Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Do You Enjoy Your Second Job... Err... MMO?

It's cold on the outside looking in.
"It’s the kind of game you can play for 20 minutes before you got to go out to dinner, but it’s also one that you can geek out on all night. It’s just a very accessible format that gives people a chance to enjoy a game rather than work at a game.” -Max Schaefer, CEO of Runic Games

I am hyped about the idea of a Torchlight MMO! You can read his whole interview here. It got me thinking, these days I've found so many MMO games to be less enjoyable than I use to.

I like that idea (quoted above), a lot. I'm so sick and tired of grinding at MMO games that feel as if I am working a job and paying them for it. Don't get me wrong, I'm not some lazy gamer and I do love a challenge, but so many games today are leading many gamers to think that gaming requires many failures before you can really enjoy the silver lining. You must jump through hoops and research content before being able to enjoy content. The joy of actually learning them [encounters] IN-GAME, that's all in the past!

I read blogs and listen to friends tell of how they almost got kicked from guilds they love [in WoW] because they are not up to par or how they spent many hours just trying to down one boss. I think one that really hit me hard was reading Larisa talk of her guild and how her guild basically benched her. Very cruel, I'd not have been able to join back into a guild that tried to toss me out on my ear so easily.

Am I making a big deal out of this? I don't think so, I think it's something people should pay attention to instead of blindly paying for subscriptions. Pun intended! I think it's time gaming companies take responsibility for enforcing this type of play. Causing communities dissolve, players to be more elitist than ever, pumping out more and more time consuming dead end games and expansions. Once the expansion is over with and we're onto the next, all that time spent ditching the so called 'baddies' who were once your friends, or heck, prospective friends, all that time wasted studying boss mechanics... What does it amount to? Memories with friends, enjoying yourself, or just a lot of stress you can't remember so clearly?

How about if you're very casual but you do enjoy doing a little grouping and raiding on weekends, but you're having a hard time keeping up without being made fun of? So you're a little older, your reflexes are slow, you can't join us, you just hold us back.  Or maybe you have Asperger's Syndrome and you can't focus or communicate to do this boss fight flawlessly. Perhaps you just are bad at timing things, we like you and all but you hold us back. You don't have time to read up and watch countless videos on boss fights, sorry we need someone more dedicated. The sad thing is, well, in WoW guilds who don't comply to this growing trend, they tend to struggle. Is it the players fault or the developers? Have we become so elitist we disregard people this easily because game mechanics make it necessary to do so?

I just think players are so use to things being how the developers want, they just fail to realize you can go out of the box, try different games, find better communities to fit into. We can debate the whole hardcore vs casual thing until we are blue in the face but you can't pull the rug from underneath customers, offering both types of play then changing your mind and expect them to be happy. You can't make fun of a play-style or game difficulty and exclude it once you made it so mainstream. Can you? Thinking back, wasn't it a designer who started the whole 'welfare epic' thing? Really classy.

We have families, jobs, obligations, and time constraints, so treat players like they amount to something without slamming the door in their faces for having a life. It's just like a re-run I see over and over and I guess I hate seeing people struggle with a hobby, struggle to be happy with it.

And so I close in saying- With great power comes great responsibility. Leading game designers have the power to set respectable standards for MMO games instead of causing players to look like addicted, lifeless, tools. If these games are our outlets, a place to unwind, a hobby, why so much stress?



  1. Grrrrrrr...sic 'em Kaozz!

    I totally agree with this. I hate the fact that games want the casual crowd to come in and pay the bills, but then reserve the coolest content for the people that dedicate their "lives" to getting to that point. I can respect a game like Darkfall because it caters to the hard core PvP crowd, but doesn't complain because it can't command 1 million subs.

    I am sooooo tired of hearing people say that if you don't enjoy RIFT it is because you haven't leveled out of the 20's yet. The rifts don't graduate to more than a tab/click fest until after that. Why on earth is that a good argument? If the game isn't fun at level 10, why on earth do I want to stick with it?

    Sorry, I won't steal your rant, but I feel you here and lately I have been to lazy to post my own content! :o)

  2. Well said, Pid! Hey now, I was feelin' like 'lone' person not playing WoW, for a bit, until you chimed in ;)

    I suppose I am just a bit tired of hearing how wonderful WoW (sometimes RIFT too) is while people continue to go on how they are bored or they cannot participate or complete raids and, well you know the drill- YET they keep making up reasons why it's so great. It's like I am surrounded by zombies.

    If you're not talking about WoW (and sometimes RIFT... That's getting to be a trend now), nobody cares. Nobody wants to venture outside the little comfort zone, at least they know what to expect there even if they expect to be bored to tears.

    And yeah, you don't have to get to lvl 20 or beyond to know if you don't like a game. Either you like it or you don't. You don't take a bite out of something that tastes like crap then keep eating it because it might taste better in the middle. Ha! I 'kill' myself =p

    Thanks for stoppin' by, it's been getting a bit lonely here ;)




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