I thought about a lot of the ideas you guys gave me and I was going to cover them in this post, but after a discussion in guild chat, I thought this one might provide a little more discussions to get us through the weekend.
Are you ready for another MMO? I’ve been playing WoW a long time. I’ve been lucky enough to be playing since closed beta and been able to experience pretty much everything Blizzard has put into this game.
The screenshot to the left was a raid towards the end of one of the phases of closed beta. We decided to head to Crossroads just for the sake of picking a fight. There were no rewards involved. No honor to be farmed.
I am sure there are a lot of folks that remember the old Tarren Mill/Southshore battles that went on. If you were looking for PvP, that’s were you went. It wasn’t till much later that we had the battlegrounds added.
And back then, raid gear was PvP gear. So when I was running around in my Might and Wrath gear with my Hand of Rag, I was beast cutting through people. Especially with 3 or 4 guild healers in raid gear in tow.
The game has evolved a lot over the years. Some for the better, some for the worse, all depending on who you ask. We won’t see another grind like Grand Marshall or High Warlord because Blizzard knew what was wrong with the system after they saw the true lengths people would go to get it. I feel lucky to have been able to see how Blizzard’s raids have evolved.
We had a server 2nd Ragnaros kill by roughly 30 minutes and proceeded to have every server first in Blackwing Lair. And Blizzard has become a lot better at their raid design in my opinion. As time has gone on, the game as become very homogenized. That’s the term I like to use for it.
Putting buffs into categories, spreading them across various classes. “Bring the player, not the class.” Gone are the old arguments of Fear Ward being overpowered, the Horde having Windfury totems, the fine art of stance-dancing, and a lot of the other things “old players” would remember.
Ask your guild if they remember 40-man UBRS. Many will laugh and say “UBRS was for 15 people” or “that’s a 10 man instance now.” So few remember wiping on General Drakkisath with 40. :)
I have been lucky enough to have been able to play quite a few MMOs. Some in beta, some for money. I’ve been able to really narrow down what I am going to look for in my next MMO. I know what I like, what I don’t like, and what’s so crucial it’s not even an option.
The one MMO I had hoped would so well was Pirates of the Burning Sea. I’ve talked about this one before and I think it was great that a company did something unique and wasn’t trying to ride on the fantasy coattails of WoW. I am pretty sure there was never a meeting where they said “and this will part will be like WoW.”
The game had such a heavy emphasis on PvP and economy that I would have loved to read about certain a certain goblin’s adventures in this market. And unfortunately, after beta, I can’t say I supported the game as I kept on playing WoW.
Their community was awesome too. At least during beta. I posted in a thread once, answering some rudimentary questions that had been answered I am sure dozens of times in other threads. But I answered them, as well did a few other posters.
A dev came in, commented how he loved the attitude, locked the thread, and had us all PM us our address so he could send us t-shirts. To this day I still have an awesome shirt I wear that says “Getting booty since 1720″ with the Pirates of the Burning Sea logo below it. I love that shirt. I just can’t wear it around my wife’s grandma. :)
WoW is such a dominant force that any future MMO will forever be held to it’s standards. I know it wasn’t the first MMO out there. But it was the first one for million of people and it will be forever what MMOs are compared to until a truly better one comes out.
Just think, whenever you start a new MMO you’ll think “Man, I wish I could (x) like I could in WoW.” That ‘x” might be UI customization, dual talents specialization (or the equivalent system for a new game), or who knows what.
One of my real-life friends and I were able to play the Lord of the Rings Online during it’s beta.Â While the game was pretty, I quit playing the beta because of how WoW spoiled me.
I remember getting a quest to go to Brill. I was suppose to talk to Strider. Woo, main character tie-ins for the win! So I travelled to Brill, and I zoned in to the inn. The innkeeper tells me that Strider isn’t there, but I should go talk to Gandalf. He’s upstairs in his room. So I zone upstairs. And then I zone into Gandalf’s room. I get a quest and read it over for about 10 seconds. I then proceed to zone out of the room, zone downstairs, and then zone back out into Brill.
I then logged out and never logged back in. I became spoiled by the seamless world we have in Azeroth. Continents and instances are the extent of WoW’s loading screens and we’ve become so accustomed to it the thought of having to deal with them is almost offensive.
But I have high hopes for new MMOs, and the requirements I have for them are pretty widespread. I want PvP. I enjoy PvP a lot, and right now I am unfortunately not getting my PvP enjoyment in the current WoW scene. I spent a good share of my late high school/early college years playing Counter-Strike. Good ‘ol 1.3 and 1.6. And then came the release of Steam, back when it sucked before it became awesome. It was a PvP game in the purest sense in my opinion.
I also enjoy raiding. I like the challenge. As much fun as defeating a live opponent is, a PvE encounter with a team where no person has to truly lose is a good feeling.
But now I have my wife playing MMOs. And she is most definitely not into PvP. Even with her new Ret Paladin who is quickly tearing through the Loremaster achievements she keeps to herself mostly. She likes selling her gathered goods, keeping almost any character she has with a few thousand gold to blow on fun items.
That is, of course, after she funds her epic flying mount, which she has done on both her level 80 characters without any help from me. We ran instances with her, did group quests, etc. In BC she came to Karazhan. But mostly she does with her characters whatever she wants.
So what do I want in my next MMO? Something like this:
- PvP in some capacity. I prefer open-world where there is a struggle for survival. High hopes for the Old Republic.
- Some type of high-end content that requires great player coordination. I don’t care if it is small numbers like 5 or 6, or large like 25 or 40.
- Player/Guild/Clan housing. I like the idea of you being able to have a permanent presence in the world you occupy in some capacity. Guild Wars had a good idea, as did Galaxies until all the worlds became empty wastelands. Maybe Guild Wars 2 will deliver.
- Robust crafting system. I like how reliant Burning Sea was on player-created items and I also liked how in Galaxies the quality of materials was an option for creating things.
- Out-of-game integration. Blizzard really stepped it up in this department. There is a lot of information available out of game through them as third-party sources. Places like the Armory, Wowhead, WoW-Heroes, Be.imba, etc. It’s large shoes to fill.
- Solo content. The biggest complaint I heard about FFXI was everything was grouped. If you were alone, there was nothing to do. And that’s unacceptable. Sometimes you just want to chill. And for players like my wife, the ability to do your own thing is important.
- A mostly seamless world. Like I said, I have been spoiled by WoW. Having content available with minimal loading. And in that same note…
- Customizable UI. You’ll never know how much you love it till you don’t have it.
Am I looking to quit WoW? Not at all. It’s still the best MMO out there. And to me there is no reason to jump ship until there is a better ship to go to.
So what about you? Are there new MMOs coming out that interest you? And if so, what elements are most important to you? I am curious to know what people find most important. There is one thing I know. When the time comes for me to move to a new MMO, this site will follow me there and hopefully I will be able to provide a new crowd of folks the same kind of information for whatever the new game may be.
Thoughts, comments, opinions, or answers to the above questions, leave ‘em here in the comments.