Recently, I haven't been putting much time in any particular game world. I've been putting a lot of time in several. I think I love MMOs more for the idea than the implementation, since I'm always eager to try another, but I'm never fully satisfied. I think I've come down with MMOADD. Is it contagious? I have been reading Voyages in Eternity lately.
Luckily, I'm not as bad as damionov yet, but I'm getting there. I two-box in EverQuest II, so there are two subscriptions there. I have been toying around with City of Villains which NCSoft granted current and former City of Heroes subscribers for free. I even resubscribed to World of Warcraft for the first time since 2004. And I'm in the Pirates of the Burning Sea open beta, with my preorder placed, and my freetrader ready to set sail in January.
But I still find myself tempted to pick up other titles, such as Lord of the Rings Online. And maybe I should give Tabula Rasa another try. Luckily, I tend to think of my bank account like a video game score; I prefer it to go up, not down. So that mental fiction tends to help me keep my budget in order.
I think much of the reason I do this is that a lot of MMO design seems to be repeated over and over again. There is a lot of content I haven't seen. I went to Freethinkers Hideout for the first time yesterday, in EverQuest II, and that was fun. The scripts for raids these days are much improved over the early ones, and I hope to get to 80 to see the new raid zones in Kunark. But these pockets of newness are few and far between.
I like to explore these games, but exploration doesn't mean doing everything in the game. Once I start to see patterns, it grows tiresome. So even altitis doesn't help much, as my alts tend to get stuck at the lower levels, since once you get past the unique starting tutorial for their race or class or city, most games funnel you into the same areas all over again.
Once a game has been on the market for a while, the achievers start to ruin it for me. In Dungeons and Dragons Online, it only took a day or two before that happened. There is no sense of exploration when someone in the dungeon has already been in there a dozen times already and had a min-maxed route to take us through. And leveling and looting only goes so far for me.
Maybe my ideal game should be something like Uru Live. I did try it, and I enjoyed it. But its a very puzzle oriented world, and while I like the idea of puzzles in an MMO, I still enjoy the combat and economic aspects of your traditional MMOs as well. So that wasn't quite what I was looking for.
What is the point of all this rambling? I don't know. MMOADD? Maybe the MMO has nothing to do with it.
OH! I know what I want. What I really need is a cable channel like spectrum of MMO games for one monthly fee, offering products from multiple publishers (SOE, NCSoft, Turbine, and others combined.) Maybe one day when the market is so saturated with MMOs that you can't go to the grocery store without finding MMOs included in your Cracker Jacks and Captain Crunch cereal boxes, maybe that day -- that GLORIOUS day -- a hero will rise to unite the industry's disparate billing practices, liberating people like me so we can freely (or more cheaply) wander from world to world, until we find what we're looking for.
THAT's what I want. I think.