Tenfold Hate

Player Versus 2007
December 21, 2007, 12:48 pm
Filed under: Gaming, MMORPGs

I’ve learned quite a bit about myself as a gamer this year. The lackluster releases of 2007 have forced my hand on this issue, causing me to do a lot more thinking about gaming, reading blogs, and listening to podcasts than actual gaming.

The steady evolution of MMORPGs prior to 2007 has spoiled me. I’ve come to expect a lot more from games than ever before. First off, I feel like I’m done with pure PvE. Until MMORPGs jazz up their AI a bit, I’m over it. I’m far from whacking my last mole so to speak, and I’m not a huge PvPer, but the proposed “meaningful” synthesis of PvE and PvP as promised in WAR or AoC may be the last salvation of the genre in my eyes.

From now on when I try out a game, I’m going to ask myself the question, “Would I be playing this if it were single player?” Don’t get me wrong. For me, the multiplayer aspect of MMOs is the genre’s greatest asset. A strong community can make a mediocre (or downright shitty) game palatable. But ideally, a strong community should serve to compliment a stellar game rather than serve as the primary draw to a largely uninspired, humdrum title.

Another New Year’s Resolution I’m making–and this’ll seem pretty stupid and obvious–is I’m going to play MMOs on my terms rather than the game’s terms. Put simply, my goals will be mine and not those set out by the demands of the game. Thank you, rep grinds for hammering that point home. Life is too short and my game time is even shorter.

Though I’m much more of a classic “explorer” and “socializer” than anything else, I do have a healthy OCD streak in me that makes me very goal-oriented. Not in a competitive way, but in a way where ultimately, I will gladly engage in monotonous, work-like chores to reach an objective laid out before me.

If MMOs have taught me one thing, it’s that if a title is more about reaching a destination then the fun in getting there (cough) (endgame), it probably isn’t worth it. If I’m not enjoying the long path to the top, chances are it’s going to be even less fun once I arrive.

2007 made me wonder if games have just stopped evolving at a substantial enough rate to meet the evolving tastes of the gamers who play them. At the very least, it’s proven the gap between the two has widened disappointingly. Here’s to hoping 2008 proves me wrong.

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