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Reader Comments (68)

Posted: Apr 25th 2011 8:18AM (Unverified) said

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11 years later, I recapture my favorite MMO by playing on an emulator server that mimics (pretty closely) the classic Everquest experience. (www.project1999.com)

Posted: Apr 25th 2011 1:28PM Borick said

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I blame competitive gamers. The possibility of massively multiplayer worlds was abducted by zero-sum competitive gamers. Tigole, Furor and Aftathott didn't do this genre any favors.

'MMO' never meant organized gameplay for me, so how do I recapture the magic of MMOs?

Minecraft.

I never wanted my MMO to be a 'game', and I never felt any need to compete for rewards. That's stuff is just too linear and forced.

For many people 'massively multiplayer' has nothing to do with forced group dynamics, and a lot more to do with the possibility of meeting someone while doing our own thing in a world with few restrictions.

I want someone to capture the appeal of Minecraft and Farmville and EverQuest and make a massive multiplayer world out of it.
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Posted: Apr 25th 2011 8:18AM xBludx said

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I don't know if we can with the present model of mmorpgs.

They are too much alike and maybe we have become jaded since when we first discovered them.

I remember when I first got into WoW and it was my first MMO. I started playing one night at 10 PM. I told my wife I would be in bed in a little while and I freaked out to realize that before I new it the sun was rising and I couldn't see the screen well because of the glare.

Those days are not going to come back unless something radical happens in the MMO world.

Posted: Apr 25th 2011 8:19AM Paradigm68 said

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Easy: Make them wonderful again. Remove zoning, global instancing. Take the focus off of players interacting with NPC's and put it back on players interacting with players.

Posted: Apr 25th 2011 12:04PM Equillian said

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@Paradigm68 This. 100%. - Stop giving us this "mad new gaming experience". Yes, we tell you thats what we want, but what we REALLY want is an amazing world to explore with our friends. Everything else comes after that.
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Posted: Apr 25th 2011 11:55AM Saker said

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@Paradigm68
much to be said for these simple straight forward ideas.
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Posted: Apr 25th 2011 1:45PM StClair said

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@Paradigm68 :
But, but, how can we provide "triple A graphics" without postage-stamp sized zones and ten-player-max instances to control the server load???
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Posted: Apr 29th 2011 10:19AM (Unverified) said

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@Paradigm68
i disagree

if one wants to reproduce the success of pacman, he can't just build another pacman 30 years after the original, that simply doesnt work that way
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Posted: Apr 25th 2011 8:24AM Aenedor said

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First 'wonder' for me was EQ1. Then after some wandering I found SWG and joined my first guild :P. Then VG which was awesome to be a part at the start, lots of 'wonder' exploring and spamming guild forum with screenies in beta. Then a break, then Rift and yes... after playing from Beta1 I can say I found a new sense of wonder and adventure.

Posted: Apr 25th 2011 8:25AM Dracones said

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This is a very tricky subject, because I think we're our own worst enemies when it comes to this. We want games that are easy, but then complain when we're bored. We want instant "group me now and take me to the dungeon instantly" systems, but then dislike how anonymous it makes everyone feel.

And while EQ1 was your(and my) "first true love girlfriend/boyfriend" of a MMO, for others it would've been Warcraft or Dark Age, etc. It's that special combination of the right game at that perfect time and that sense of wonder of the entire new experience. That's something that may not be recoverable without an equally totally new experience.

So I don't know if it's just that the recent MMO's are less sandbox and more theme park, so they don't have that sense of wonder to them. Or if it's just you can't recapture that "first" experience when you were a wide eyed fledgling elf in awe of the city of Kelethin.

Posted: Apr 25th 2011 8:28AM xBludx said

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@Dracones

I'm thinking along these lines.

Well said.
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Posted: Apr 25th 2011 11:53AM Epiny said

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@Dracones

While I fully agree with what you said I can't help but think, and hope, that we can repeat that "first feeling" again. EverQuest was my first MMO but not my first video game, online game, or RPG. It still gave me that "ZOMG THIS IS AMAZING" feeling.

I can't help but think that another game in the future will amaze me like EQ did. I have no idea what it will be, it may not even be a MMO like what we see today, but it just makes sense that someone can repeat that feeling.

While I've only ever had that first feeling for a MMO with EQ I've had other "amazing" experiences with other games. A few games that moved me in a similiar way to EQ are Resident Evil 1 and Final Fantasy 3.
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Posted: Apr 25th 2011 12:32PM Dracones said

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@Epiny I'm sure there will be. I played EQ1 since beta and got into WoW either in beta or shortly after. Back when undead were really undead.

The early days of WoW had that magic for me. I remember the raids on Crossroads and Ashenvale were amazing fun and constant. The world seemed "open" and full of potential.

Compare that to today and the game feels like: rush to max, heroics to gear up, raid raid raid.

Most MMO's to me feel very formula. A part of that is how they're designed, but I also think a part of that is the player base itself. Online forums, wikis, etc pretty much lay out your path and spec before you even start to play. You can try to ignore it all, but then you're playing less optimally than everyone else.

I'd much prefer that the games were designed so it wasn't possible to define them that way.
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Posted: Apr 25th 2011 8:25AM Aenedor said

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@Paradigm68

That was / is VG :)

Posted: Apr 25th 2011 8:30AM Ehra said

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This is something I've been thinking about myself, and it's interesting that this topic shows up today when just yesterday I returned to my first MMO ever, Dark Age of Camelot, to see if I can find out what exactly makes it so special in my mind.

I think there are a few things that can go into the loss of that feeling. I think a big one for me these days is that, when I get into a MMO, I make it my main hobby and devour any information I can on it. I read the forums and look up any wikis on it to find things like what classes aren't so good, how I should "spec," and things new players should look out for. It definitely helps get me off to a good start from a power gaming point of view, but I'm thinking it also does a lot to get rid of some of that "magic" when you experience the game off the balls of your feet and make mistakes. Now that I think about it, some of my favorite memories of DAoC were being terrorized by Wee Wolves (extremely small low level enemies that blended in with the ground and foliage that aggro'd from an impressive distance), getting terrorized by giant eagles that would pick players up and either drop them to their deaths or drop them in their nest, getting terrorized by a giant that punts you halfway across the entire zone, and so on.

Another thing I'm thinking of trying is not using any maps in the next new MMO I play (can't wait for Guild Wars 2!). DAoC didn't have any when I first started and getting lost was a very real possibility for me at the time. When I was experiencing it it could get to be really annoying, but that sense of accomplishment when I could finally find my way around areas on my own is what sticks with me.

Of course, it could just be age and experience. I started DAoC when I was, I think, 12 or so, I didn't even know how to type at the time. The genre itself was new a the time and the concept of talking to people online was still new to me. The entire experience was new to me, and I think it's really going to be impossible to ever get back that same feeling DAoC gave me.

I don't think that's necessarily a bad thing though, it just leads to the same old nostalgia that everyone else feels :)

Posted: Apr 25th 2011 9:53AM (Unverified) said

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@Ehra I was just thinking about DaoC the other day, and loved how our guild didn't use any guides for the raids. (Maybe our RLs did and I never knew :P) Were there any at the time? All I know, is that I actually felt accomplishment back then, not just executing a better guild's gameplan.

But overall, I had more time for 8 hour raids in my 20s when I was single. Now I have a family and responsibilities so MMOs can't hold my time as well anymore.
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Posted: Apr 25th 2011 8:31AM Ryn said

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I'll get lit up for this, but until several friends at work got me into WOW 5 years ago, I hadn't ever played an MMO. Needless to say because I was new to the genre, I was blown away. Since then, I have become a little jaded and have had to temper my expectations. I really don't think I can recapture that feeling because I believe that me being a noob to the situation made it all the more exciting. After a couple years went by I began to understand why some people were telling me they wish they could have the same experience because they were not new to it. It really helped too that I fell into a great group. What an experience!

Posted: Apr 25th 2011 9:32AM Bartlebe said

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Call me a pessimist but I don't think it's ever really possible again.

I believe the "golden age" of MMO's that every remembers so fondly was a product of timing. The right products at the right time in your MMO history. I'd be willing to bet the the golden age for most people is the first MMO they played or enjoyed. This is no coincidence.

Once you've passed that point and see countless other games come and go, once you've become so used to the mechanics, worlds, systems and design of MMOs, seeing a new one doesn't hold the same wonder.

The Golden Age that vets fondly remember can no longer exist in today's MMO market. Its grown to big and there are to many people and to much money involved.

Posted: Apr 25th 2011 1:48PM StClair said

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@Bartlebe :
It's also a product of the players themselves:
"The Golden Age of Science Fiction is twelve." -- David Hartwell

You'll never be twelve again, never be brand-new to MMOs and/or gaming again. You can accept that, or keep chasing the mirage, the fountain of virtual youth.
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Posted: Apr 25th 2011 8:45AM paragonbliss said

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OH my god!

Orc centurions in oasis of marr..
memories

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