It seems like a common trend lately is to revive old games. I am all for this, as there are plenty of older games that I have enjoyed. We’ve seen this happen already with many games. There has been Mario, Sonic, Dead or Alive, quite a few of the Final Fantasy series, The Legend of Zelda, a few Pokémon games, and you probably get the idea by now. The point of this is: I believe we will start seeing remakes with MMORPGs. In fact, I guess we already have with “WoW clones.” I don’t believe they will be blatant copies because that’d probably be illegal, but I do believe we will see a “reboot” of many older types of games.
One game I’d like to point out specifically is Ultima Online. UO had a lot going for it, but was sort of shoved aside for EverQuest, then WoW. There’s nothing wrong with that, they both had their great qualities, but I believe the things that UO offered are starting to be demanded by a good chunk of gamers. While UO wasn’t the first MMORPG, it was the first to label itself an MMORPG. It reached a peak of 250,000 subscribers right before its Age of Shadows expansion which, at the time, was quite the feat (seeing as the game is 15 years old, not 8). For a 2D game with no real “end game,” UO was fun, addictive, and got your adrenaline pumping during PvP.
I liked that there were no factions. Instead it was a red versus blue systems. You wanted to kill others? You went red. Each short-term and long-term murder was logged on your character (“I must consider my sins”), but only the long-term ones would affect if you’d stay blue or go red. Going red meant you had killed over 4 players. In order to go back blue you’d have to work off long-term murder counts, each one counts as 40 hours of online time. A couple of my characters had hundreds of murders logged, to the point it was virtually impossible to work off without rerolling a new character. And as you can guess, there are negatives to going red, and not so many positives.
We are starting to see games go in this direction, not really “red vs blue,” but more so just a sandbox environment that allows players to carve their own path. Those that choose to kill become “bandits.” I am talking about DayZ and The WarZ. WarZ is still in alpha and has some fixing to do on their bandit system. It seems as though there is no real penalty for choosing the life of a “bad guy.” However, DayZ was interesting because one thing it’d do is increase someone’s heartbeat. Basically, someone with a loud, fast beating heart that you could hear from across a field meant that guy had killed plenty of players and you may not want to take your chances befriending him. There were a few times I’d be outside Cherno (the main city) with a sniper and I’d find someone in the city just based on hearing their heartbeat.
UO was also a game that required a bit more “skill” to triumph over other players, rather than better gear and a few good buffs from allies… at least in the beginning. There were four big guilds on my server, each that would have 20-30 people online at a time, and my guild only had 20 people total. Our guild was a red guild, while most the other guilds were primarily blue. Seeing as we were mostly red, we were kill-on-sight by all other guilds. It was fun watching them start attacking others, then start chasing us. But, for the most part, our guild was organized, stuck together, called targets, healed, and we’d sync damage (drop the same skill combo on people so they don’t have time to heal through it).
This was fun. This was more challenging. People that weren’t good at it weren’t invited into the guild. Despite going against zerg and semi-zerg guilds we’d still triumph. Sure, not all the time, but quite often. All it took was knowing the maps well, having a good leader, and well… skills.
To be continued…
- Hillary “Pokket” Nicole
- Twitter: @Pokketsays
- Facebook: Pokketsays
- Youtube: PokketProductions
Check out more of Pokket's columns!