You want the MMORPG? You can’t handle the MMORPG!
There is a popular quote from Oscar Wilde that goes: “There are only two tragedies, not getting what one wants and the other getting it.“MMORPG players are fickle guys. We don’t want games to play for ourselves like mobile games do, but when we have a game that prompts a quest with no direction, we can go into obsessive rage. Is there a utopian MMORPG world out there? If so, would we be able to handle it or would we even notice it when we played it?
MMORPG players participate in these massive online games for many different reasons. The social aspects of this particular genre are unmatched by any other real gaming experience. In other cases, the premise of a persistent, active online world appeals to many people, even if they prefer to play alone. Perhaps you thrive in working with other players and want to craft, harvest, or take pride in fighting alongside others to enhance their fun and your own. Maybe you’re one of those players who want an ever-expanding world full of random action that only other players can provide. Whatever the reason, chances are, when you finally found the game that gave you your first hit of this MMORPG drug, you were hooked. Aside from discovering a new gambling addiction, many gamers’ first MMORPG obsession was probably the benchmark by which all other games are measured.
A growing contradiction
I still marvel at players who have stayed in their same games for several years. I’m even more impressed with some of the games that are still out there after more than a decade. In reality, the ongoing virtual worlds that have lived for the past 10+ years are what we have always been promised, and very rarely has that promise been fulfilled. Many MMORPGs end long before they expected them to, never see a sequel, and survive at best as an emulated version created by fans with little hope of regaining the shine that made these games appealing in the first place.
If we look at the common features of many MMORPGs on the market, we see a lot of stagnation in expectations of this type of games. Players who have stuck with a game for this long probably know (or think they know) with some certainty what keeps them coming back. Still, to this day, we see such huge differences in player expectations. We want more of everything and we want it yesterday. We need our crafting expansively and our endgames forever. We need something that is challenging, but not so challenging that it’s inaccessible. We need grouping but please make it solo friendly. We want exciting exploration, but we want to play with thousands of others who have probably already explored it. What we want is inherently paradoxical, and while gamers have for decades berated developers for designs that are too similar or too different, and sketchy monetization decisions alongside thrashing player-friendly models, can we expect anyone to ever accommodate so many conflicting requests?
Is the Japanese manga trend a pipe dream?
There’s a very popular manga and anime genre called Isekai, in which a protagonist is transported to another world in order to survive and thrive, often with some sort of real-world danger. Many of these worlds are very clearly game worlds, often presented as MMORPGs. Some popular anime in this genre would be shows like Bofuri.Chopand Sword Art Online. It is not uncommon for the protagonists to stare at the reality and special features of these game worlds. You’ll often explore areas in ways never explored before, with NPCs flaunting unique personalities and realistic interactions coupled with lasting consequences. These shows are popular for many reasons, but a predominant feature is the sense of a unique, immersive adventure.
One has to wonder if this is really what we gamers want, and if so, has the entertainment industry inundated us with futuristic science and technological fiction that gives us unrealistic expectations? I don’t think we MMORPG players are unrealistic about what the genre is capable of today, but with the industry stagnating and developers relying heavily on single-player stories to give the impression of a unique heroic story, it’s getting to be a lot harder to believe that your character is actually immersed in these worlds. Most of the time, these story adventures are unsuitable for an MMORPG. Guild Wars 2 and FFXIV often don’t have much choice, and while the stories are compelling, your player character is replaceable with any other player in the game.
However, there is a reason for these streamlined experiences. If Isekai’s pipe dream is to be believed, the adventure you embark on and the players you meet are extremely important and require a great deal of playtime and nurturing of relationships to make your personal story compelling. Can players handle the time demands and determination it would take to encourage random player and NPC interactions if there were no matchmaking features, global chat, or quest markers to facilitate an encounter? Could you sacrifice quality of life features in favor of a more immersive world? There’s a very real possibility that gamers just can’t handle a game that strives to encourage mandatory long-term relationships.
Can you say no, Mo’ FOMO?
Getting back to time constraints as one of the main reasons why you might not be able to handle your utopian MMO. There was a time when MMORPGs required significant gameplay time to accomplish anything. Sure, we can get nostalgic about the months it would take ancestry Players to level up, but these days most MMORPGs will quickly take you to the end of the game in just a couple of weeks. It’s a sad affair considering how much we gamers love the dopamine reward of the leveling journey, but it’s far too common these days for developers to stress that the real game doesn’t begin until you’ve reached max level . This is a fallacy considering that most MMORPGs started with limited, buggy, and sometimes poorly designed endgames.
Somehow the developers needed a way to ensure players would return, and so the daily quest was born. Long gone are the days when developers vie for extensive leveling systems. Well, earning a series of daily rewards through smaller meaningless quests that only add up to a bunch of minutes of your day is often your reward that some studios muster to keep your attention. If you think about it, aren’t short daily quests a kind of necessary evil? If you look at the gaming genre as a whole, there is more competition and saturation across all genres than ever before. If you can commit to just one small 15- or 30-minute play session per day between games, if only for the meager rewards between expansions, isn’t that a win? Many players, myself included, find daily quests to be a bit of a hassle. Why isn’t general questing so much fun that you just want to do it every day?
Here we meet the next hurdle. Would your time playing in your utopian MMORPG world that you endlessly love completely lessen your wandering eye on new games on the horizon? If your new favorite game would make your ongoing search a tedious, time-consuming endeavor that rewards you exponentially for your time but keeps you from playing other games, would that be enough to keep you from game-hopping? Whether FromSoftware plans elden ring 2 or Blizzard launches a World of Starcraft MMORPG, it’s almost inevitable that in this age of FOMO (fear of missing out), we gamers will pack our chocobo pajamas and stay in the world of our new MMORPG for a while. Would you be able to complete a game that takes an exhausting chunk of your time to progress at the expense of other games? There’s a definite reason why so many games have shortened their leveling game and offer such short daily quests. Maybe players just can’t handle tedious leveling anymore.
What are these newfangled contraptions?
We asked you if you had the time for World’s Best MMORPG, and we asked you if you could handle the kind of world that encourages unique player and NPC experiences, but now we might be onto one encountered a major obstacle as to whether or not you could actually handle a huge, immersive, extraordinary MMORPG. Put simply, that obstacle is change. It’s no secret why the MMORPG genre has become something of a cookie cutter in recent years. The formula works, at least up to a point. Games that try to deviate often come from indie studios and rarely over-represent player numbers. We gamers don’t necessarily like to leave our comfort zones either. Every once in a while, though, something comes along and makes sweeping, genre-defining changes. We’re talking about them World of Warcraft’sthat Fortnite’sand the Pokemon Gos of the world.
Some would say that 2022 is the perfect storm of new genre-changing developments. We have VR MMORPGs both in release status and partially in development. We have an unprecedented number of indie MMORPGs in development. We even have a subset of young blockchain-based MMORPGs in development. Whether you love, hate, or are completely impartial with the types of games currently in development, there are signs that the genre is moving forward, for better or for worse. It’s always best to play it safe when you’re familiar with something you’re unfamiliar with, but it’s also a common thread for us gamers to turn down features we’re not sure about, and often celebrate their failure as long as it means we’re right.
But like everything else that has skyrocketed in popularity out of the blue, what we may have been waiting for is the next technological innovation, the next genre-defining evolution, or maybe the next perfect storm coincidence. Who here is brave enough to defend the new? Could you handle the next great immersive MMORPG if it required a head-mounted display and a suit with haptic feedback? Would you be able to remain vigilant if the next phase of a premiere online world was based entirely on user-generated content? Maybe players just can’t handle stepping too far out of their comfort zone.
Maybe you can handle the MMORPG
Being an MMORPG player has certainly had its ups and downs over the past several decades. Whether you’re a seasoned MMORPG player who’s been estranged from your favorite game, or you’re new to the genre and enjoying your first sustained online adventure, it’s not entirely inconceivable that something new and compelling could be on the horizon for yours Attract attention. We may not always know which path the MMORPG genre will take, and we may not always like where it’s going, but if you’ve struggled with the disastrous launch days, endless bugs, and endlessly changing meta builds, maybe – just maybe you’ll get more than just noticing and dealing with the next unprecedented trending MMORPG. You will appreciate it.
https://www.mmorpg.com/editorials/you-want-the-mmorpg-you-cant-handle-the-mmorpg-2000125060 You want the MMORPG? You can’t handle the MMORPG!