Ramblings of a Cynic

I don’t normally do personal commentary type posts, but as I’ve started to take this whole blogging thing a lot more seriously than before I figured what the hell.

Lately I’ve been expanding my blogging posts beyond my originally themed idea for this site. Instead of focusing entirely on MMO design and theorycrafting I’ve found myself drifting to other topics like single player games and even recently tabletop games. I suppose the only reason for this is the fact that I have yet to find a new MMO home.

Part of me wonders why this is the case and I’m hesitant to admit to it, but recent blog posts by the MMO-community have made me revisit certain topics. I began to wonder if my current status of not playing an MMO is due to how critical of late, I’ve become of the MMO genre as a whole. Perhaps my critical nature of finding flaws in every game has forced me out of a genre I once use to be borderline addicted to.

I have listed, on my about page, over two dozen MMO’s that I’ve played in any semblance. Its a long list, and one I use to wear as a badge of honor. Yet, in retrospect I would of preferred a list that contained only a handful of titles. Why? It means that my time within each of those worlds was lengthy, meaningful, and that I was content. Instead my list reads like an ADHD addled bunny, hopping from one title to the next. Never satisfied.

When I look back at my experiences in those titles there are absolutely memorable experiences I do not regret. Shadowbane, for all of its terribleness still holds a special place in my heart because the experiences it provided were truly memorable. World of Warcraft, despite the fact that Blizzard makes it and I’ve grown to hate what it now represents (homogenization/simplification of the genre), still was my home for 6 years. The experiences in every game that I’ve now grown apart from were memorable, even if the time spent in them was short.

So I guess this is the point where I admit that perhaps the MMO genre has grown so stale and uninventive that I’ve simply outgrown it.

Then I come to my senses and realize most of my criticism is dead on. That my moment of being MMO-less is actually a symptom of a greater problem with the genre. In every intellectual properties quest to secure the holy grail of subscription revenue (of which only Blizzard has truly been successful), we’ve lost more then we’ve gained.

Games like The Elder Scrolls Online and Wildstar, while both being perfectly acceptable and honestly made games, haven’t really pushed the gamer into new challenges. What new innovations have these titles thrust into the MMOG genre? Telegraphs? Really? Yet realistically World of Warcraft didn’t really innovate when it launched.

Perhaps my growing distaste of TESO and Wildstar is merely me begrudgingly accepting the fact that Themeparks are seemingly here to stay.

Am I wrong in being disappointed?

#cynic #mmo #reflection