Since 2009-ish I’ve been following MMO news sites and reading blogs. I find the genre of MMORPGs a fascinating one, I play many different games and enjoy reading about others that I’m not necessarily tempted to play.
I recently found a spreadsheet I had produced ranking my then selection of MMOs – this dates back to late 2009. It was the time I was first getting a bit bored with World of Warcraft and looking for a potential second game to play.
Of course this is a very subjective view of these games, I wouldn’t even necessarily agree with the scores if I thought about my gaming priorities today. But I did find it interesting as a thought experiment, how much thought do people give when choosing MMOs and what are the important criteria? The free-to-play and buy-to-play releases since have flooded the market with new games, and there have been some notable subscription games launched on top of that. So how best to decide what to play?
Gaming costs time and money, with MMOs it’s often a forward investment. Many of these games have most of the gameplay locked away at the level cap, before then you quest and level up, but your character hasn’t reached his/her full potential and the majority of the playerbase will be mostly invisible to you. So choosing MMOs on a whim as you might console games can result in considerable time syncs leading to a disappointing ‘end game’ where all the real action takes place. I won’t get into a discussion on the merits of this fundamental design (flaw), the genre seems pretty happy with it. What I’m interested in considering here is simply the metrics for judging MMOs across my own personal, naturally subjective criteria.
The original scoresheet I made was a bit overly complex, I will simplify this into series of posts over the coming weeks to examine my take on each issue across the games I’ve been playing – not necessarily to compare them per se, but to see how each issue affects these games.
- Immersive world and story
- Varied PVE activities
- Character customisation
- Group play (i.e. Friends and Family Factor)
I’ll note here at the start that I’ll not be commenting on PVP as it doesn’t interest me. The final post in the series has an evaluation using the scorecard system to rate the MMOs I play.