Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Why play another fantasy MMORPG?

I've read an interesting post a Download Only Gamer about MMOs offering other forms of reward than just loot: escapism, relaxation, achievement, social contacts, and a sense of belonging. And that reminded me of a different thought I had recently: If the fantasy MMORPG you are currently playing offers you all that, why would you want to quit and play a different fantasy MMORPG instead?

Whether you are playing World of Warcraft, Warhammer Online, Lord of the Rings Online, Age of Conan, an Everquest, or any other major fantasy MMORPG, you have probably found a home by now. What could possibly make you change?

One major problem here is that even with all the different details and features and different focus, fantasy MMORPGs are all very similar to each other in gameplay. In all of the games I mentioned there are quests giving xp and levels, character classes, divided into tanks, healers, and damage dealer archetypes, spells and combat abilities triggered by pressing hotkeys, and so on. Yes, there are big differences between games, but the basic gameplay is often surprisingly similar. So if you changed from one game to another, you could play a different character class, do different quests to kill different monsters, learn different crafting skills, and at the end nothing fundamental has changed. You need the same set of skills, the same brain cells, to play any of these games.

So why not just stick to one game, and for variety try something completely different? I'd rather play a Puzzle Pirates or A Tale in the Desert or other non-fantasy MMORPG, or even some single-player games, instead of doing the same activity in different games. How about you?

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