I always find it incredibly funny how sometimes things magically line up to fit together. For example, I’ve been talking about how I find that social interaction in MMOs are the one thing that makes playing them truly worth it and then I find the last few posts by Gevlon talking about how “success” in WoW is attained by being asocial.
What is exactly success in MMOs? What exactly makes you say you succeeded in it? Defeating a boss is certainly a success and completing a quest is also a success. But what’s success in the larger sense? For a lot of people and I’m counting Gevlon amongst them its completing the hardest/more advanced content the game has to offer. If you can finish every hardmode in WoW then you surely have succeeded at it no?
Of course you did! But may I ask a question?
Why the hell did you pick WoW then when there’s so many other options out there with better designed challenges and that don’t cost you 15$ a month? When you look at game design, MMOs are rather badly designed games, relics of the 90s… try out a few other games out there and you’ll find out that there’s way better options out there.
I’ll admit that not everyone defines success the same way and that for some being successful might be about making money in-game or a lot of other things. Still, with one exception I believe that they are better options than MMOS.
The better games
So what makes you tick in MMOs? Tell me and I’ll give you another game that does it better:
-Challenge: Try out Demon’s Soul for the PS3 or Starcraft 2 multiplayer. Will make Arthas hardmode look like a toddler.
-Graphics: About every game out there on the PS3 or Xbox 360.
-Strategy: Civilisation 4, Hearts of Iron 3
-Classic Rpg: Fallout 3, Elder Scroll serie, Bioware games
-Exploration: Castlevania and Metroid series.
-Puzzle: Monkey Island serie or any old Sierra adventure game
-Epic storyline: Dragon Age, Mass Effect, Final Fantasy Serie
This brings back the question. If what you are interested in is challenge for example, why do you play a MMO when there’s better options out there where you will be able to focus on the challenge and won’t have to deal with social issues for example.
The one thing
There is one thing that I find MMOs to do better and that is the social interactions that they offer. No other type of game provide this well when it comes to putting people together and making them interact with one another to overcome the challenges of the game.
What makes it interesting is not the challenge itself but rather overcoming it with a group of people your having fun playing it. If you’d rather do it with robots then why not get a single player game where you will be able to play at your own pace.
I do not question that Gevlon tips of being asocial for success are working. I am convinced that they do. But is it worth it? What he’s doing amounts to playing a single player game. In his examples his guildies becomes highly intelligent bots but they remain bots nonetheless.
In the end if you’re not playing for the social interaction why are you playing a MMO. I can think of one reason that I haven’t covered that I’m pretty sure you tought of too but that would bring us back to ape behavior and we’re above that right?