Recent news about proposed future developments for mmorpg’s and online games (mmo-likes) that I play with some regularity have brought me back out of hiatus. These show games moving in opposite directions on the simple-complex axis of rpg mechanics. This matters to me, because I’m more likely to enjoy playing a character if there’s some breadth and depth to the choices I can make in customising his or her abilites and gear. The one mmorpg that I’ve played consistently for some time now has been Everquest 2, a game that hasn’t shied away from such complexity.
I’ve spent a larger share of my gaming time on tabletop RPGs (D&D and Starfinder) over the last couple of months, so the relative lack of choice for character customisation in mmorpgs is on my mind. Taking away options even more isn’t going to endear a game to me, personally. Notably World of Warcraft’s devs have stated recently that they may have gone too far with this simplification of character classes. I’d love WoW to re-introduce some more class iconic or generic abilities so that the specs feel less pidgeon-holed and narrowly defined. Plus my shaman wants his magma totem and water-breathing spells back, pretty please…
In this context, I read with some sadness the recent post by Shintar on Neverwinter Thoughts that Neverwinter has simplified character builds across the board. There are plenty of complaint threads on Reddit for the state of Module 16, at least at first glance. I still would like to look at the new content (Undermountain), although that may mean re-learning classes from scratch and possibly finishing off leveling to the (old) cap beforehand.
Upcoming sweeping changes to itemisation in Destiny 2, where the Shadowkeep expansion this Autumn will introduce “Armor 2.0”, look more positive. I’ve not seen much detail, but talk of improved depth to character builds and more control over them sounds a step in the right direction.