From as early as Ultima Online or the muds that came before it, the dream was to have one contiguous world for players to explore and be a part of.
I can't think of a single game in 2019 that fits this idea. A true MMO. Even WoW classic is effectively instancing the world with "layering"..
So, where can I find a contiguous, massively multiplayer experience? Not a solo experience. Not instanced. A living breathing economy, a world to exist in. I've been chasing this since I first experienced MMOs with RuneScape and WoW in 2004.
Since I first saw the .hack//sign anime, I was enamoured with the idea of what an MMO could be. Even now, anime like Sword Art Online, Goblin Slayer or Overlord are better depictions of an MMO than any existing game that I have tried.
Does it exist? Am I just missing the shining diamond in the pile of dirt that is this whole genre? Sadly, I think old-school RuneScape is still the closest I have found and it's a far cry from my vision of what an MMO should be.
Possibly my favorite example of how an MMO world should behave is
Richard Garriot's virtual ecology in Ultima Online. It's 20+ years later and there's no one trying to simulate worlds like this?
Are players really that engaged with solo leveling their 50th toon through yet another cookiecutter "MMO", grinding through the same basic mobs and fetch quests WoW already executed on in 2004? Just to get max level and do instanced raids?
Everywhere I look, it seems people are burnt out on the modern MMO experience, yet where is the alternative? Where is my simulated massively multiplayer world? Emergent gameplay?
My favorite memories of WoW weren't the quests or dungeons or battlegrounds. It was getting my friend to polymorph me through a wall so I could see Old Ironforge, zone hopping into the unfinished Mt Hyjal, the corrupted blood plague, Kazzak being lured into stormwind, killing lowbies as the lvl 60's banded together to bring him down, literally defending stormwind. None of this stuff was intended, it was emergent from the limited systems blizzard created, and it was legendary. Where is the game that enables, even encourages this type of gameplay?
I've been pointed toward BDO, Tera, ArchAge, GW2, Neverwinter, whatever, it doesn't matter. None of these are fundamentally that different than what WoW already did 15 years ago.
Why don't MMOs exist anymore?
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