Saturday, May 22, 2010

The Current and Future State of MMO's

Wolfshead wrote a great article expressing his views on the current MMO situation. It's well worth a read.

I recall when my husband and I were playing EverQuest and imagining how amazing MMO's might be ten years from then. Here we are ten years later and we're both playing old MMO's because the new stuff is so lackluster. What the heck happened? I think Wolfshead's explanation of what happened is pretty spot on.

Will we see something more innovative and going back to our community roots in the next ten years? Well, let's see what's coming up:

- From SOE we have DC Universe Online, The Agency, and references to EverQuest "Next". I'm sure there will be some innovative items for sale in the cash shop, but as for gameplay, guess we'll wait and see.

- Many old school gamers seem to have their hopes in Final Fantasy XIV. This is one of the few upcoming titles I have an interest in. We'll see if they innovate and improve upon the previous version or are just slapping the WoW formula on top of it.

- Admittedly, I haven't read up much on Guild Wars 2. Having recently purchased the original Guild Wars Trilogy and no longer playing, I just have no enthusiasm for it. I felt too isolated with all the instancing.

- Star Wars: The Old Republic is another one I have no interest in. It seems like a single player game with not enough features to keep me interested for any length of time.

- Still not enough information yet on TERA. Not getting hopes up for innovation and community.

- Funcom is working on The Secret World. Not much more to say.

- Cryptic will announce a new MMO this summer. Please no. *crosses fingers it's not related to Forgotten Realms.*

- Add to that a Wheel of Time MMO by Red Eagle Games, and some yet unannounced titles by 38 Studios, Slipgate Ironworks, and ZeniMax Studios.

This list is by no means complete but that's a lot of games. I honestly don't expect any of these to be an improvement and offer something completely new. I hope I'm wrong but I think it's going to take more than ten years. It's going to take time for the WoW effect to start wearing off. Maybe as the current gaming population ages, their tastes will change so they begin to seek out greener pastures. Or maybe many be too deeply rooted to leave. I can only guess, but I'm definitely not as inspired to imagine the wondrous things that companies might bring to an MMO ten years from now as I once was.


Randomessa said...

If it sways your opinion in any way whatsoever, Guild Wars 2 is not going to feature the instancing that was a characteristic of the first, instead consisting of an open, persistent world outside of towns and outposts.

Grimjakk said...

I just took advantage of their recent "check-it-out" promotion to jump back into EQ2. My main reason was that I'm a bit tired of Cryptic-style MMO's and wanted to play a real mmoRPG.

Virtual theme parks and little online sandboxes built by committees of spreadsheet jockeys may be 'balanced' and offer predictably optimal experiences to the people who play 'em, but they're just online rat-mazes.

I'm still waiting to be able to jack into a living virtual world too complex and organic for any set of dev-gods to micro-manage. I have a feeling I'll still be waiting for something like that 20 years from now.

Aspendawn said...

Randomessa - Awesome to hear. If they offer non-combat stuff too, I may still try it despite really disliking my dealings with NCSoft.

Grimm - One of my biggest gripes with EQ2 was the balanced classes. They were gimpy, boring versions of their EQ1 counterparts. There was not a single class I really enjoyed and felt was my main. They all felt the same. I hope it doesn't take 20 years.

Thallian said...

a well done wheel of time mmo would be awesome. I'd love it. But... hmm have you played the previous single player video game? It lacked a lot fo things. Still I'm excited to see what news E3 brings in a month here.

Aspendawn said...

I'd love it too. I was a huge fan of the books although interested started to dwindle as the series wore on. Yep I did play the single player game. Was ok, not great.

Can't imagine how they will handle player classes since most would have to female I would think since the powerful males were all insane!

Bri said...

I'd love to be excited about SWTOR, but seriously, Bioware .. talents trees are cool and new? Really?