I know, I don't like to put up a lot of linkage like I used to, but I will tell you there is a strange fimilar air among the bloggers and ranters out there.
WoW is over 4 years old (released November 2004). They are getting sick of it, but like UO, it just won't go away. What will be the next thing everyone is going to try and stick with for years? I bet a lot of investment folks and executives wish they could put their finger on that answer.
Sure, EQ came out, and put UO in its place as far as demonstrating to the world that PvP unchecked is BAD! Even with that, UO never went away, because those of us who stayed around knew that UO offered so much more in other areas than EQ ever would. Plus we were all filthy rich and had houses, so what the hell would we leave for right?
There has been a couple of different posts that Lum aka Scott Jennings has pulled off the Net and placed into his own PvP arena. Probably because that is "safer" then putting a response on the other persons site. I am going to follow the master's lead and do a little waxing of my own in my safe haven.
I am sorry if these thoughts may seem like a burst of wild berries, but I am not a journalist. I am a crazy gamer with a lot to say in the vocal minority.
First off, there are many different ways to look at these particular style games, but most of the current complaints seem to be about WoW. The biggest MMO of them all because of what? My guess is that WoW, took EQ and the clones by storm for one main reason. The same reason I didn't quit at level 27 like I did in EQ. They took away grinding and replaced it with questing that worked, and had a lot of it. Not to mention that Warcraft already had a few previous versions to base the game on, and already had a following.
But, lets look at why we (I) play MMO's. I like to play them because no matter how you slice it, there are other people. I like to talk, and hey, there are other people to talk with. So, it is a giant chat room with icons that move. I also like to go do things either by myself or with other people.
Trembling Hand (TH) thinks you should encourage grouping. I am not a fan of this at all. I prefer to play as much as I want, when I want and if it happens to include other people then great. If not, I want and require that I do it alone. EQ didn't do a great job of letting you solo, but WoW did. WoW did an even better job of this in WoLK because they even let you get cool items without being a dungeon diver. Kudos to WoW! The guild I am in currently is loaded with people of this same mindset, and I don't think they would like it if you tried to take that away. All MMO's should allow you to play solo as well as in a group. WoW's chat and group interface also made it easier to find other people when needed and that helps. People also seem to be more willing to go out and play together when they can get their hands on the phat lewts as well.
(TH) mentioned travel time and grinding. Well, I believe WoW has the grinding down because you don't have to slam a million monsters like we did in EQ. Sometimes the questing for 8 to 9 hours to get a single level can also be mind-numbing. Most of the time, they move us around the map, and that is great. Sometimes they make us see the same quest giver so many times you want to punch them, and the developers in the head.
Travel time in WoW really needs to be addressed. Some of the places you have to fly to takes in upwards of 15 minutes. That is unacceptable! If you can go on a boat to another continent in less then a minute, then why does it take 15 to fly on a really fast mount from one end of the continent to the other? I am really dissapointed.
There are also other issues like making us jump from Northrend, back to the old lands to auction or whatever, then have no way to get back to Northrend, but a hearth stone, or use the boat/zeppelin, and then fly all the way back to where we were. It keeps us kind of bound up and not willing to travel or save our hearthstones to any other zone but the logical one in Dalaran. That's where all the portals are, so yea, we are gonna hearth there. There is also no portal from Shat to Dalaran which I think should also be addressed.
TH wants smarter combat and smarter mobs. I think Lum's answer to these were pretty accurate. Fact is, the people that play these games love the fact they can almost always predict what will happen. It is all about training themselves to do a job and do it well. If you are a Tank, you "hold aggro" if you are DPS, you shoot everything like mad, if you are a healer, you keep everyone alive. They love it, and I don't think most people really and truely want more of a job then they have keeping the group from wiping then they do now. Fact is, when you are in a large raid or group, sometimes you are going to die. If it was your fault, you are going to feel bad and of course be told how bad you suck, and people don't want that. If it was truely harder, then people wouldn't do it.
TH doesn't like classes and levels, but you know what? Have you heard the expression "DING"? Well, the vast majority of people out there love that phrase. When you tell your guild you just got a ding, you get praise and woots and it is a wonderful feeling. I don't think they are going to take that away. Even in EQ, everyone loved the Ding and I think it is here to stay.
Classes? I don't care if it has classes or not. Even if they don't have them, people are still going to crate something similar to a class, and whatever works the best in PvP or PvE, will be the only non-class class that everyone chooses.
TH had a very good point about developers talking with the players. Hey, they used to, but the unwashed masses tore them apart until they all crawled back into their cubicals and pulled the shades. No one wants to hear that their hard work sucks, or that their ideas suck. Lum is right in his response. Believe me, my own friends that I used to do my audio show with don't even like to talk to me for fear I might divulge some info I am not supposed to. I don't even do that kind of ranting or reporting anymore, but they are scared.
Lum mentioned in some of his responses how the teams are under constant pressure from the executives and the folks writing the checks. Yea, you are going to get that, but at the same time, I felt like Lum was making an excuse as to why a game might suck. There is no excuse, and if we can't get the developers to listen, then maybe we have been barking up the wrong tree.
Because it sounds to me like the games aren't broken, the GAMING COMPANIES ARE BROKEN! Maybe it is time we address that issue, then all the games will be great right? The MMO market is more flakey then me doing Karaoke shows out in the sticks. I mean these poor designers change jobs like a pair of sweat socks. Nothing is safe, nothing can be spoken against the machine, and you are never sure if your project will even be alive in the morning. There is no job stability working in the gaming industry. The only thing you can hope for is that there are new companies coming up. Many of the developers and sometimes the executives have a place to go because of them, or they start their own company.
I have more, but I need to take a nap. Thanks for reading, all two of you!