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Great article I love to see all the excellent comments too! Too many great ones to mention. My experience has been very similar to all of you. Especially BigHatLogan when he said:
It makes it a lot easier to avoid MMORPG addiction since MMORPG games just aren't very good in their current incarnation. I have played a ton of mmorpgs, but how many did I play longer than a month? Not very many. Mr. Tingle is right about the honeymoon period, that can make all sorts of games seem interesting, and I suppose it lasts about a month.
Play as your fav retro characters: cnd-online.net. My site: www.lysle.net. Blog: creatingaworld.blogspot.com.
I have WoW, TSW, DCUO, GW, GW2, SWTOR, and DFUW on my computer. They all have there strengths and weaknesses. All of these games have that "honeymoon period". It's the in game community that makes a game a home.
A great article Adam and I find myself in the same boat. I also have myself to blame. I excluded myself to soloing. Part of it is finding that right group of people to play with. For some strange reason. I have no luck in getting. It's a progress fast mind set anymore. If your behind, you get left there.
For example WoW, The first mmo I played. I was hooked with a quickness. The community was great. Grouped with people that loved it as much as I. No problem getting help to do raids. BC comes out nothing changes. Game is still great and having a blast in Outland. WOTLK comes around, something I have been waitng for forever. Finally fighting Arthas was something I highly anticipated. Something changed in the community at the same time. It was all about gear score (item level). So I grinded for this gear score I needed to fight the lich king. I got the score I need! Oh, but your still a pug? Well, we will let you in for a gold fee. Not only that you will not be able to roll on the good stuff. That just put a bad taste in my mouth. Still to this day have not fought Arthas. What a drag lol
My two cents...peace everyone
Well. I've even stopped giving mmorpg's a honeymoon peroid. Nowadays I just play some beta weekend, read features and watch some long gameplay of someone other than me.
I know more or less what I want, I am experienced enough to asses what certain game is about. I am past getting 'one month fun' from mmoprg's and buying them knowing from my research that because of what kind of game they're there is very little chance I will like them longer term,
I guess I am still obsessed because I still read and still post about mmorpg's, but I am unable to go on big compromises anymore, unable to give and get honeymoon fun peroid from mmorpg's and I know that I won't even seriously consider playing an mmorpg if It does not have very serious potential to be long-term game.
That require - gameplay and mechanics that are made for me and players similar to me (instead of super wide appeal), theme I do like(no pseudo-fun theme like in WoW or GW2 and no asian stuff), good enough support &production values(I love single& multi indie games - but not mmorpg's - sorry) and no microtransactions at all.
On close horizon - next 1-2 years there is no single mmorpg that fulfill those few fundamental requirements.
Dear Adam Tingle,
I thought I would critique some if you don't mind.
It's not that worrisome to "escape" into a virtual world. It's called play, and all animals play. Playing is how we develop creativity.
Seeing how your favorite games were EQ, DAoC, and WoW, I can see why you haven't found another MMORPG you call home. No other games are as built like those except maybe RIFT.
The blog failed to mention that the magic is gone from DAoC because that game's PvE was simply ruined by the crazy designs forced upon it by the expansions. At least that is the consensus from a lot of players, even if it's a question of value. It's still a fact that the game's PvE had a significant shift in design. Point being, too many people will praise the MMOs that they loved, but are too afraid of constructively criticizing them using reason and skepticism. This is what creates communities full of social anxiety.
The same phenomenon does actually occur with all other titles, not just FPS. Just hop over to the nostalgia critic community, or the Angry Video Game Nerd community, and you'll find people talking all about how they miss some obscure video game from the 20th century.
If a person is really struggling hard with this issue, and obsessing over it, then it is very important for that person to just uninstall all the video games on their Desktop. Then install one or two non-MMO games and stick with them for a month at least. Then the person forgets all about it.
The problem is real with the MMORPG industry. It's just not a good thing for a person to obsess over it to the point that they are suffering. I know that it is sufferable because I've been there until I uninstalled.
However if this advice does not find relevance with you, then feel free to use it however you wish.
I find that GW2 provides me with my fix
But I do believe MMO addiction is a real problem and should be addressed.
"As you read these words, a release is seven days or less away or has just happened within the last seven days those are now the only two states youll find the world of Tyria."...Guild Wars 2
Interesting article, I have to say I like long term games, and that's why I got into RPGs, and MMOs appeal to me, but I've never found an MMO which really impressed me, with GW original being the closest.
I do like a game that lasts, that has endless adventure, if we were so fortunate, our console single player games would have more content, but they don't, and they don't always get a follow up or alternative right away, thus periods of inactivity.
I wish there was a game with the quality I require to go on in the fashion of an MMO so there would be endless content, but when my favorite series when MMO and ruined it for me, I realized that simply having more content wasn't going to satisfy me, it still has to be good.
The the worst came out of me, the need to improve upon everything. Through my dissatisfaction with FFXI, I began the habit of seeking solutions for shortcomings in gameplay and ways to improve them... and it became second nature to me, to come up with variations and alternate methods of play in order to improve gameplay.
I loved GW original but spent the entire time plugging at the developers, who were actually listenning that time, about how to enhance the gameplay and take it to another level... and while I fundamentally enjoyed the game, I came to a point where I could not abide by the unfulfilled potential of the game... and they kinda dropped the title to work on their MMO which kinda halted their effort to grow their product...
So yeah, I am a bit of a gaming addict... but I think I'm even more of an improvement addict. I've learned to enjoy more games, especially console games, so long as their done well enough even if there is room for improvement, but I'm always looking at ways to improve... and now I'm in an even tougher predicament, where I crave an amazing fantasy... and nothing could ever approach what I desire... Well at least in the fantasy world >.>
Before you criticize someone, walk a mile in their shoes.That way, if they get angry, they'll be a mile away... and barefoot.
I just don't find that enjoyment in MMO's like I did pretty much 10 years ago when I picked up my copy of FFXI and started playing. Then again 3 years later when I first picked up WoW during vanilla. Now ever since WoW left vanilla couldn't get back into it anymore and as soon as FFXI added Abyssea I tried but couldn't continue after nearly 8 years of playing it.
Think it's time for me to give up on MMO's and And just stick to normal games as I get more enjoyment from playing them over and over then I do playing MMO's for a week. But if a new MMO comes out that offers me a challenge from level 1 on then I might come back.
Interesting article, I almost feel like I wrote it.
I've played Ultima Online for 4 years, EQ for 5 years, WOW for 4 years (In this order), and many others (Aion, GW, GW2, Rift, Vanguard, SWTOR, Planetside 2).
When I stopped playing WOW, I graduated highschool, and went on to college and began the merry path to becoming an adult. I also got a job right after graduating highschool.
Time became tight, although I still had that craving for an MMO (still do). I agree, it feels like an addiction, but it's hard for me to label it that.
I'm still looking for 'that' MMO, the one that will satisfy my craving. I'm about to hop into another one soon (Neverwinter) in search of satisfaction.
I've given it some thought, and I think part of the issue is that MMO's these days cater to the carebear players (sorry folks). In many MMO's, almost regardless of class you can reach the max level without ever talking or grouping with another player.
Granted I understand the benefits of this, but without having to communicate, strategize and such, you're basically playing a 'live' single player game (meaning the content is changing as the game maker adds new content).
For me personally, I'm looking for the MMO where grouping is a neccessity, you must strategize to succeed.
I'm not talking about raids...granted they are neat, but I'm an adult with a full-time job and other things - even if I wanted to, I could only do one of these on a Friday/Saturday. What I'm talking about are those zones in EQ, where if you didn't know what you were doing, your group would die and you'd either spend hours getting your groups corpses or rezzing and suffering the cost.
I want that difficulty again. I want the challenge.
The only reason I'm not back at Everquest is the game feels very dated in comparison to everything currently available.
Humorously enough, the "dynamic events" that are so popular today in MMO's are very reminiscent of EQ's seasonal events they had in the past (granted they weren't often)
One last note - I've recently read some articles discussing the reasoning for the ability for players to solo their way to the max level (for those with little time, but want to have fun), although I think games are still too easy.
I recently leveled a character in GW2 to lvl 80 recently in about a month and a half in small play sessions (soloing). I recall when it took a month to reach level 20 in a game (many long gaming sessions: read -6-8 hrs a day).
I should note, my character is in a guild, but there's no communication in it, its just a group of people reaping the 'benefits' that are provided by the guild system.
So, in summary - make games hard again
Originally posted by Shadowguy64 WoW fills my need for an MMO. I don't have as much time to play as I once did, and WoW allows me to make meaningful progress in the game without the need to sacrifice every spare moment I have away from work. I already have a job...I don't need a virtual one...
I agree except that it's not WoW for me. I play RoM, after about 2 years of searching.
It fills the small void of time I have now that I am working and attending school concurrently.
Those 2 years I spent searching were spent jumping from game to game, getting a good half way into the game and realizing that nothing I wanted in a game was even close to this game. It seemed frustrating and I became a bit depressed because I wasn't enjoying the gaming experience that was intended to be fun.
Sometimes, it's just better to settle for what we have instead of chasing the dragon or waiting for someone to genetically engineer something that looks like the dragon but is really just a skink.
I played WoW up until WotLK, played RoM for 2 years and now Rift.I am F2P player. I support games when I feel they deserve my money and I want the items enough.I don't troll, and I don't take kindly to trolls.
Originally posted by denisgsv im exactly like you ... keep eluding myself the next mmo will be the Chosen One : swtor,tera , archeage,teso, NW ,wildstar , kamelott , lineage eternal , but i think i only try to fool myself I miss the hard part ... when it took me 2 weeks to get level 10
That's so spot on.. exactly what's missing, the difficulty and time investment required just to get to mid-game in lin2 prelude made it that something special, because not everyone could do it, because many people fell off the radar along the way or got trampled on in pvp, but you get up, you persevere and push forward, THAT is meeting the challenge, THAT is rewarding. It has nothing to do with the game being a second job, that is a misconception.. the real problem is a psychological one.. born of laziness, everyone is just too damn lazy and halfarsed now. You are
The entire market now caters to people that have little time to play games because of families or jobs, so they set quick, easily achievable goals, because god forbid if one activity takes longer than an hour. But that in turn feeds the market and breeds perpetually lazier people, who in turn want to do less and less.
Perfect example is a single game that has been around for 10 years, and so has seen this change first hand. In fact some might argue it even started it. World of Warcraft, deemed by most to be an excellent game at launch (not accounting for server issues), in terms of game mechanics people loved it, granted it was easier in some ways than other games of its time.
Then over the years, as the game was being diluted, with many systems changed for 'ease of life' , a lot of people were being upset, but not enough, and clearly they weren't the vocal majority that Blizzard listened to, if they ever listened to anyone. Why? Because numbers were showing, that quick pick-up and throw-away gameplay was doing better revenue wise.
Because there is far more lazy people in the world than the hard working ones. That is a known scientifically proven fact. It goes with everything in your daily life, not giving 100% on your job, taking that extra smoko break, cutting corners just because you can't be bothered going the difficult route 'this time' . THAT is what's behind some games failing because of a number of bad apples in the dev and/or management team. THAT is what's behind people not enjoying the experiences. That is what's behind the mass market change. And everything is interlocked and dependent on each other, each one fueling the other to keep falling down the spiral.
I have not met a single person in my life yet, who said they hated Super Mario, the original, the Nintendo Dendy one. Yet only a handful of people in the entire world can say they finished the game in one go the first time they played it. It took tens of hours from some, hundreds of hours from others to complete it. And every time you lost your lives, you have to start from scratch, straight from the beginning, and hope you remember to time that jump better next time or the freaking button doesn't jam. Yet you persevered without thinking you had to, you reloaded and kept going. Why?
The generational mentality at the time was of that still failry shortly after the big wars, when people worked hard for their slice of Bread on the table and to drink Tea instead of rusty water. Or does anyone remember the times when your Grandmother has stood in a line outside at -35C for 5 hours to turn in a voucher for some Meat? So that she could bring it to her favourite grandson/daughter? THAT is perseverance, THAT means something. Compared to that, what was spending a few hours in front of the TV mashing on some buttons? Some people will remember those times, some will have read about them. But Shame on you all, you lazy, forgetful, unrespectful and ungrateful people. Complaining that this game or that is too damn hard, too much time investment, sheesh, enjoy what you have, or better, take the weekend off and pay respects to your old ones or the lost ones and REALLY think about what you've done with your life so far.
Originally posted by giggal I think we can lay the blame at the inherent antisocial features now prevalant in most mmos. The auto group / auto dungeon / auto raid. You mash the button join those people for 30 minutes then depart never to group again. IN the "olden days" you would form your group and while you had down time normally a few minutes between each battle you would chat and talk and get to knwo the different people in your group. forge friendships and then add them to a friend list and maybe group with them again. Guilds were made up of friends who did things together because you knew how to play you would arrange your social life around your online family and you would feel part of it. Now most of my friends have moved to other games non that really appeal to me i find that all new mmos have this lack of comunity. Everyone wants end game so they removed the downtime everyone wanted insta dungeons so they got rid of the lfg function. everyone wanted to raid so they put in an automatic raid feature. Its basically removed all the social elements of the game, your playing an online game but your not really socialising with the other players. and so you dont get attached to the games you play because the people you meet may as well be strangers in the street you bump into apologise and move on, or the people on the bus you may recognise them now and again but you dont know who they are.
This. World Of Warcraft I'm looking at YOU. But everyone seems obligated to follow WoW's example, and it IS killing the social aspect of these games. Without that kind of community, what is the basis for loyalty and commitment? You can basically solo *everything* these days, and if you do want to group, its an automated cross-server function. You don't need friends, you don't need to know anybody, and you certainly don't need to care. Its the opposite of what MMO's used to be, and its at the heart of what's wrong with the genre.
Hell yes. I feel exactly like you do, but the problem here is quite visible to anybody who can read through the lines of last decade's mmo development issues.
There has been a huge generation change in gaming and the market changed accordingly to that: take wow as an example,consider all the changes and everything from vanilla to what we have now, just think about the fact that WoW came out in 2004,a time when gaming was for geeks or for those who had real passion in computer gaming, those people who would have probably sold an arm to get a new video card. Now gaming is for everyone,who knows a 9 years old kid who doesn't have a pc? seriously guys,that's the reason of speed leveling,the empty content that is gonna fill up a kid's need and just that, and that's the reason for the whole development change in gaming,not only in mmo's.
I've read a blueposter from blizzard saying that they thought about bringing pandas into the game instead of TBC at the time,but in the end they thought TBC was better and guess why, they knew the gamers were different,they knew what they wanted and it was not pokemon battles and furry pandas. They knew that generation of gamers wanted something stunning like the first time i entered blackrock mountain without a clue and i got amazed by the atmosphere and the design itself and the idea behind that game.
The pokemon whelps generation has grown: here are the consequences,now handle them!(quote)
MMOs are my prefered 'genre', so I rarely play anything else.. I'd say that the choice today is unprecedented and shows how healthy and mature the market is becoming. Gone are the days where I would 'just keep on plodding on' with a single game because there was nothing else to play.
It helps that I don't generally play with a group of buddies any more, whilst I miss the interactions I find the freedom that a 'lone wolf in a busy world' offers me far exceeds the reward of listening to guild politics!
With the freedom however comes a fickle nature, I tend to play between 50-100 hours on any given 'good' MMO, thereaftrer somethning else is likely to have poped up on my radar and off I go again.
Does this mean I am feeding an addiction? probably, but I accept I will never have the same great expereinces that I had in the past, instead I craft new and better ones.
For me the MMO's of choice right now are:
Path of Exile
I agree with your sentiments completely. It's something my friends discuss fairly regularly too. As I see it (at least from my perspective) the problem is a two sided coin...
Firstly, we crave the haydays of an MMO, as many in comments have suggested. This much is obvious. We want it to be challenging! /lfg, 1 hour per 10% XP... a real sense of accomplishment. We want to have to EARN our friends, to forge relationships so that we can battle through content together. Like it used to be.
But, secondly, we don't want that, at all. We want to be able to progress through the game at our own pace. We want to be able to join our friends at end game not spend 40 days catching up to them.
How frustrating would it be if you can't kill the lowbie level 10 area boss without grouping. What, there's no group finder tool? Hmm, why not? Why make grouping necessary but not give me a group finder? That's dumb. Fine. /LFG To kill NoobBoss. Hmm, 5 minutes... no replies, this is crap.
So I believe that... in many ways, the streamlining of MMOs has both left a lot to be desired from current gen games, but ALSO has changed what we expect of a game. We have much lower tolerance, because we've seen fixes for problems we had to really work hard to achieve.
When the GearScore thing came out in WoW. It was both awful and brilliant. Now, if I can't find an easy comparison between two items... It bugs me a little. Sure, I work it out. But why do I need to? Seriously, would any "old school MMOer" really camp a spawn point for 48 hours, in todays age? No thanks, I have a game that can reward me more immediately. Even though, long term, is less rewarding. Iykwim.
So, for me, that's the problem. I want, but I don't want.
Incidentally, Path of Exile is currently sufficing quite nicely. 1 death start over, all solo'able content, more rewards for grouping. But it does lack the social group aspects. No guilds just a very spammy #Global.
Edit: So the article has spurred further discussion between my friends. More ideas flowing. I think (sadly) the consensus is that we truely are at fault, not the games. At least, the games really haven't changed that much, just our experiences and our requirements for future games.
Here's some things we came up with that impact on the current gaming state...
1. I have two screens. I put Facebook open on screen #2 and I have music playing in the background. I will never become immersed in a game while I have facebook blinking at me. But I would never close off all communications... because they're now a part of my life.
2. Thottbot? Remember the day when you had to work things out for yourselves? In Path of Exile, an item can have a range of stats, but those stats have limits. "What's the most +HP I can have on this ring?" Well... I can find that out from a website. Sure, it's probably more "immersive" if I just go off past experience to know... I could even ask ingame chat - they'd link me to a URL. There's a resource out there, and I gimp myself by not checking that resource. That's technological advancement... It makes games less immersive. Why experiment with trading recipes, someone has already posted how to craft every single item, why waste my reagents?
3. Similarly, YouTube guides for games. I would be nerfing myself by not researching the best way to optimize my class. The information is out there, it's dumb to ignore it... even though half the fun was finding out the best way to play... But if the information is accessible... Y'know?
4. Social. I read your other article on social. This is exactly right. I go into a new MMO with a set of real life friends. I rarely make friends in game, I stick to my RL buddies, we get along blah. As soon as one of them drops off... I suddenly don't like the game anymore.
So actually, our conclusion is that... "It's me, not the game"... It's definitely our fault. We aren't playing games like we used to, we aren't committing to building social experiences that made the game so great. But also, a lot of the technical advancements have actually shafted the fun, explorative sides of what gaming used to be.
i actually DO pine away for 1990s FPS games.
can't stand virtually every FPS game thats come out since the turn of the century.
they are now virtual LARPing sessions for military fetishists, almost exclusively.
The End---------------------------i don't expect to like Darkfall, altho i may like it MORE than other MMOs. i know it is gonna have a very frustrating level of grind to it, even if its significantly less than most. waiting for a pure FAST action virtual world. dice rolling & character levels (even "skills") IN COMBAT should have never carried over from pencil & paper to a computer that can reasonably model 3D spaces and objects
Adam you are taping in to the core issue for alot of us. I too have become very disillusioned over recently releases. Things I really looked forward to being released for many months like GW2 and Swtor held me for no longer than a month too two, leavng me feeling hollow and empty.
My solution have been to revist some of the older titles, in the last two years I have revisited EQ1, DDO, EQ2. Now although these games are old they have kept growing and some of the communities are still good (friendly, nice people to play with rather than huge in number). I have kinda settled on EQ2 freeport server.
What strikes me a huge shame is the currently game desiging style seems to be a cancer which it drilled into the heads of all current generation of developers. With results like DDO are getting new enhancements sytems to bring them upto date and make they more like modern mmos.
I want to see developers think outside the box, not minimise / simplify everything because that makes it easy for anyone to understand and balance very easy. It also makes for to a dull over simplified game that wont hold peoples attention. Keep your "cool" gimmicks and vanity pets and bring back the complex systems.
It's like a wrote it myself. I recently found my way to a really good Vanilla WoW server (no donations, no bullshit, just dedicated and loving owners). It works. For a time i thought "it's not you, it's me", but i'm beginning to have my doubts. I get that the genre evolves and all that, but i think that it's all the new "convinence features" that are killing it for me. I sort of get what people mean when they scream "it's to easy!!11". And more often then not i think it's the availability that makes it to easy. If you can press a button to run a dungeon, as many times as you want, with a 99.9% chance of success, of course it becomes easy really fast. With a system like that anything would become easy. If you can practice all day without risk, you're a pro within days or hours!
I think it comes down to the streamlining of content, "everyone should be able to experience everything". Nothing is off limits to anyone, nothing takes any effort to attempt, nothing is mysterious or seemingly out of reach. I guess i'm pretty specific of what game i'm rambling about, but the trend is following the gigant. I've found that many of the things that annoyed me, or incovinienced me in Vanilla WoW, are also the things that made me fall in love with it. Struggling towards your goal, one that might have seemed unreachable not long ago, cursing your way towards it, being kicked in the nuts more then once... And then, finally reach the goal, or even fail completely. A reward always tastes better if you had to suffer on the way there. And the longer the journey, the sweeter the taste. That's what's missing more and more in new games. They're all about rewards and easy access. Even failing often rewards you nowdays.
I come to think about something promoted before SWTOR was released, in one of their gameplay trailers. They showed you some beginning-zone gameplay where you would instantly blast groups of enemies without effort, stating "we want players to feel heroic right from the start". That's not what i want.
Originally posted by satchmo2002 I am indeed in the same boat as you. I find my self trolling through the internetz looking for any upcomming beta's or releases I can try, just to satisfy my craving for a quality mmo, but sadly for about 2 years now I too have been homeless.
No sense of accomplishment anymore, everything is on rails. I have had more fun playing Dark Souls than any MMO since SWG.
Originally posted by Arskaaa"when players learned tacticks in dungeon/raids, its bread".