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[Column] General: The Death of Hardcore



  • TheocritusTheocritus Gary, INPosts: 4,036Member Uncommon
    I'm hoping EQN returns to its hardcore roots but I get the feeling its just another soft toss MMO like all the others since WoW......
  • AyulinAyulin Mt marion, NYPosts: 334Member
    Originally posted by Arclan

    If accessibility defines success, and today's games are the pinnacle of accessibility, why are they failing?

    Oh, I don't know....

    Maybe because while accessibility is important, it's not the only thing that keeps people playing a game, and many other MMOs that have attempted to mimic WoW's "appeal" have missed the mark? Maybe because if people are going to play something like WoW, they'd be better off playing the real thing, rather than settling for an inferior clone?


    Accessibility alone did not determine the success of WoW (nor any MMO for that matter).


    Advertising and an IP with a huge built-in fanbase, eager to play the next Warcraft game, got people in. That didn't guarantee its long-term success, though.


    Accessibility and a more streamlined experience made it easier and arguably more fun to get into and play. But that didn't guarantee its long-term success.


    A fun, solid, engaging, well-designed and highly polished experience is what keeps them there for the long-haul.


    A community of friends, family, guild-mates and in-game acquaintances is what helps keep many people there... even beyond when the game itself has lost its spark for them.


    Once the "phenomenon" hit, and the game became a "household name", it took on its own momentum, which has carried it to this day.


    At the end of the day, though, you could have a stellar marketing department with the best in the industry pulling out all their best tricks. If the product they're selling is crap, it's not going to matter how well-marketed it was.

  • npTrombenpTrombe Caldwell, TXPosts: 7Member Uncommon
    The Hardcores didn't really die out they just evolved and turned into No-lifers.
  • PanzerbasePanzerbase Chicago, ILPosts: 423Member
    So basically the OP claims mediocrity is the new standard and well deserved. Golf clap..
  • GameByNightGameByNight Columnist / Podcast Host Rochester, NYPosts: 129Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by killahh
    I am sorry but OP, you missed the target, and you don't even know it.

    How sad.

    Rose colored glasses, you bet, i do remember a time it took dedication to become great in a mmorpg, and guess what?

    It was totally worth it.
    Originally posted by Panzerbase
    So basically the OP claims mediocrity is the new standard and well deserved. Golf clap..


    You both missed the point entirely. To quote the article you're commenting on: "But those players do have something of value: real experience with designs of depth. Games today, in the name of accessibility, have become eminently more shallow. Players working together, mysterious virtual worlds, real adventure, and the ultimate payoff of delayed gratification... those are things this genre now fails at."


    My point is that the genre has evolved, not whether it is better or worse. Considering I was one of that early generation, and the entire point of view and numerous reiterations within the column, you might surmise that there are old designs I would love to see return. I guess the big difference is that I, like most commenters here, have learned to adapt and keep having fun with MMOs. Coming out swinging like that really doesn't help either of your cases that you're not bitter.


    Writer of the RPG Files
    Official Podcast Host
    Blogger at

  • DreycraftDreycraft Toms River, NJPosts: 84Member Uncommon
    I started playing mmorpgs back in '99 with EQ like a lot of people, and although there are a lot of things I do miss about old school mmorpgs, there are even more aspects that I don't. It just gets old people constantly ripping into WoW, it did a lot of good things for the genre and gave me the most fun years with my friends playing it. But I will agree that part of it's legacy is a curse on the genre because too many developers crave the same success of WoW so they develop a game too similar to it. It's natural though and no one should be surprised by this, it'd just be better if we would get a totally unique game each time a new mmorpg comes out.
  • General-ZodGeneral-Zod Zod, CAPosts: 750Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Jagarid

    Wow, I saw the headline for this and thought for sure that the truth would be missed in the article.  But it was not.

    "It's too bad so many of them have become slaves to their old rose-colored memories."

    ^ Truth. ^

    I'm one of the grandpas, but I am no slave and it bothers me how many are. 

    Its very hard not to succumb to rose-colored memories...

    I met a girl who cooked, cleaned and held deep engaging conversations for many hours.

    After 2004, all I could meet were these cosmetically enhanced shallow bitches that I could figure out before I finished my drink.

    Iv already accepted that I can never go back to my first love..... grudgingly.


  • NephelaiNephelai SydneyPosts: 184Member Uncommon

    The issue really is the definition of hard core. I think people confuse player ability and time sync. Players in Method for example are great players and in fact they sync less time into killing the heroic content than the average Wow gamer puts into doing normals or LFR. Its the mass of average players chipping away with their aspirations confused with their abilities syncing there life into MMO's that are the problem.


    To me hardcore means great player not your ability to sync time into a game so hardcore is still around from that perspective.


    What have they replaced the time sync with anyway? Instead of a few things taking a very long time we now have lots of simple things taking very little time each that must be repeated at infinitum.


    I'd go back any day.

  • Po_ggPo_gg Twigwarren, WestfarthingPosts: 2,854Member Uncommon

    Great column, I agree. "I'm here to break the news: the hardcore playstyle is dead."  Ok, maybe not entirely dead, there's always chance for some indie kickstarter project here and there, but practically yep, it's dead. And it wasn't killed by evil developers, or the money-greeding industry, simply that's the direction the masses longed for. OP's right that's everything is in numbers, as more and more people stepped in and the market widened, they brought new preferences with themselves which the industry followed to make money and staying afloat.

    Nowadays wanting back those mechanics and lifestyles ("not playstyles but lifestyles" is a great line, Chris :) ) is like wanting back the 1 single phone in the house, with a one-meter cord attached to the wall - in the era of mobility and smartphones. Outdated, sadly.


    Don't get me wrong, I also started with MUDs, and with the truckload of free time and unlimited net access (which wasn't a common thing even in colleges / universites around here in the early/mid '90s, so there was the "being privileged" feel to it as well) I wasted a pretty decent amount of time online during my college years. But as Vyce wrote so accurately:

    Originally posted by Vyce
    Do I miss the old days? Heck yeah I do. Could I and would I devote the 16 plus hours a day to a game now? No way. 

    And even if we (all) would do that, again, numbers. All of those '95-'03 players combined are only a small minority now among the widespreaded playerbase. And the future holds more decline in the matter, with better quality browser and mobile games, and with the consoles... As a kid said to me not long ago: "why wasting my time on download or install when I can play games in my browser, from anywhere?" The sad thing is, he's right.


    I guess the process will going foward to more accessible, more casual games. Back in the Dungeon Master / EoB days we mapped dungeons manually (I still have a few of those exercise-books). Then came "press M". Then the quest markings, with direction arrows. Then the auto-path. Each of those reached more and more people. This won't stop just because a few old ones have nostalgic feelings about how hard and time-consuming was the life back then :)

    on better thinking it's sad, so :( would be more appropriate.

  • AntiquatedAntiquated Oak Brook, MIPosts: 871Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Po_gg

    Great column, I agree. "I'm here to break the news: the hardcore playstyle is dead."  Ok, maybe not entirely dead, there's always chance for some indie kickstarter project here and there, but practically yep, it's dead. And it wasn't killed by evil developers, or the money-greeding industry, simply that's the direction the masses longed for.

    Have you ever stopped to consider that 'hardcore' just isn't sustainable?

    Lot of folks went broke in the hourly-rates era, and Evercrack made a lot more of them jobless.

    Seems like it's basically a bad idea, doesn't it? "All of our most intense, addictive-personality players; we (and their guildmasters) are going to ruin their lives. This sounds like a really sensible plan!". Everyone knows the horror stories, some even true, of the borderline personalities that went way over the top with their pursuit of 'hardcoreness'.

    Shovel some dirt on that grave. And count your blessings that you weren't among the lost and discarded.

  • daltaniousdaltanious waPosts: 2,178Member Uncommon
    Once there were dinosaurs ruling the world .... the rest is history. :-)) Things happen in time.
  • AlBQuirkyAlBQuirky Sioux City, IAPosts: 3,828Member Common
    I disagree that it is "dead", just not as lucrative as a more casual gaming experience.  In a sense, I doubt we will see a game that requires player's time like in the old days, but that does not mean there are not lots of players that still desire that style of gameplay.  Just not near as many as the casual players.

    - Al

    Personally the only modern MMORPG trend that annoys me is the idea that MMOs need to be designed in a way to attract people who don't actually like MMOs. Which to me makes about as much sense as someone trying to figure out a way to get vegetarians to eat at their steakhouse.

  • Artiss2kArtiss2k raleigh, NCPosts: 3Member
    CCP dont fail us now, I'm hoping World of Darkness fills that hardcore void for us.

    Every man is responsible for his own destiny.

  • MoudeebMoudeeb Easley, SCPosts: 14Member
    I hope hardcore content and players are gone forever and never come back. The disease that kills all mmos.
  • ariestearieste toronto, ONPosts: 3,293Member Uncommon

    I do not miss travelling for 3 hours then camping for 3 hours then pounding at a wall of HP for 3 hours to kill something.  It absolutely was NOT challenging.  Or rather, i do not consider one's ability to invest 9 hours at a time into gaming as a good "main skill".  


    In games I play today, content may be chopped up into little pieces, but at least those little pieces require actual player skill and coordination, so that when a mob falls dead after a 15 minute fight, i feel like it was my skill - rather than just my presence there - that resulted in the accomplishment.  


    The "hardcore" can always continue to be hardcore by playing more and doing more than the rest of us.  They have the opportunity, so they make it their playstyle.  I'm fine with that.  But i do not want to go back to a world where your amount of time invested in the game trumped any kind of skill you had. 

    "I’d rather work on something with great potential than on fulfilling a promise of mediocrity."

    - Raph Koster

    Favourites: AO,SWG,EVE,TR,LoTRO,TSW,EQ2
    Currently Playing: EQ2, Firefall

  • RobbgobbRobbgobb Dallas, TXPosts: 450Member Uncommon

    I could not read all the replies after I saw opinions that made me laugh so hard. I miss EQ with my friends. I miss my time with my DAoC guild. Most MMOs today are more like a game that might have some fun times for a bit but then go and forget about them. There is no mystery. There is no need for me to invest time. I can sit back and find people to help. I generally can't get to level 20 in any game before I am bored, stop playing and realize 4 months later I need to uninstall it. I look at some and play one at the moment and two others are of interest with one of having solo play. 


    I know that have to appeal to where the money is but I miss the difficulty. I was never a fan of PvP though. That is one thing I will never really desire to be throughout a game. I enjoy taking my time in the world. I remember starting Lineage 2 and was low level and someone decided to try and camp me. I just sat and waiting for a while watching him. Another time had a group come after me (next day actually) but I had seen high level in town that answered some of my questions so asked for help. Person brought on group and wiped them out. Two days and two different experiences though the first day was more typical. I saw the enjoyment for them. Just wasn't for me. Dark Age of Camelot was great fun and I actually enjoyed the PvP there. 


    I would love to have another game like EQ or DAoC. I miss how EQ2 was when released. I enjoy the games that kick you then stomp on you till you learn how to beat it. Wish I could find that fun again. TSW is only game that is out at the moment that gives me that kind of challenge. Everything else I lose interest in but TSW it probably is story as much as gameplay but I do enjoy playing it and trying to figure out how to have the most fun with the least amount of dying.


    Corpse runs will always be something that most people hate(d) but I have to say that I always enjoyed that fact. I remember sneaking around places to get my body or following a group clearing an area to get to my body and snag it. I even remember having a friend (who was a jerk in game) give someone the ability to move their corpse and person dragged it to even more dangerous place to tell my friend he had ninja looted that person's friend and left the group. Fun times.

  • gamekid2kgamekid2k Austin, TXPosts: 360Member
    It is not completely dead.  There are few grinding Asian MMO out there.  Recently I am playing Dark Fall Unholy Wars.  Its pretty hardcore.  Non instance dungeon, open world boss, full loot pvp.

    Now Playing: DARKFALL Unholy Wars "Return to Open World, Full Loot PvP, Conquest in a Sandbox MMO with player driven economy! Just like classic MMOs!"

  • UsulDaNeriakUsulDaNeriak SindelfingenPosts: 640Member

    Perhaps hardcore will never come back. It is just not profitable anymore.

    But virtual worlds might come back, if the devs remember, what an MMO is supposed to be, and consider why all these WoW-clones failed so desperately.

    played: Everquest I (6 years), EVE (3 years)
    months: EQII, Vanguard, Siedler Online, SWTOR, Guild Wars 2
    weeks: WoW, Shaiya, Darkfall, Florensia, Entropia, Aion, Lotro, Fallen Earth, Uncharted Waters
    days: DDO, RoM, FFXIV, STO, Atlantica, PotBS, Maestia, WAR, AoC, Gods&Heroes, Cultures, RIFT, Forsaken World, Allodds

  • Greymantle4Greymantle4 Posts: 805Member Uncommon

    Why is hardcore always linked to time? I played UO, EQ, SWG, etc... I had a job and I loved those games. The challenge and social aspect of those MMO's is what is missing today.


    Let's hope EQNext brings back a lot of old school and hits a home run. Then maybe your next article about this will be how theme park easy ride MMO's are a thing of the past. :P

  • discord235discord235 Woodland, CAPosts: 149Member Uncommon
    I am so sick of people complaining about "the good old days" of MMOs. It just makes you sound like an old man/woman on your front porch yelling for the damn kids to get off your lawn.


  • killahhkillahh calgary, ABPosts: 437Member
    And the ironic thing is that within 10years you'll be starting to that too :)

    Gonada Dahung,over 20 years of mmorpg's and counting....Please Lord, let someone make a game that had all the awesomeness of UO, EQ and EVE...

  • travamarstravamars Dallas, TXPosts: 417Member Common

    Hradcore coming back. HA...HA HA...HA HA HA..

    This hardly seems worth talking about  since anyone whose played mmo's for years already knows these games have been dumbed down to the point a 6 year old can play them, and that is why no one sticks around for  long in any of them.

    Max lvl in  just a couple weeks.....Never die unless your a complete idiot running out of your zone. I'm not even sure your able to die in some of these mmo's... They used to be the cool games to play, now their looked at as games for lonely people with low IQ's....Not to mention that you need a CC constantly on hand to get any enjoyment from them. It hard to stay interested when your constantly reminded about the Cash Shop.

    (Clue for game designers) ..when you start a new mmo with one bag space it gets full before i get hooked on the game so i pull out my CC so i uninstall.

    MMO's were awesome in the beginning...problem is they never improved from there. Everyone just tried to copy the last hit game.....added Cash Shops for more money.. and ran MMO's in the ground.

    MMO's are dead.

    My advice.....Buy A console (Xbox or PS)  Play a few of those online and leave the MMO's to the little children that know no better and dont care how much it cost mom and dad..



  • travamarstravamars Dallas, TXPosts: 417Member Common
    Originally posted by Zeppelin4

    Why is hardcore always linked to time? I played UO, EQ, SWG, etc... I had a job and I loved those games. The challenge and social aspect of those MMO's is what is missing today.


    Let's hope EQNext brings back a lot of old school and hits a home run. Then maybe your next article about this will be how theme park easy ride MMO's are a thing of the past. :P


    WOW thats a perfect post. Congrats.

  • Mtibbs1989Mtibbs1989 Posts: 2,943Member Uncommon
    It wasn't so much the age of hardcore but the age of games actually being difficult. Today's games are so easy that I can sit back and do something else while the action is happening on my screen (that shouldn't happen). 


    Somebody, somewhere has better skills as you have, more experience as you have, is smarter than you, has more friends as you do and can stay online longer. Just pray he's not out to get you.
  • BossalinieBossalinie Hattiesburg, MSPosts: 681Member Uncommon
    And you think you playing video games for +20 years has nothing to do with the ease of gaming?
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