Our online adventures have come to a close, and we thought it would be a good time to reflect upon our experiences, and gather our thoughts on the MMO genre as a whole. We got a bottle of good whiskey and perched our laptop on the windowsill (see here for the reason for this). The resulting conversation covered considerable ground, touching on our plans for the PCG Showdown, our love of Max Payne, gaming and capitalism, Yu Gi Oh Abridged (“Fucking birds!”) and our hatred of Halo. For your benefit we’ve only included the relevant bits. For context’s sake the links to our previous experiences are below.
For the discussion itself, venture beneath the cut, if you dare…
Dante: Let’s get it out there, what did we think about MMO’s beforehand?
Ludo: Grinding, endless existential grinding.
Dante: Having no goal to move towards beyond being bigger and more badass.
Ludo: So where’s the appeal? It’s got to be about the teamwork, rolling with a posse, dominating your foes. Being in a group, being in a guild.
Dante: We didn’t get to do that much.
Ludo: But when we did it was awesome, in CIty of Heroes, with that guy.
Dante: -blue demon guy.
Ludo: With the horns.
Dante: Yeah that was fun.
Ludo: But why was City of Heroes more fun? It’s basically the same as WoW, press 1, 2, 3. Rinse and repeat.
Dante: For a start, it’s a lot faster than WoW. You don’t level faster, but fights are faster, your powers recharge faster and your powers look cool.
Ludo: That is important actaully, I liked smiting people.
Dante: Also, you’re actually saving people from the bad guys. Every NPC in that game was doing something.
There are guys sacrificing citizens to dark gods on hidden rooftops and stuff.
Ludo: Not just local wildlife wondering aimlessly about the place. It’s less obviously a game in that respect.
Dante: More immersion.
Ludo: I mean, not MUCH more. But something at least. Also I think the quality of the character creation is important in the early game, it really ties you to your character, before you’ve even killed anything.
Dante: The starting models in WoW are horribly generic, but you make them look good with the loot you grab, that’s the temptation.
Ludo: But that’s just making the player overcome the unimaginative design that’s imposed on them in the first place.
Dante: Yeah there was nothing appealing about the starting area, or the character design.
Ludo: We might’ve just picked a bad starting area.
Dante: That’s the thing though, we put 6 or 7 hours into it. It doesn’t matter what rumoured treasures lie past level 70 or whatever. If the first 6 hours can’t tempt you then the it has failed.
Ludo: Harsh, but true.
Dante: This has been WoW vs. City of Heroes so far.
Ludo: Yeah, that’s because Eve is WHACK.
Dante: You’d better explain what you mean by that.
Ludo: I mean, it’s crazy.
Dante: True. It’s like the devs have never played a game before, and have constructed this immesnse work of art, but have made a load of elementary errors. Error number one being it’s really confusing all the time.
Ludo: It feels intentional.
Dante: It is like Elite in many ways.
Ludo: Without the docking … fucking docking.
Dante: That game has its own economy, vast guilds, full armies battling constantly.
Ludo: Yeah, it sounds great. But you get in there and it’s just loads of menus. And while it’s technically an MMO, a consistent world of which most of the players are human, it just doesn’t work like the others.
Dante: It’s an MMO, it’s just not an RPG.
Dante: You’re only limited by money and time. You could sit mining forever and become the most poweful guy in the game eventually.
Ludo: But you’d be mining then wouldn’t you. You don’t want to do that. it’s the most boring thing in the world. Why would I spend my spare time doing that?
Dante: Some people like it, but then some people like World of Warcraft.
Ludo: The odd thing is that I’d be more likely to put money and time into Eve than anything else.
Dante: Yeah I think it’s because there will never be an Eve 2.
Ludo: Eve 2: The Evening.
Dante: I’ll let that slide. They’ll just keep revamping the engine, it could just go on forever. You’ll always have time to become strong in Eve. In comparison City of Heroes is on the way out.
Ludo: And it feels to me as though people are waiting for something to replace WoW. I think that’s why Conan sold so well initially.
Dante: I don’t know what the WoW killer will be. It could be WAR (Warhammer: Age of Reckoning).
Ludo: I’m excited about it actually, as a Warhammer fan, it presses all the right buttons.
Dante: There’s going to be guild at Rock Paper Shotgun, and PC Gamer guild going. There’s communities in place already – communities I’d be interested in.
Ludo: Getting in on the ground floor, with a load of like minded people to chat with and quest with. Surely that’s what the MMO is really all about. That stuff could be awesome.
Dante: Though we’ve put some 20 and a bit hours into MMOs, it still feels like we’ve only really dipped our toes in. At some point we’re going to have to get properly involved.
Ludo: WAR could be the one. Meanwhile: anything else you’re looking forward to?
Dante: Star Trek Online.
Ludo: *Shakes head slowly*
Dante: Yeah, you’re right. Champions Online then.
Ludo. Word. Champions Online could be the shit.
Dante: Shall we wrap his up?
Ludo: Yeah, we’ve run out of whiskey, and we still have to beat God of War 2 on hard mode.
Dante: Okay, let’s do it.
Man vs Horse out.