The Allure of MMOs
What is the pull of an MMO over a traditional RPG? The stories are weaker or lacking entirely. There's a huge grind to get from the beginning of the game to the end. At the end of an MMO everyone works for hours on end to increase stats ever-so-slightly. If PvP is worldwide then all the experienced players gank the noobs. All of our achievements can look lackluster as soon as a new expansion comes out. Groups can take hours to find. Certain content is locked out except for one time each week when we can attempt it. Other players can treat us like shit. And for all this we pay subscription fees or dole out our money to microtransactions.
Despite all of that, I want to play an MMO. I've been burned out on MMOs since about a year ago when I canceled my WoW subscription. I dabbled in a few that released this year but none of them held my attention for longer then the first month trial. I know I was burned out and to an extent I might still be, but I miss the sense of being a part of something bigger. Being in a group or guild with other like-minded players. I like feeling that I'm part of an online community. That is the real appeal of MMOs.
It's time to give them another shot. It's been a year since I was last seriously invested, but once again I have the itch. I'm not going to go back to WoW or any of the new releases that I tried these past 12 months. I have a copy of LoTRO that I bought on sale for $3 and I just reinstalled DDO. Today I'm going to boot up one of these two programs and dive back in. It may not stick, but it's time to give MMOs another shot.
My thinking is that these two games are different. DDO doesn't have auto-attacking hotbar combat. It has interesting hand crafted dungeons, fast paced combat, and abilities that need to be thought about before being used. From everything I've heard about LoTRO the community is amazing and so is the scenery. Middle earth doesn't hold as much interest for me as having a great community to interact with does. Maybe one of these games will really hook me.
If I'm still not feeling the MMO groove then I plan to wait for SWTOR. The one thing I miss most in MMOs is being part of a compelling storyline. I love Bioware's storytelling pedigree and I hope that SWTOR will revitalize storytelling in the genre.
Well, I suppose it's time to update my game clients and jump back in...