This is my personal opinion, I think some may relate.
There is a growing sentiment that MMORPG's are getting worse. However I dont believe this to be true. Games are getting better in every aspect, graphics, story, gameplay, animations etc.
So why cant we enjoy the mmo's like we used to? While nostalgia plays a role in how we compare our experiences, I believe there is a much bigger factor that ruins current mmorpg's for me. Its how we play games nowadays that fundamentally changed.
The sense of community is mostly gone. If we didnt know something, we would ask our friends, or even random players we came across while exploring. Many friendships were built this way. But thats not the case anymore. These days, my first instinct is to look up some tutorial online. There is no communication with other players. Dungeon Finder tools and Automatic Marketplaces dont help in this regard.. Everything is available, there is no more mysteries. And sure, I could avoid looking things up, but then I would feel like im wasting my time. This leads me to my next point.
We optimize the fun out of games. Most people dont want to feel like their time is being wasted doing sub optimal strategies. However, there is no feeling of accomplishment if all we do now is follow predetermined paths other players have created in online tutorials. And because of how available information is, you are pretty much expected to look things up and know everything before even arriving at a dungeon.
What I like the most about MMORPG's is the social aspect. Being lost with friends on our way to some dungeon. Dying a 100 times to some Boss because we didnt know what we were doing. Negociating with other players on some rare item. Dueling random players. Joining grind parties. Spending hours just chatting on main cities… While most of these activities are still possible today, the amount of players enganing in them is very low. The games feel empty. Most players are trying to get to max level as quickly as possible, and fun is not part of the equation.
And the games are somewhat to blame for the "convenience" mechanics they now have, like dungeon finders and auto marketplaces that further remove communication between players.
Many players join a dungeon with a button press and leave after its done without saying anything. Not even a "hi". Even when I ask them stuff. Im not trying to have a debate with every single player but damn, at least say something. When I ask someone about a quest im having trouble, they just say , look up XYZ on youtube. Where is the immersion?
To put things simply, If I can reach max level / best gear without even typing a single word in chat, something is very wrong. Cooperation should be a primary feature of every MMO.
If we want MMORPG's to be better, we have to be better. The sense of community must return if we want to have similar experiences to what we had 10+ years ago. Its not the game, its us.
Thank you for reading.
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