Wednesday, October 2, 2019

I'm tired of the garbage state of the MMORPG industry being blamed on my nostalgia

I don't play MMOs much these days. Most recent was a couple of days in WoW classic and a week or two in FFXIV before that. I read the posts on this board and I swear I could go back in time ten years and the posts would look exactly the same. I'm not going to bother ranting about why MMOs are shit or what they need. I've had that conversation. You've had that conversation. We've been having that conversation for the last fifteen years.

I'm here to talk about the blame.

With modest frequency I'll hear this idea that it's not the industry that's changed, it's me. I'm just, these old bones you see. I'm cranky and grumpy and my old hip isn't what it used to be and by gosh maybe the true misery was inside me all along and I just need learn to love again. But maybe it's not possible, because well, those youthful days you see. My time has clearly passed and I need to move on for the next generation of no Fuck You

I'm 32 years old. I am not short on free time or money. I've sunk hours and hours into various games. Dota, Star Wars: The old Republic, Factorio, Breath of the Wild, Terraria, Space Station 13, recently Streets of Rogue and Heat Signature, God even Graveyard Keeper held my attention and that was a miserable insufferable mess. Isn't it interesting how the only kind of game that fails to hold my attention also just happens to be coming out of the industry that's been regurgitating the same shit for the last 15 years. It really makes you think. It really gets those fucking almonds going doesn't it.

And you know, even MMOs haven't been a complete wash. I started complaining about the state of the industry back in like 2005 when I noticed every game coming out of Korea was the same game (before WoW hit one million and every game coming out of every country became the same game), but since then, I've brushed with games that, even if I don't like very much, I can at least respect.

We're all familiar with Eve's reputation as being a persistent deviant in the face of WoW clones. I hear Old-School Runescape is going strong, though frankly I've never played it myself. I really enjoyed Wakfu for its combat, crafting, and political systems, if not for the monotonous late-game grind. Wurm I barely touched but I can respect it for trying to be a genuine sandbox, if not for its monetization model. Haven and Hearth had me for quite a while several years ago, but the meta got a little obnoxious. But you know what? At least those games tried. At least there was a fucking attempt at something novel and interesting. If I could rip every dollar I've ever given to Blizzard out of their accounts and throw it at some of those indie devs I'd do it in a heartbeat.

FFXIV was a fantastic example of how nothing has changed. This is a game I've seen get a lot of praise. But I'd already played it. I played it fifteen years ago. I know these systems. I know that this plotline has no mechanical consequence. I know these quests. Oh, a vaguely interesting crafting system. Okay, credit. I know these large impressive looking cities that are little more than some pretty set dressing for a bunch of static colliders.

There's no depth. There's no involvement. There's nothing original, or novel, or appealing. What are these people even selling anymore? Besides microtransactions, I mean.

But, again, we've had these discussions. What I'm sick of is having it blamed on me.

This is not my problem. This is not my inability to have fun. This is not the winds of time crushing my spirit. This is creative bankruptcy. This is incompetence. And you know, maybe I shouldn't even blame the developers who are probably just pinned down by risk-fearing publishers. But this is not me. I am not the problem with the industry.

I just wish I knew how to become the fucking solution.

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