Remember when it was easy to decide which MMO you were going to play? Of course it was the one you had a subscription for, interrupted by the occasional single player game that needed your immediate attention.
Now I look at my desktop and find that I could start a Tetris game with the number of square colourful icons that exist in the MMO section. I with the introduction of EQ2X and LoTRo that are bursting their way into the market I really do feel spoilt for choice and slightly overwhelmed.
My desktop currently offers me the following:
- F2P MMOs
- EverQuest II Extended
- DDO Unlimited
- Runes of Magic
- Allods Online
- Free Realms
- Myst Online – Uru Live
- The Chronicles of Spellborn (Which has gone now)
- MMO Trials
- Star Trek Online – Free Trial
- Champions Online – Free Trial
- Warhammer Online
- Active MMOs
- City of Heroes
- All Points Bulletin
- Eve Online
- Inactive MMOs
- Fallen Earth
- Guild Wars
I play a little of this and that when possible and I’m in the right frame of mind. AS you maybe able to tell Eve is currently holding my attention for now, but I’d like to ask, How do you decide what game to load next?
Many games claim to be the best of it’s genre, you will certainly find their descriptions littered with buzzwords like ‘unique’,'sandbox’,'cutting edge’. Of course many of a games features don’t appeal to all players and one persons holy grail is anothers poisoned chalice, Pinning down the qualities that make a game good isn’t a simple task.
I, like many, have sat and played a countless number of games over my gaming history, with a varied mixture of on/off line, single/multi player games. I like to feel my hype-amour is well worn & rusty at the edges, taking a game on it’s own merits not those pumped out by the PR machine.
I’m interested in what elements people find makes a game good, what makes it stand out from the crowd. I plan to list the elements of those games that have given me something different and the items that make you coming back for more.
I’ve highlighted games that I believe fit the bill for the game qualities I like. To make life easier I had to split out MMOs from other games due to their unique natures.
- Pretty graphics is a poor substitute for good gameplay
- Too much dependence on the hottest new engine or graphical twist, games should be just as fun running on the lowest settings as well as the top settings (Assassins Creed)
- Whether you dive back into a new game straight away or in 6 months time, it’s the interesting and exciting elements that draw you back in, these tend to be RTS games that I have long term addictions with. (Roller Coaster Tycoon, Dawn of War II )
- Make it tough not impossible
- Nothing is more annoying than getting deep into a game only to get stuck on a seemingly impossible area, Left4Dead is good example of this in action, the Director controller manages overall gameplay making adjustments on the fly to enhance the overall player experience.
- Not level dependant
- Games that don’t care about max level in a traditionl sense, where there is still plenty of content once you get to the maximum level. (Guild Wars)
- I also found the idea of a game were levels don’t equal more power, just increases the diversity of the avatar and game-play (Guild Wars, Planetside)
- Enjoyable without Goals
- I enjoy a game were I can play for 6 hours straight and not really achieve anything, but I can still walk away with a smile. Entertaining games that make the time fly.
- Grouping with friends of any level/skill
- As gamers become more social it’s only natural for them to want to play alongside friends both online and real-life, systems and methods that all (Planetside, City of Heroes)
- Realistic achievements
- Increasing more game ship with a slew of merits that drive players to go out of their way to obtain a predetermined goals.
So what game elements appeal the most to you?
What drives you to fireup a game time and time again?
Ever since my early days of online gaming it has continuously been non-fantasy titles that have occupied my time and remained at the forefront of my gaming habits. Yet if you were to ask me what exactly about fantasy games that I dislike, I doubt I could muster a single item as a culprit.
Please do not confuse my lack of interest in fantasy games for a dislike of the genre, of all the titles I have played it is frequently the fantasy ones that are the most detailed. Combining very rich & informative lore, well thought out & balanced crafting systems which allows these games build up a loyal and dedicated fan base.
Every few months Guild Wars manages to draw me back , but no matter how good my intentions I can not seem to last more than 2 maybe 3 weeks at the most before the game loses nearly all appeal. This experience has been mimicked in my reactivation of LoTRO, this game amazed me yet again, and it still does, but quite soon I found myself logging on less and less, a good job I cancelled my subscription back in December as I have no urge to go near the game at all now.
I find it rather strange as I do enjoy the variety of quests (I read them too), I adore the lore and the crafting is one of the best I have encountered, yet even all these elements combined does not appear to be enough for my gaming needs and attention.
For some time I believed that my lack of interest in fantasy MMOs was driven purely by the need for Guns (more futuristic themed) and a move away from swords, but with the arrival of Tabula Rasa I realised that this was not the case and my months playing City of Heroes/Villains has enforced it even further.
Looking back it could have been the fact that Tabula Rasa aimed to be a futuristic Science fiction shooter yet it still felt like a fantasy game at heart, a wolf in sheep’s clothing, for want of a better comparison. Excluding the usual reasons I feel that the fantasy elements were a big factor in driving me away from the game.
I think the bottom line is that the game-play elements of the Sword, Shield and Spell MMOs don’t really appeal to me in anyway. I appear to crave things that these games, not matter how wonderful, just don’t deliver. In 2009 I look forward to the Jumpgate MMO and a few others due out soon that aren’t fantasy based MMO games. I truely hope that I can find a game that will fill the gaps that were promised in 2008 yet still remain.
I think the bottomline is that me and Fantasy MMOs don’t get along too well, then again perhaps I’m just too picky with my MMO needs.