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After nearly 15 years of uninterrupted MMO gaming, I may finally be done. It's a little depressing - these games have been my primary hobby for most of my adult life. I even met my wife in one back when meeting people over the internet was considered weird. I keep thinking that my next favorite game is out there, but I keep getting disappointment. Maybe I'm wrong - that's why I'm posting. If someone has a suggestion for a game that might get me out of my funk, you'd be saving me from having to take up knitting or online poker.
I tend to float in and out of all of Bartle's archetypes, depending on the game and my mood. I've played UO, DAoC, CoH, SWG, WoW, and EQ2, for at least a year each, with the longest stays in UO, DAoC and WoW. The most fun I ever had in an MMO was in DAoC's frontiers, traveling with huge groups of players looking for enemies to fight, meeting new people and exploring.
I most recently unsubbed from WoW when I realized that Blizzard had tricked me into paying a subscription fee for a 5 year-old single-player RPG. They're so busy protecting the players from one another, they've taken away all meaningful interaction between players. The only time you even notice anyone else is when you join a dungeon, raid or battleground. 24 other players is not “massively multiplayer,” it's the kind of multiplayer that Blizzard gave away for free with StarCraft and Diablo 2.
If there's no random element, human interaction, or persistence, what am I paying a subscription fee for? I can save $15 a month and just send people text messages while replaying Dragon Age for the 15th time. In the immortal words of Johnny Rotten, “ever get the feeling you've been cheated?”
I've also spent at least 6 months in WAR (a buggy mess at the time), DDO (meh), LOTRO (WoW, but with a more transient community and worse graphics) and AoC (loved the newbie area, turns into slo-mo Dungeon Siege).
I'm currently futzing around in Eve Online, and was actually enjoying it for a while. With its player controlled economy and politics, Eve seemed like exactly what I needed. But after a month and a half of playing, I'm beginning to suspect the game is some kind of practical joke. Everyone seems to be having a lot of fun except for me, and for the life of me I can't get anyone to let me in on the gag. You can't join a PvP corp unless you have experience PvPing, and you can't get experience PvPing unless you're in a PvP corp (unless collecting insurance payouts counts). Likewise, you can't get into the economic game unless you already have money. So for a new player, that leaves asteroid mining -- which is exactly as entertaining as watching your hard drive defrag -- and what Eve calls "PvE," which is basically the same thing as mining except the rocks shoot back. I'm willing to put the time in to learn a more complicated game, but I don't want to wait a year or more to get to “game” part of the game.
So... someone, anyone, convince me to give some other game a try. I almost want to give WAR another chance, but I'm not going to put the time in just so EA can quietly shut the game down in 6 months. And don't bring up unreleased games - I've been an Ultima Online 2 fanboy twice in my life, and I don't think I could take another hEArtbreak. I just want an MMO that's actually massive and multiplayer, but also entertaining.
Alternately, if someone wants to let me in on the secret to Eve, I'll accept that as well.
Thank you random strangers on the internet!