Gaming My Way

09 Nov

Why All the Negativity About MMORPGs

For those of you who’ve been following my site for a bit, or just read my last post even, you might be asking yourself what I have against MMORPGs. Well, actually, you can already read about that in The Problems with MMORPGs and The Problems with MMORPGs: Part II, among other posts I’ve written. They lay it out pretty well.

The thing is, I really like the idea behind MMOs. I just don’t think that they’ve been done right yet. They’re still growing, and developers are still learning what needs to be done to make them truly great, at least as far as I’m concerned. I think the massive success that some MMOs have enjoyed, such as World of Warcraft, is in large part to them making massive improvements to the genre. I also feel that this success has made those companies that are successful feel like they have it right, and not that they need to find more ways to massively improve.

I recognize that companies do make minor improvements to their games as people play them, and appreciate the effort, even though I’d like to see a ruleset stick for awhile. But the real change in the genre is going to come from a new game, that does something to shatter current perceptions about MMORPGs. And one day, one of those games will be an MMO that I find I truly enjoy, instead of seeing it as just a diversion.

My hope in writing about everything I dislike in MMORPGs is to add my voice to those who want to see something better in the genre, not simply to bash it. I recognize that, while I don’t find the current incarnation of MMORPGs fun, there are many people who do, and usually for good reason, as they are usually the best the genre has to offer in one particular area, and for some players, that’s enough since it captures the most important part of gaming for them.

For my part, I want the genre to improve, so I can one day pick up and MMO and truly say I find it the equal of more conventional games. For now, I feel like MMOs are more of a time sink, a way to be social while keeping oneself immersed in a world that looks pretty, but encourages people to act mechanically in terms of gameplay. I also think this will improve given time, and the right developers. Maybe even Blizzard will be the ones to come through if they decide to make a new MMORPG.

In the meantime, bear in mind that when I write negatively about MMORPGs, it’s because I’m comparing them unfavorably to games outside the genre, and I don’t begrudge anyone their entertainment if they’ve found the current crop of MMORPGs enough for them. I think when MMORPGs incorporate ideas from outside the genre, they’ll find amazing ways to improve and become that much better. I just want to push them to be better in my own small way, so that more people can find one that’s right for them in the future. Myself included.

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