I can’t MMO anymore, these days mmos are hyper gamified lowest denominator grindfests meant to draw and keep as many people as possible. Believe me, I’ve tried. I was trying to figure out why I don’t enjoy them like I did a long time ago and it’s not because of nostalgia I assure you. Mechanics have gotten better, story has gotten better, gear and character progression has, arguably, gotten better. But they all feel the same and the amount of real entertainment for the amount of time put in is so ridiculously low, I often don’t even realize why I’m still playing, WHILE I’m playing. This goes for all MMOs, not just the one I’m currently in, which is actually better than most others in most ways. So why don’t I care like I did when I first started playing them?
They don’t feel like worlds for escape anymore, they feel like work. I log in and work for arbitrary digital rewards rather than experiences I’ll remember for years. Granted I haven’t spent a bunch of time in higher levels on games in recent years, but if there are experiences that I’m missing out because I don’t have the commitment or interest to slog through 50 hours of kill/collect/fetch/deliver/escort things and people that mean nothing to me (or pay a bunch of extra money), then that’s a testament to the flawed priorities in designing these game worlds. All of those basic types of quests were created years ago during the time I enjoyed mmos, so why do I not care about them now?
Its the world. The worlds are crafted so the assets can be used as much as possible, so that there is a ramping up from level 1 to end game in terms of scale and grandiose. Players aren’t introduced to anything massive or awe inspiring at first, just villages and towns to get petty quests and craft stick weapons and lost boys armor.
Unfortunately, ESO does so many things well as far as quality of life, story, and co-op gameplay. But fails miserably where, I believe, it counts the most. I’m not drawn to this world. I’m not afraid of this world. There is no real reason to avoid anything so nothing in the world is more or less nefarious. I know it sounds like scaling or “leveling to endgame/realgame material” is the culprit but the truth is it’s just a symptom of a horrible design philosophy: get people here, keep them here as long as possible. Though the character/building/foliage assets are well made, there’s nothing in the world that is interesting to look at or attempt to visit. Waypoints make traveling bearable because you don’t have to run past loads of uninteresting terrain (I think this is the biggest reason many people would rather have a single player Elder Scrolls 6 than an online game). Even the Dolmen experiences could be something spectacular but miss the mark because of the scaling and brevity of them.
I’m not saying all this to discourage people from playing games they enjoy, I just thought I’d start a discussion on what you all think some of the issues are with MMOs and whether or not one can be made for today’s audience (which is mostly spoiled by quality of life features) that is both highly playable for the ‘gamer’ and the ‘experiencer’.
This video is what got me thinking about it, so you can blame it for this downer of a post
Also, this bugs me. I think the term quest has come to mean any task given to you by someone else. If I walked up to you and said “I am going on a quest, it will be a long and fraught with adventure” “What is it?” “I’ve got to talk to 5 guards, should take 2 minutes or so, wanna come?” I don’t think you’d take it seriously: