fact. Your own preference doesn’t make you right for anyone but yourself and those who agree with you. In MMOs, I like solo, duo, and small group content far more than zergs, large scale PVP, and competitive play. Does that mean Ripper X, who would much rather play a game like Darkfall than WoW, is somehow right while I’m wrong for my preference? Nope, and people who like to solo in MMOs have just as much a right to enjoy this hobby as those who prefer to always group up.
1 - F2P or Subscription
The entirety of this list can basically be boiled down to one core principle - put your dollars into the games that meet your standards. Some people like F2P games. Some like subs. Some like the new B2P trend. Some could care less about how they pay for their games. Personally, I’m of the mind that things were better before the almighty cash shop took over our industry. But I’ll gladly spend money in games that I think do right by the customers (ESO, GW2, and even BDO). All marketing tactics are in flux, constantly changing. If some trend pops up that you abhor, make it known by voting with your wallet. But don’t deny those who wish to support their games their right to do so.
In short - let’s stop being jerks to each other, and instead work to something we all want - better games.