Seeing as I'm being a bit self-indulgent with this week's Ask Massively opener -- which happens about half of the time, I know -- you might not be surprised that this week's question is a little more indulgent, discussing what's expected of MMOs. If you've got a question you'd like to see answered in a future installment of the column, leave it in the comments below or mail it to firstname.lastname@example.org. Questions may be edited slightly for clarity and/or brevity.
serious.table asked: When you first started playing MMOs, what were you originally expecting, and is there an MMO today that still meets that view?
Usually, these are the sorts of questions that I throw to the team as a whole, but since this is the week of E3, most of us are too busy dreaming of other things to be terribly attentive. So I'll just field this one.Malcos_darksand said: I loved [capybaras] ever since I read Bill Peet's Capyboppy when I was little.
For most people, what you expect out of future games is shaped by what you get out of your first one. If you started off in Ultima Online, you probably have gone on expecting another game to be like Ultima Online with better mechanics and graphics. By contrast, if your first game was Dark Age of Camelot, you expect future games to be more like Dark Age of Camelot. And so on down the line, with people who are just getting started in the genre expecting future games to be more like TERA or Aion or Star Trek Online or whatever.
This does, for better or worse, shape some of what you think will be important in game mechanics. I started playing MMOs with Final Fantasy XI, and as a result, I want games to give me a lot of progression with each individual character. I want housing, but I don't consider it necessary that it be open-world. I want story and directed content, but I want side projects as well. I was frustrated by the lack of solo play available in the game, so that's important to me. And so on.
But beyond all that? I know I was expecting to have a world online where I could find others, experience new things, and wind up investing myself. And there are games like that all over. So that's still pretty awesome.
Oh, good, someone else read that book as a child. Bill Peet was one of my favorite people in the world when I was young.Looking for some advice on which class is best for soloing in Aion? Not sure who this Raph Koster fellow is? Curious about the release date of NCsoft's newest MMO? You've come to the right place! No one knows MMOs like we do. If there's anything you'd like to know about the MMO genre or the site itself, Ask Massively is here to help every Thursday afternoon. Just ask!