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As the title says, I feel as if there is a newer generation of gamers, old and new of age, that just missed the point completely about MMO gaming. Not because it wasn't floating right in their faces, but because the point was made 10years ago with the original onset of MMOs, but then big companies got wind of the profits to be made and decided to come in guns blazing with fireworks, explosions, and boobs flailing everywhere in the glistening sunlight to get said market interested in their products.
What am I rambling on about?
Well, on a daily basis I see people talking about "Solo vs Group this or that", "PvP vs PvE this or that", "Instanced vs Open World this or that", and "Quests vs Questless Design this or that" etc etc.
It isn't about being one against the other. The "Older Generation" of MMOs that started the whole thing showed us a long time ago that it's about COMBINING everything into one package that spreads the amount of activities available to you so you're never bored of feel as if you've nothing left to accomplish. This also diversifies the population so that everyone has something they like. Crafters get their in-depth crafting system. Explorers get their fix for awesome dungeons almost no one goes to and barely understands how to traverse. Competitive players get their fix from highly engaging PvP that is linked in with PvE for armor, weapons, and supplies (aka: DAOC, Shadowbane, SWG, etc), and Carebears (not used in a derogatory sense) get their love from the PvE part of the game. This also leads to different mindsets trying out other types of gameplay they never thought they'd care about.
I used to be a hardcore Carebear back in my EQ days, but after playing DAOC i learned i love BOTH worlds, but only when done correctly where both feed off each other!
The mixtures of highly important PvP with a world comprised mostly of PvE in an otherwise Questless design with some side-quests available by choice all the while having some instancing and a lot of open world gameplay that had a relatively in-depth crafting system is what made DAOC such the juggernaut, relatively speaking for its time, that it was. Did you guys forget this or was it not part of your "Generation" of gaming that you missed out? I hear quite a bit that people "Missed out" so they never understood how awesome DAOC really was (since it is a flaming pile of poo now after all the things Mythic/EA did to it).
The same goes for EQ, SWG, and all those other "Epic" MMOs of the past 14years. Hell, I even miss when an MMO wasn't labeled strictly a "Sandbox" or "Themepark" and had a mix of the two (Again, talking about DAOC here) which gave you quite a lot more to do without getting bored.
I just think both the player-base AND the developers of today are far too tunnel-visioned to actually "get" what an MMO was originally meant to be, and it most certainly wasn't supposed to be 99% instanced with little social interaction and no real difficulty involved to "achieve" things (aka: SWTOR is a prime example of what's wrong with today's "MMO").
I'd also like to make the point that it is impossible for people to "outgrow" a specific genre or activity that they truly enjoy. What has happened is that the industry has changed too much from its original intent into something only about money now, and not so much about building living, breathing, socially driven worlds that actually matter beyond the first 3 months.