Thursday, January 7, 2010

MMOs... the bad Part 4?

Of all the games I’ve talked about this week each also held features I did not like. I think it’s only fair to identify the short comings of each game if I’m going to praise their successes.

EverQuest only had one drawback in my opinion. It required far to large of a time commitment to do anything in the game. If I didn’t have 4 or more hours to commit to something it was typically useless to try. I’m sure if I played today I would find other issues but at the time I played EQ that was my only complaint. The only nice thing was most players understood the time commitment and when you joined a group you had a fairly good idea everyone else was going to be around for awhile.

World of Warcraft has a lot of little things I could complain about, but I don’t think that’s fair. Simply because I’m burnt out on a game doesn’t mean it’s a failed game feature. The few complaints I’ve had since my best days in WoW are that the quests always felt like chores. Collecting 10 of something or killing 8 of something isn’t a quest, it’s a chore for a lazy NPC. It wouldn’t be bad if they were rare but for 80 levels that is the primary type of quests you complete.

My other compliant is one I think a lot of MMOs are going to face and that’s gear inflation. The item quality in World of Warcraft is increasing so fast that it makes older gear trivial to fast. For comparison in EverQuest you could still use items that were 2 years old and they were considered good through a few expansions. My last complaint is that World of Warcraft has simply too much solo content. The primary method of leveling from 1-80 is by yourself. That doesn’t feel like a Massively Multiplayer Game to me.

Warhammer Online had a few issues too. I’m going to avoid the pitfalls of hardware issues because this is about game features, not technical difficulties. The major issue Warhammer Online had was the balance of power. WAR had two armies and one of them had to lose. As one army started to lose, more and more people would defect to other servers, causing a greater imbalance and thus losing even more.

WAR also suffered from class synergy balance. I know many games suffer from class balance but in a PvP game it is so much more pronounced. Certain classes, such as Bright Wizards, when stacked in a group could produce an unfair amount of damage. I’m sure it has been changed by now, or I hope so, but this was the case for 9 months of me playing the game. Certain group make ups synergized to well that they easily became over powered. My final complaint with WAR is just the lack of replay. You had to clear nearly all of the content in your given level range to advance. This left nothing new for you to play if you rerolled another race on the same faction.

Dark Age of Camelot only lacked one thing when I played it and that was a solid PvE experience. I never played through any expansions and I’ve heard horrid things about the PvE they did release but that was my only complaint while I played. When there was no one to fight we lacked many options at the higher levels for PvE.

Age of Conan lacked for lack of a better description the entire game past level 20. There just wasn’t enough mid to end level content to keep a lot of people entertained. Tortage had should us what could be done and the rest of the game just felt inadequate afterwards.

So there you have it. What I liked in a MMO and what I don’t like. Now let’s try and figure out what MMO would appeal to me the most.

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