Alternate title: Why No MMO Is Good Enough.
I’ve been having a lot of discussions lately with people I’ve met through my games about the MMO’s we play. Some discussions have been constructive while others were just disheartening. They all boil down to the same thing though: No MMO out there seems to be good enough according to the people who actually play them.
World of Warcraft is ofcourse bashing choice number one. Everyone likes to complain about “how it was so much better in Vanilla/TBC and how the game has only steadily been declining since then.” The arguements people use for this can differ quite a lot. Some say they miss the effort that went into the game at Vanilla times where you had to grind your way through everything and getting your Epic Riding mount actually still meant something. From others I hear that they miss the old talent system where you could completely break your class with picking the right talents and thus ensuring your OPness. Another point that people try to make is that the WoW community had gone to pieces. Apparently it’s more casual now with more “noobs” and “kids” that want free epics for every button they push. Up to a point I have to agree with this one, WoW has become more casual and it’s easier to get entry raid gear now than it has ever been.
My personal pet peeve with WoW has not much to do with the game itself but the whole attitude when it comes to Addons. Especially DPS meter Addons. They’re almost mandatory to see how you are performing relatively to others and thus taking the focus away from what’s actually important: killing the damn boss. Who cares if you’re below that Hunter? The boss is dead no? Unfortunately that’s not how it works in WoW and that’s also the major reason I feel more comfortable playing anything on say FFXIV or GW2 because you can’t see how you perform there. Succes is measured by bosses downed or events completed. Not by how high you are on a meter.
But WoW isn’t the only MMO that has it’s flaws. There are many many out there and they all have an aspect that apparently turns players off. There hasn’t been a single MMO that has been as succesful as WoW, even though many got hyped up to be. You see that some games start out great but that numbers decline as the novelty of the game wears out. People don’t know what they want and when they want it and we all want something different. So in a sense no MMO will ever be truly good enough to please the entire MMO community. And that’s fine.
Personally I’ve tried Neverwinter, Dragon’s Prophet, Rift, SWToR, GW2 and FFXIV. Out of all the games only GW2 and FFXIV have stuck around on my computer. I didn’t like the targeting system in Neverwinter and because I was unfamiliar with the Dungeons & Dragons franchise I didn’t really bond with the game as a whole. Dragon’s Prophet was just confusing to say the least. I dabbled in the beta for a few seconds but got out as fast as I could and never looked back.
I could see the potential of Rift although personally I still find the game to be confusing as hell and SWToR just isn’t my cup of tea. I absolutely love the Star Wars movies, but the game feels meh. It felt very clunky and just not that epic.
Almost all games felt like they missed something I had in WoW, which was my first and only MMO experience for a long time. So even I can’t escape complaining about games.
The last two MMO’s that have stuck around for me are FFXIV and GW2. Especially FFXIV I enjoy a lot next to WoW. I like the simplicity of the classes. There are no talent trees. When you’re a Gladiator you tank, when you’re a White Mage you heal and when you’re a Monk you DPS. Wanna switch things up? Switch your armor set/class and you can perform any role in the game on the same character. Sure it takes a while to get to that point but the idea is good. No fiddling about with talent trees, no reforging your gear. Hell you can use the same gear set for Scholar and White Mage and also the same gearset for Paladin and Warrior. I like this simplicity a lot, mix it in with the prettieness of the game and you have a mostly satisfied customer. I say mostly because I absolutely hate levelling professions in FFXIV. They’re tedious to level and take forever.
The other MMO that’s stuck around has been Guild Wars 2. I haven’t played it as much as I’ve wanted to but I still find it very enjoyable. You can pick whatever class you want and still be able to heal yourself. There aren’t really any set roles for anything and you’re very free to do what you want. Which is also a major downfall. I’m so used to doing instances that the complete lack of them in Guild Wars untill you’re level 40 or something just makes the game repetitive. Although the scenery is amazing and they try to keep the game interesting by making lots of events I just get bored. Bored from doing the same thing over and over again. Doing hearts, doing skillpoints, visiting vista’s and doing your personal story somewhere inbetween. Professions wise it’s kind of fun. You get to discover new recipes by combining existing materials which grant you lots of skillpoints and also levelling XP. But I think the tediousness of only open world questing/grinding/events makes me not play this game as much as I would’ve liked.
What the moral of the story is here is that there are always some negatives about a game. People expect games to please the majority. You can’t. Everyone has their own wishes when it comes to an MMO and if you ask someone to come up with a concept for one you will get 1000 different ideas and people will disagree on most of them.
Personally I try to enjoy my games as much as possible, with all their perfections and imperfections, and just avoid the things that I don’t like. I think this is the wisest attitude, one that I have seen people express more than once. If you don’t like an aspect of the game, then just not participate in it. And if that doesn’t cut it, maybe it’s time to move on to another game before frustrations take over and you might start to hate the game that you once so enjoyed.