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I've been playing games for a long time. I played WoW on release and thought it was brilliant. Sure there were bugs, but the overall polish and thought that went into every aspect of the game was phenomenal. To be able to start with numerous races and have a different experience is actually something that most games don't manage to do today! It is no wonder they have been an incredible success.
But I stopped playing early on. I loved the open world PvP, but found it very frustrating that rivals would do so much more damage to me because they had better gear. Skill wasn't a factor. I realised that they were raiding to get their gear and so I tried it out and thought it was terrible. Random groups of people joining together for dungeons for an entire evening and you come out with nothing. I didn't get it and stopped playing.
A while later, a was off the beer for 6 months and needed something to do. I played LOTRO and loved it. I played the story and in Ettenmoors for the PvP and eventually joined a successful guild on my server. I then began to raid. It was all new and at first I sat back and followed instructions... but as the content was new, we had to work out what to do. I enjoyed discussing ideas on how to beat the bosses and then we went out to implement them. I became a tactician!
We killed the various bosses and eventually got to the point where we were up against the mighty Thorog. At the time, only 1 or 2 clans around the world had killed the dragon - and none of them would reveal how to do it. This was great, in my opinion.
We tried various techniques and tactics. Pinpointing the key points in the fight and trying to counter them. When we eventually did kill him - it felt like a magnificent achievement. We, like the others, kept the secret to ourselves so that everyone could benefit from that sense of achievement.
As time went on, we tired of the game, but the clan remained together - rejoining each other in game after game.
We would quest up to raid level, and then enter a dungeon. Boss #1 was up and what we heard was "Right, for this boss. He does X and Y and we need to do Z to beat him".
Every boss researched on the internet. We go in, follow instructions that someone half way around the world has written and kill the boss on the first or second try. Achievement? None.
It may be the repetitive nature (and copy and paste) of MMOs that has killed my joy of playing them, but the fact that most people no longer bother about killing the bosses with your own abilities and tactics made the whole end game defunct.
Is it just me that finds this? Yes, there is joy in a well executed plan against a boss, but it does not come close to working out the plan for yourself and then executing it.
Most people seem to race to end game and then copy and paste someone elses tactics. Where has the personal achievements gone? Doing something first means very little - doing something as a team from start to finish means a lot more.
I can only hope that some developer realises what the world is doing and tries to randomise encounters per server. Make people think for themselves and perhaps MMOs will not be a grind from the first minute until the last.