Dusting myself off.

18 03 2011

clapboard

I used to do this all the time.

At first I blogged about Warhammer Online (perhaps you remember); it was the best MMO experience of my life…for the first month and a half. It got redundant, school got overwhelming and then, before I knew it, nearly three years passed and here we are. The blogosphere has forgotten all about me. In my silence I tried Champions Online (which was pretty fun for about a month after launch) and played through Wrath of the Lich King (which from lv70 took me about three months). None of the current titles look really appealing to me. I want to try RIFT on principle, but my expectations for it are very low. (That’s probably a good sign: it’ll give it more than a few chances to impress me.)

Games aren’t really getting worse, I don’t think, but I fear the rate of improvement has plateaued. So many titles are classified as WoW-clones, some even down to the graphics looking too much alike (Allods, I’m looking at you). The formula, grossly simplified, is just this:
– There are three roles: tank, healer, and dps.
– From lv1 to lvMAX you collect some number of some object for some NPC, rinse and repeat.
– Your character’s intrinsic power increases as it’s level increases.
– Gear dramatically improves your character (and helps make your character look like a circus clown).
– You get the best gear by practicing instance bosses enough to turn them into loot piñatas.
– If you aren’t good enough to treat a given boss as a loot piñata, you are branded n00b and forsaken. Oh, wait, that’s not part of Blizzard’s design…but it certainly felt that way at times.

EA President Frank Gibeau put it very succinctly: “When I play World of Warcraft, you go and get your quests, and you go and do your quests, but it feels more like doing a shopping list at times.” (Citation) The man has a point. Possibly he’s correct in his assertion that Bioware is actually going to break this mold by making something bigger…that remains to be seen.

I have a lot of thoughts to hammer out regarding MMOs and I’ve wanted to return to blogging for a long while now. Meeting the legendary Syp ever so briefly at PAX East pushed me over the edge. So, here I am. Either you’ve never met me or you don’t remember me at all, so let me introduce myself anew.

I’m still Thade. I feel like no MMO has yet nailed it and I suspect (along with others) that WoW is holding the market back from making anything new and exciting. I feel like SW:TOR looks way too good to be true…but I find myself hopeful. RIFT is currently loaded in my Steam Store browser, my finger hovering over the ADD TO CART button. I think instead I’ll go play L4D2 for a while. It’s a little more interactive than re-watching SW:TOR videos.

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