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List of MMOs back in the day.
Dark Age of Camelot, Ultima Online, EVE Online, Everquest(2), World of Warcraft, Asheron's Call, Star War Galaxies, Final Fantasy XI, Phantasy Star Online, City of Heroes,Anarchy Online, Ryzom, Ragnarok Online, Linage 2 etc..
Coming into the turn on the millennium we were creating a new genre of gaming. The vision of bringing your table top Dungeons and Dragon games and your text based MUDs into elaborate 3D graphical adventures. And oh boy was it amazing. Most of the games I mentioned need no introduction. We know the everlasting impression Ultima Online will have on the genre and sandbox aspect of it. DAoC is the PVP king. EVE is still going strong for its massive space battles and complex economy. Everquest players have stories of adventures for a lifetime. Final Fantasy XI brought in the JRPG element and one of the first huge license.
Adventure was hard, and the loot was a true reward. The battles were massive, and nothing but skill could beat them. Player interaction was real. You had to earn and fight for everything, even that one level you gained could have been days..weeks..months in the earning. World of Warcraft was good!
Fast forward ten years.
Dungeons and Dragons Online, Lord of the Rings Online, Rift, Warhammer Age of Reckoning, Star Wars the Old Republic, Age of Conan, The Secret Word, Final Fantasy XIV, World of Warcraft, TERA, Guild Wars (2), Star Trek Onine, City of Champions, DC Universe Online, NeverWinter, Defiance, etc..
Tens years later of what I would consider the Gold Age for the MMO, we are treated to lack luster huge title games that fail to deliver. World of Warcraft turned into a money machine, games weren't released for months before they were dead RIP Asheron's Call 2, Matrix Online. Some game hung in there by the skin of their teeth like DDO, LotRO, WAR, swtor, AoC, TSW. They player base were full on the first month launch crowd, people buying it retail and not resubscribing cause other options were betters. Games were rush to the finish line cause the MMO could make the big bucks. Final Fantasy XIV the most famous of these. Lets launch a half assed game from Square Enix a successor one of the giant MMO game of all time. SWTOR killed Star Wars Galaxies and instead we lost a great sandbox game to a single player game were you could watch other people play around you. Combat got a upgrade like TERA and Neverwinter but ill stick with tab targeting if combat is consisting for minimal ability usage. Guild Wars 2 killed the subscription period, it also ruined what the MMO was about community and the urge to keep people playing.
So here is my rant, its plain and simple. Today a MMO releases and we sit here and ask how long until it fails, and then months down the road we see these go free to play, or their current free to play models get overhauled. It is in a sad state. The Developer doesn't consider the enormous niche market out there that wants to play a 2014 version of Dark Age of Camelot or Everquest. The Publisher want fat wallets. They see World of Warcraft works so they copy/paste the format to their creation. IF THIS IS THE STATE OF THE CURRENT MMO WHY IS NEARLY EVERY GAME I MENTIONED UNDER 2004 STILL SUBSCRIPTION BASED, MAKING CASH, HAVING LIVING BREATH ALBIET SMALL COMMUNITIES.
These games coming out are garbage. We need a truly great MMO to be made.