Swords, Shields and Spells

Castles are all the rage

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.

5 thoughts on “Swords, Shields and Spells”

  1. Awesome article and I know if a Sci-Fi MMO came along with all the mechanics to appeal to me I’d switch in the drop of a hat.

    Maybe, just maybe though it’s because your a big comic book nerd? 😛

    I hope DCUO offers you what you want, maybe even champions (shudder).

    I know you like Fallout so maybe Fallen Earth or some other apoc mmo?

  2. Cheers for the comment.

    yea the Fallen Earth post-apoc types may be the thing I’m looking for, I shall be keeping my eye on them too i guess lol.

  3. I think you both might find some interest in Global Agenda (www.globalagendagame.com). I would describe the game as blending Counterstrike-style matches and the verticality of UT or Quake with light character progression and the persistent world of an MMO.

    Can’t say much more without breaking NDA, but the game should be in beta sometime in the next several months.

  4. I was commenting the other day I would chew glass for a rich, deep cyberpunk/bladerunner-esque MMO. There are many *many* reasons why fantasy is so appropriate for an MMO. Sci-fi is hard. As soon as you set the world in contemporary or futuristic time, you have to come up reasonable reasons why you as a player need to run hither and thither delivering messages when an e-mail for phone call would be just as good. Or why you need to be a hero and kill ten space-wolves when if you look around you right now, wolves for most people just arent’ a problem anymore.

    Games like Eve & (I hope) Jumpgate can succeed because they completely change the context. Games like TR, and SWG struggle because our minds balk at the notion that even though I’m carrying a blaster and and am wearing heavy duty cryo-armor, I still have to *run down the road* to get to town!

    I do think a sci-fi mmo is possible, even one that isn’t set in space. But the designers have to embrace the setting more thoroughly, and not just couch another fantasy game with blasters and techy armor.


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