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The State of the MMORPG Genre

Gamingtodaynews1f - The State of the MMORPG Genre

This is a post taken from another thread, someone thought it would be worth while to post it here.

I don't believe the genre didn't stop working. I think we stopped making real MMORPGs. The moment we stopped calling them MMORPGs and just "MMOs" we started to subconsciously erase what that name meant. Suddenly games like Destiny, Anthem, and the Division could be MMOs because they were always online and because there was a persistent about of progression. It didn't matter that the gameplay and the entire concept of the games were different.

Another example: Black Desert Online has about as much in common with Everquest or World of Warcraft as it does with the aforementioned Destiny or Warframe. You login in, there's a slight leveling up process you can do in about a day, at end game content starts and it mostly consists of doing large scale world bosses or PvP. It has control over how your character looks and just enough gear that you can pretend there's some variety at max level, but that's really about it.

MMORPGs got formulaic, they got lazy, they got boring. The message the public sent the genre after the success of World of Warcraft is to blame for this. Up until that point if you wanted to play MMORPGs the idea of solo play was a little laughable. Sure you could do it if you had a lot of free time and knew your shit, but that wasn't the point. End game wasn't really the point either. Raids were not some ultimate goal to strive towards endlessly. They were end game content so you'd have something challenging and worthwhile to do until the next patch or expansion came out. With the success of World of Warcraft over the last decade the message received by game developers was that Solo play was good. Story was good. If we had a single player story in an MMORPG and you as the player never had to bother with other people outside of a few key dungeons here and there and then end game, the casual fans could get in and play giving us all that sweet sweet cosmetic and monthly sub money and that would more than make up for any revenue we might lose at the expense of the more hardcore crowd.

And since we're focusing on that quick solo player and their experience anyway, we can start to cut back on features and mechanics that complicate the game. Off tanking? You might do it in raids. Crowd Control? That's an annoying mechanic used to stun lock people in PvP, definitely not a thing used to control encounters in PvE. Buffing? Everyone gets their own buffs, or no one gets any buffs because if you're not strong enough to take on most of the content solo, then you might not get interested. While we're talking about shit that's been bastardized or outright ruined, can anyone tell me what the point of a summoner or pet class is in an MMORPG these days? They're basically all gone say for a few Hunter Classes. Did anyone else play Everquest and remember when Elemental Minions, Skeletons, and trusty wolves and bears were a permanent thing and part of the group? And for the Final Fantasy 14 players out there, yes you have a summoner class, but aren't your summons like really, really, really disappointing compared to what they could have been? I think of Summoners in Final Fantasy and I think of how awesome it was when Yuna in FFX called in Ifrit or Valefore or Bahamut to destroy shit, not these chicken shit little egis or whatever they're called.

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My necromancer crowd? When was the last time you actually felt like you ruled the undead? Back in Everquest 1, you used to be able to make money by summoning the dead corpses of unlucky adventurers so they wouldn't have to run through hell to get their shit back. But here's the deal in 2019, we're gonna give you a dagger, some overly elaborate robes, some DoTs and maybe if you're lucky a ghoul or a skeleton to follow you around.

The genre didn't disappear. The people making games stopped trying, and for a very long time we told them that was okay. But now it's 2019. I logged into WoW for the first time in my life two months ago and guess what, game's servers are doing alright, but there's definitely a strong sense that the game is getting to the point where its on its way out. The Lore is in shambles, the community can be pretty toxic, if you're new its advised you skip everything but the last expansion. I think a lot of players really haven't taken it seriously since Blizzard decided Pandas were a good idea to throw into the mix. The King used to be a warrior wielding a warhammer smashing enemies at the trident. Now he's a fat drunk waiting for the boar to come finish him off.

What we, as MMO players gotta do now is look at our genre and stop being toxic towards the new comers. Guys like Pantheon, or Ashes of Creation should be encouraged not flamed at every possible outcome. Even if you're cynical and you don't agree with everything outright attacks on the game, its devs, and its followers are pretty much insane. When was the last time anyone on this subreddit actually read or looked up any information on their own about Star Citizen before deciding it was a scam and all of the people who spent money on it were some deranged cult? I'm not saying blindly follow everyone, but I am saying that calling everything a cynical anti-consumer cash grab while simultaneously diluting the genre with games like Warframe and Destiny that are not and never will be MMORPGs has not done us any favors.

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This sub is a lot of things, you can have a day where all people do is post about how much they have nothing to play and nothing to look forward to and then the next day absolutely shit on whatever new thing got announced. The real truth though, the fact of the matter is, the genre's in the state we gave money and paid for it to be in, and now its staying that way because of how bitter and toxic we've become. I don't believe our genre is dead, I believe we did poison it though, and I think it'll be up to us to stop that poisoning.


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