Tenfold Hate

Drudging the MMO Tar Pits
November 26, 2007, 12:53 pm
Filed under: Gaming, MMORPGs

Every move the gaming industry makes seems to signify another nail driven in the coffin of the hardcore gamer. Games are constantly accused of throwing in easy button mode or being simplified to appeal to the silent majority: people who can’t—or won’t—spend 4+ hours a night and 5+ days a week in game.

One thing that is seldom discussed, however, is the fact that “hardcore” play as it is largely defined is based on a blueprint that is just shy of a decade old. Let’s face it—that’s ancient when we’re talking about the lifespan of your average game. I don’t believe we’ve reached a point in MMO history where players want everything handed to them. Challenges and difficulty simply need to be rethought and presented in a way other than time sinks.

Hardcore players are not dinosaurs because they want difficulty and challenge in their gaming. They only become dinosaurs when they continue to define challenge and difficulty in the most narrow of ways—through archaic, clunky old game systems and the rule sets of yesteryear.

In order for the genre to continue to evolve, hardcore and casual play must no longer be defined by the amount of time a player has to sink into a game. Game developers need to up the ante and reevaluate HOW they can make games challenging and rewarding without falling back on the moth-eaten blueprints collecting dust in the attic.

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