As I have made my way through the MMO landscape in my post WoW phase I have noticed something I find strange. It seems that a vast number of ex-WoW players are wandering from game to game in search of the next big thing. It’s as if we are all looking for something to fill a void. We are all looking for something we can call “our game.” For nearly six years WoW was “my game.” Family members would ask, “Where is Lance?” Someone would respond, “He is playing his game.”
Now there are legions of us, jumping from game to game, on the search for something. Honestly most of have no idea what it is though. I would liken it to a drug addict who is chasing after that first high. No matter how far and wide they search they can’t find anything that compares to that first one, that really, really good one. Sure some of the stuff they try might be close but it’s just not quite right. Sound familiar?
Watch general chat in any major MMO (even WoW) and eventually you will see someone compare their current drug game of choice to WoW. No matter how good the new game is, it is just not quite right. The new game might be close, but there is always something missing. The game play might be wrong, PVP is imbalanced, graphics not right, story lines suck. It goes on and on, all the while comparing it to WoW.
I often wondered if WoW is so great and it is our basis of comparison, why don’t we just play WoW? The answer is simple really; WoW no longer provides the excitement it once did. At first we played longer looking for the rush. Maybe if I level a Death Knight or maybe if I raid more I can find what I need. Soon enough that doesn’t work and just like the addict we start experimenting, looking for that next perfect high. The trick is we will never find it.
As players if we continue looking for the next WoW we will live with constant disappointment. If we can’t play SWTOR, GW2, Rift or any of the MMOs available and let them stand on their own merits we will continue the cycle. First we buy the game simply because it is not WoW. Then after we play for awhile we start dissecting it. This isn’t like WoW, that isn’t like WoW. Right after that we become unhappy and we start the process all over again.
MMO developers are just as bad as we are. I am going to let them in on a little secret; there may never be another MMO as successful as the WoW franchise. This does not mean you can’t be successful. The success of your MMO should not be based on how your numbers stack up to Blizzard/Activision. No, your success should be based on whether or your sales/subscription revenue exceeds you’re your costs. Are you profiting? Can you maintain those profits? If so you are a success. Now keep your players busy and you have a viable business.
I have found I am a lot happier now since I have freed myself from the cycle. My eyes were opened with Rift. I wasn’t disappointed with Rift because it wasn’t WoW. I left Rift because it did not support the type of game play I was looking for. As a player I made a list of what I wanted from the game and then found the game that fit the list. SWTOR is that match for me.
SWTOR allows me to see the content in a small group which means no guild drama. The game also allows me to participate in PVP that is somewhat balanced at low level. The “bolster” feature does a really good job of allowing the average player to participate and enjoy PVP. Even a level 10 player with skill can make a huge difference while wearing quest greens. At max level the normal “PVP gear imbalanced” is easily overcome with a mild time investment. At that point it becomes skill versus skill and not skill versus gear.
I understand that you maybe looking for something entirely different from your MMO. My question to you is, “Do you know what you want?” Or are you still chasing the dragon? It may be a digital dragon but are you still chasing it? If you do know what you want, go out and find it. Those of you that don’t, please do me a favor and stop bitching about it in general chat.