Every once in a while, I stumble upon posts like this one from MMO Champion in my Internet wanderings. Someone mentions that they’ve chosen not to raid for one reason or another or, like in this case, wants an alternative to raid gear as the only form of character progression, and people just get mean. I hate the argument that I shouldn’t be playing an MMORPG, since I don’t like grouping. Since MM stands for Massively Multiplayer, I should be relegated to the likes of Oblivion or maybe even Diablo. I would be remiss if I dared have fun in a game in a way that did not conform to others’ parameters.
In case you couldn’t tell, my eyes have rolled so far back into my head that I’m starting to get dizzy.
These games are popular for a reason. They’re entertaining, and they’re accessible to a large chunk of the gaming population. I’ve been playing MMOs since 2003, which is not exactly early for the genre, but it’s been a good chunk of my life. I’ve gotten to check out the gameplay of at least ten of these games and have always had a blast experiencing their similarities, differences, and quirks. For some games, the fluidity, intuitiveness, and fun of the combat pulls us in; for other games, it’s the areas and the places to explore that keeps us coming back for more. Never once have we been drawn in by the prospect of a massive boss battle or other raiding content.
Single-player and offline games have their place in our library, of course, but we like them for different reasons than MMOs. Honestly, we’ve always wished that we could just LAN these games, so that we could experience the content but not the population. They’re just not the same thing as a traditional offline game, even if you don’t group in them. There’s just so much more available content and replay value. Wouldn’t it be awesome if dungeons could scale based on how many people or how geared the group was? Oh, that would be exploitable by tons of people in various ways? You’re just adding to my list of reasons I don’t like dealing with the general population.
So, I guess I should just resign myself to some LAN Diablo fun. TG and I actually have played Diablo II together from time to time, and we were really excited for Diablo III to come out where we could play together in a more offline fashion. Now, though, we’ve heard all the ways they’re branching away from the old Diablo games, and the game has fallen off our radar entirely. I’m sure you’ve already heard plenty of whining about the real money auction house and always online parameters (Translation: No LAN play with my husband), so I won’t wail about that right now, but we’re also disappointed about the new level 60 level cap plus Inferno mode. It’s just not the game we’d hoped for at all anymore.
Right now we’re putting all our eggs in the basket that is Star Wars: The Old Republic, which is why you’ll be seeing tons of posts about it. They’re promising a bunch of stuff that really caters to the more “casual” player. They’re also promising lots of replay value, which we altoholics are all thankful for, I’m sure. I might not be able to LAN my Star Wars experience, but maybe I can alter my chat window enough so that it feels like I can.