A Thought About Online MMO’s

Lately something completely unrelated to writing has been on my mind.  Those of you who know me first hand already know that I am a nerd to the core.  When other girls were going to the mall, painting nails, or trying on clothes I was in my pajamas neck deep in monsters on Zelda, or playing a stealthy Bond in Golden Eye.  In 2005 I was introduced to a game that would change the way I thought about gaming altogether.  There was a guy I liked (who is now my husband), and every day we would eat with a bunch of our nerdy guy friends at the college cafeteria.  During which they would talk about a game I’d never heard of.  World of Warcraft.  I was hearing things that I couldn’t comprehend like stats, dots, crit chance, and raids.  I went out and got myself a copy JUST so I could understand them at lunch, and two weeks later I was skipping my classes to run instances instead.  I loved this game so much, and playing with my friends that I remember standing out in the freezing cold to get my copy of Burning Crusade.  There was literally ice on the ground.

Skip forward to now.  I haven’t played WOW in over two years since I got to the end of Cataclysm and was once again disappointed at the lack of things to do.  I had mastered fishing, finished archaeology, collected enough companion pets to get a deer pet, got enough mounts to get specialty ones.  After doing the same raids over and over, and the same dailies there was literally nothing to do except run around bored.  Once the pandas came out, (whether they were cannon or not) I was done.
From there I played Lord of the Rings online and was pleasantly surprised.  I liked the crafting, the HOUSING (omg the housing), and the customization of my character.  That game was killed in my opinion by free to play and all of the jerks showed up who were pissed that WOW had gone sour and wanted to take it out on this new game.  Once the free to play wave passed over, the game felt so dead.  I could go for miles and not see a soul!    I was so desperate to play a good game that I tried EverQuest 2, Star Trek, and even Dungeons & Dragons online.

Then came RIFT which was and ADD kids dream.  Nothing like running along, focusing on your quests and BAM!  Giant swirling vortex of terror in the sky opens up, and waves of monsters pour out of it.  You joined forces with brother and sister alike to close the rift, and your hard efforts were rewarded!  If you actually put forth effort, you got awesome loot.  But as fun as it was, nothing could suck me in like Star Wars the Old Republic.  Which I promptly left RIFT to play.

SWTOR is epic.  With movie like scenes in which your character speaks, and you decide how the storyline progresses this game is unparalleled in my opinion.  Even with Free to Play, it still seems to have a nice group of Star Wars loving players.  But it seems to be dying and this saddens me.  The last star wars game was good too, but eventually died a sad death that some are still in serious denial about.  There are things that the new game is lacking I think.  I want housing so bad!  I’m mad that RIFT got housing shortly after I committed to SWTOR.  I also want my ship to be customizable.  I want my friends to come on my ship, and I want to be able to collect things to display on it.  I want the amount of players as I played with when WOW was still kicking, and I want group questing like RIFT.  I want crafting like LOTRO.  Why can’t I just combine the best things from all of these games and make one wonderful, awesome game that I wouldn’t even worry about my job to play?!

WOW was good because it had deep lore from its Warcraft predecessors.  When you heard about certain NPCs, or read your quest test you KNEW where it came from if you played Warcraft.  The same with LOTRO, and SWTOR.  I feel like my character is part of this special history, and I wanted to find out what happened next.  RIFT was lacking in this because it didn’t seem to come from anywhere.  You learn the lore as you go, and sometimes I’m like “Okay…that’s nice…” but I’m not as interested as I am in lore that I already know.  Books I’ve read, or movies that I’ve seen.  I’ve often geeked out when running into Strider on LOTRO, or hearing that Malfurion Stormrage was going to wake up!  Or hiding in the water only feet away from Sylvanis while she plots the end of the world.
I feel so robbed lately.  There is literally no game that grabs me the way WOW did the first time I played it.  I sometimes want to put words to that song “Somebody that I Used to Know” and make it “Warcraft that I Used to Know”.  I love SWTOR, but I don’t come home and immediately jump on my computer to knock out several hours of gaming time before I pass out for the night.  I wish someone would make a Frankenstein game that has housing, lore, customization, beautiful graphics, crafting, and awesome talents that matter.  Somebody make it!  Until then I will remain wanting and sad.  End crazy rant.

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