22 july 2012
The more and more I'm thinking of it, the more I'm missing that old Mass Multi-User part in the MMORPG genre that I fell in love with back in 2005 when I started with Lineage II. Back in those days, MMORPG's were all about cooperation and party-play with some content that players could solo, in case they didn't find a party at all.
But the last 4 years, new MMORPG's released are more and more about solo-play with an addition of instanced dungeons where you could play with others. This made me wonder why I should buy a game like that, and pay a monthly subscription as well hoping the developers would release new content over time.
I won't start about Lord of the Rings online anymore, which had a rather good party-capable and now is a solo-RPG up to 10 levels below maximum...
But looking at newly released MMORPG's (DC Universe online, and the even more recent Star Wars: The Old Republic, just to name 2), you see that solo-ism becomes more and more the standard, with some instances dungeons and a dungeon finder to be able to play the lower level instanced dungeons. These new 'MMORPGs' are nothing more than solo-RPG games which use the persistent world (which is needed to be qualified as an MMORPG) as a huge HUB for the instanced dungeons.
World of Warcraft has become master with this concept (not mentioning Guild Wars, since ArenaNet never meant GW to be a MMORPG, but the players bombarded it as one ). You can play World of Warcraft up to maximum level fully solo, and when you're bored to play solo, just drop into one of the dungeon finders, wait a couple of minutes (mostly 5 to 10) and you're in a random party, will be teleported from where you are all the way across the world to the instanced dungeon (no more walking to the actual dungeon is required).
And guilds, are you kidding me? Okay, you have a 'steady group' of players to pick from to do your instanced dungeons from the persistent world HUB, but I don't know a lot of guilds that work close together to actually together to achieve (common) goals in the game, other than 'we are an end-game raiding guild'.
Heck, even my own Lord of the Rings online kinship is not really working together in a regular manner. We have a 'raiding list' using points and the more you raid, the more 'rights' you build up for certain drops. This means you have to work your ass off, play the same instance over and over again to build up enough points to get a certain item.
Though this system can be justified as 'fair' because with the guild you can achieve some good memories while you build up 'points' for the items you want, when you go in a random party, you mostly have a better chance to get the item from the random drop-list then when building up the points with the guild...
As you know, personally I'm somewhere in the middle of the Mass Multi-user part of the MMORPG. Having played Lineage II for years, I know what it is to actually play an MMORPG and co-operate with a lot of players to achieve goals. I think I've shown that more than once here on the blog. Though at times, playing a bit solo is fin as well. With Lineage II no longer being my main MMORPG (I still hate the Goddess of Destruction expansion, and I really think it DID destroy Lineage II as it was), I am looking for some new real MMORPG to play. Too bad, very few MMORPG's released these days are worth my time and effort to even look at them for the above mentioned reasons.
Right now I think there's only one MMORPG that fits my needs and that is Vanguard: Saga of Heroes. But as said before, this MMORPG has the problem of having a too low player-base (though it is growing in the wake of Free2Play). I also fear for the upcoming Free2Play transition, where $O€ might be tempted to remove a lot of the old MMORPG aspects from Vanguard in favor of attracting new players...
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