Amazing things have happened in MMO advancement. Graphics, systems, play styles, game modes, etc. etc. etc. We have come a long, long way from multiple week grinds to get a level and losing all of your items (and even levels) upon death. Most of us, while we may look fondly back on the memories of those times, never, ever ever want to go back there again.
It was good when it was good. It was all we knew.
It forced us to need each other.
Not just EQ, with it’s punishing death penalties and XP bars that wouldn’t move for days.
I’m talking DAOC as well. In that game if you didn’t have players you didn’t really do anything. And when you were doing anything you had to always be on your toes in case there were other players.
Both had their own special magic because of the other player component. Both of those games made ties that have lasted the test of time, wow clones, and free-to-play bonanzas. Is anyone making them now?
GW2 – beautiful game. I leveled to 40 on it without being in a group, and barely working alongside other players. Granted, I went into that game solo, but wow – trying to talk to people in that game left blank stares and worse. After 40 levels of solo content, I just stopped logging in.
Even WoW – in a guild there, but WoW is so antisocial now. Log in, solo dailies, do a 5-man heroic, logout – all without typing a word. There are people there, but they might as well be NPC’s. It’s like I’m dancing with myse-elf. And sadly, I’m in a guild. What happened to epic guild chat? Green /gu flying up and down the screen? Too many buttons, and no downtime happened.
The only conversation I have had with anyone is my foray back into Blood Bowl. Matchmaker online puts you 1v1 and there are 2:00 min turns – turn based. So you have 2 minutes to chat to your opponent while he is making his moves, and he chats back while you are making your moves.
Downtime = Chat. Chat = connecting. Connecting = sense of belonging/camaraderie. Which all equals paying the monthly fee, continuing to play, contributing to the community, etc.
Maybe I am doing it wrong, but what I wouldn’t give for some downtime.