Sunday, March 7, 2010

Time to Move On

I think I've grown tired of the MMO treadmill. I've cancelled EverQuest II. No, don't worry - no whiny, this is why I'm quitting post follows. It's a fun game, but ultimately, it's just a treadmill, and I've reached a point, where both of my characters had their mythicals, and a decent assortment of fabled, that while they certainly weren't uber in any normal sense of the term, it's as close to winning the game as I care to get.

Hopefully one of these days, we'll see MMORPGs shift from being treadmills to having event-driven gameplay (like Guild Wars 2 promises). Where logging on is driven more by a desire to keep up with the everchanging story and everchanging world, and less by a desire to increase arbitrary numbers. There are enough games like that already, and I think I've grown tired of them. And I'm starting to realize that what I want most in a game is to feel like I'm a part of a damn good story. Bioshock gave me that. Mass Effect gives me that. Dragon Age, Final Fantasy XIII, and Guild Wars give me that.

World of Warcraft and EverQuest II are fun games, but they don't have that. Sure, there's some good writing in some of the quest arcs, but ultimately, the stories do very little to disguise the fact they are thinly veiled plots to get you to run to five random places and click on five random things. That's not entirely bad; it's fun on occasion. And I'm not giving up on MMOs completely: I will play Star Trek Online casually for the time being. And I'll probably check out Final Fantasy XIV when that comes out.

But MMO play is going to move to the backburner; my gameplay time will likely be spent playing single player games. And I also intend to complete one of my dreams: actually publishing my own game, probably for the iPhone. I've started writing a few games as prototypes and just have to figure out what I want to follow through to completion with.

I'm not going to continue updating this site, since I have little to add to the MMO discussion, and I think I've said about all there is to say about MMOs as they are now. Maybe I'll start up again if something revolutionary comes out.

Thanks for reading and I hope you have continue to have a great time wherever your online adventures take you.


Kendricke said...

Ultimately the games you mentioned are intended as single player experiences. Even Star Trek Online actually penalizes players in many ways for grouping together and tackling content (dynamically increasing difficulty, etc).

In most modern MMOs, the highest retention comes from players who feel a sense of emotional attachment to their gameplay. This emotional tie often comes through groups and guilding. Long after a game's mechanics might lose their luster, many MMO players continue to log in night after night due to the social interaction from being "where everybody knows your name".

Jayedub said...

I'm sorry to hear you go, hopefully something out there will prompt you to post every once in a while.

I know what you mean about the treadmill, probably why I am enjoying EVE at the moment because it's different from anything I have played before.

I may not see you here but I will see you on Raptr!

Ysharros said...

Eh, just because you're not playing doesn't mean you can't post! :D

Have fun out there, whatever you end up playing, then tell us about it!

Tesh said...

What Ysh said.

Nothing wrong with getting out of a rut. ;)

Have fun with whatever you're up to!

Hechicera said...

Bah, I think you can still post. After all you do have a reference to Zen in the title ...

The not MMOing must surely be as important to understand as the MMOing.

Perhaps I'm being snarky as usual, or .. maybe not.

Yeebo said...

Hope you recover from your burnout soon. This is one of my favorite blogs, I'd hate to see you stop posting.

I wish you well regardless. I'll be around whether you are blogging about MMOs or what your cat had for dinner.

Corwin.EoL said...

I know totally what you are saying. The Treadmill is the worst thing for me in any MMO. A friend of mine sucked me back into Eve Online. It's just as big of a treadmill as EQ2 is.

From my experiences it's the people I choose to play with that keeps me in a game.