Monday, August 17, 2015

My MMO Mileage

Blaugust Day 17

Have you ever really wanted to like something, but just couldn't get into it? For me, that's MMORPGs. I like the idea of MMO games. I've tried to become interested in them quite a few times. They just never click with me for very long. The first time I was curious about MMORPGs was after I watched the anime .hack//Sign. In my mind it set the standard for massively multiplayer online role-playing games pretty high. Shows like The Guild made them even more appealing.

The first game of this type I ever played was the browser-based Runescape. A friend introduced me to it and we played for a while. He took a break and I stopped playing shortly after. He started playing again and may still be playing today. I found Flash games and they became my go-to online game.

More recently my interest in MMOs was reignited. I tried some of the more demanding PC games. I played Rift for a bit. I really liked the different monsters based on the elements. Coincidentally, my most vivid memory of Rift was when I played through a really bad tornado and hail storm. I played Rift with a friend until his trial ran out. I played until my subscription ran out, then uninstalled it.

As a Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic fan I was more interested in the upcoming Star Wars: The Old Republic anyway. I preordered it and when it chugged on certain levels, I upgraded my computer so the game would run better. I was loving all the different classes, the worlds, the characters. The story was more engaging than any MMORPG I had ever played. The crafting was fun and the job system didn't seem tedious. I was getting pretty far and I could see myself sticking with it. But then everyone I knew offline stopped playing. I happened to be in an area where I needed 5-7 players to go any farther. I kept having issues building a party and keeping a party. I was stuck. I stopped playing Star Wars: The Old Republic.

Not wanting to get burned again, I started playing free-to-play games on my own. I tried FlyFF because I love flying in games. I had a bit of fun with it, but trying to buy anything in the towns was awful. There were so many spambots that the game lagged up, sometimes for several minutes, when trying to do things the game required. I tried Aion, Lineage, Perfect World, Everquest 2, and a lot of lesser known games. They all had unique features but didn't hook me.

Don't get me wrong, all of these games are great in some way. Millions of people enjoy them. I figured "I must be playing them wrong." In the past I only ventured into MMO territory if a friend wanted me to play. Once they stopped, I played it by myself until I got bored. The thing I learned is these games are not meant to be played solo. It was especially difficult as I like to play support roles. After that I tried to play MMOs as multiplayer games, but I was never any good at making friends and keeping parties. People seem to want to do their own thing and I can empathize with that. Maybe this video game genre just isn't for me. Maybe I'm missing something. If you have any suggestions on how to get the most out of an MMORPG, I'd love to hear them. SWTOR will be waiting, and I want to go into Blade & Soul with a fresh perspective.
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