6 Things That Are Destroying MMOs
by Tyler Edwards, May 15, 2013
Spend any time in the MMO community - especially online forums - and you'll notice a lot of complaints, worries, and rants. There's a general perception among some circles that MMOs are in a downward spiral, that the entire genre is slowly destroying itself by repeating certain mistakes. We here at WhatMMO thought we'd collect some of the more mentioned issues, and we now present you with the top things that are destroying the MMO genre… according to its community.
Of course, one of the most obvious things ruining MMOs is the plague of lazy, entitled casuals forcing every developer to dumb down their games.
You see, once upon a time there was a golden age of MMOs. In those days, MMOs were something you spent hours or days at a time playing in your basement. Even the simplest tasks were epic, intense challenges requiring the careful assistance of your online allies and a complete disregard for exercise, personal obligations, and sunlight.
It was glorious.
But then developers started selling out. They catered to the mainstream, offering easy gear and dungeons that only took an hour or two at most to complete. Now, every game gets dumber and easier, and still casuals wail for things to be made simpler for them.
Many even demand content that can be completed solo. Don't they know MMOs are only meant to be played when your schedule aligns with that of at least nine random strangers on the Internet?
Soon, they won't be satisfied until developers start them off at max level, rain gear on them simply for logging in, require groups for nothing, and offer no penalties for death or failure. At this rate, game companies will soon be paying subscriptions to players to get them to keep logging in.
Perhaps a bigger problem, though, is the tyranny of arrogant, entitled elitists insisting everything in MMOs cater to their own weak egos.
You see, there was a dark age of MMOs where even the simplest tasks took monumental effort. It might have worked well at the time, but these days, we've all got kids to look after, jobs to go to, friends to hang out with, affairs to conceal, pets to take to the vet, haiku to write, and forums to complain on. Who has time anymore?
But some people still cling to those old days. They still insist that everything in MMOs should take time, effort, and skill. They're out to impose a tyrannical class system on MMOs so that they can lord over people with less free time and flex their superiority complexes.
These people and their elitist attitudes are why you can't get into a raiding guild, why you get kicked from groups, and why people make fun of you for your bad gear. You could accomplish great things in game if they'd just stop being such snobs.
Really, they're just out to feel superior. Most of them don't even care about challenge or effort and would complain as loudly as anyone if things really were harder. They just want to grumble about things being too easy to make themselves look good.
When you get right down to it, though, the debate over casual/versus hardcore is a waste of time. We all know what the real problem with MMOs is: player versus player.
How could PvP ruin a game, you ask? Normally, it's an optional feature of play, and the few games where it is a core part of the game can be easily avoided.
The problem with PvP is the caliber of player it attracts. PvPers are nothing but a gaggle of pimple faced, immature cyber bullies who live only to gank and teabag poor, innocent players who were just minding their own business. They're not interested in fair fights or honest competition, even if they claim otherwise. They're anti-social goons who just don't get what MMOs are about.
Another problem PvP brings is the destructive effect it has on the balancing of games. Everyone knows that PvP creates more balance problems than player versus environment, and PvEers always end up suffering the consequences of the need to balance for PvP. PvPers are the reason you got nerfed. You're not bad at your class; you've just been nerfed too much because of people complaining about PvP.
But the true plague on the MMO genre is player versus environment. Sure, it may be the focus of most of the more popular MMOs and beloved by thousands of players, but it's a cancer on the MMO world, all the same.
The problem with PvE is the caliber of player it attracts. Care bears, dragon slayers, whatever you want to call them. They're mindless wimps who simply can't cut it in real competition against thinking opponents, so they subject themselves to the same brain dead encounters over and over. They're unskilled cowards who just don't get what MMOs are about.
And because they're an easy source of money, developers just keep churning out more of the same old raids and dungeons to please them, taking resources away from more important things like nerfing rogues.
Another problem PvE brings is the destructive effect it has on the balance of games. Because developers usually shower the best gear on the care bears to keep them feeling special, they often have an advantage when they get bored and decide to step into the PvP realm. Without any real skill, they can steamroll over true PvPers by leaning on their better gear. You're not bad at your class; you've just been outgunned by some spoiled dragon slayers.
2: Free to play games:
One of the more recent things to begin ruining MMOs is the so called "free to play" business model. Sure, it sounds good: play a game for free, no need to be shackled to a subscription. You can save some money and maybe even spend what you've saved on other games.
Oh, and what's this? They have some nice bonus items in the shop for low prices?
And now they own you.
Everyone knows there's no such thing as a free lunch, and according to every forum poster ever, free to play games always cost more than subscription games. It's not as if you can resist the urge to spend vast sums in their shops. It's impossible. They rob you of your free will like some terrifying alien brain slug.
Don't be distracted by arguments that they need to pay for the servers somehow. The fact is that every free to play game is a greedy scam to harvest vast sums of money from gullible players.
Worse still, despite apparently rolling in cash from all their scam item sales, all free to play games are cheap, half-assed affairs lacking any of the polish of subscription games. Even a AAA game that once had a subscription model will immediately lose all semblance of quality once it goes free to play. Even the graphics will get worse. True story.
Some claim that there are free to play business models out there that are more generous, that do not make life miserable for those unwilling to fork over astronomic sums. Some even claim these games are high quality and fun.
DON'T LISTEN. IT'S A TRAP.
But if there's one thing that absolutely everyone can agree on, it's that the biggest problem in the MMO genre is all the whiners, complainers, haters, and crybabies constantly cluttering the Internet with their tears. It's a tsunami that threatens to drown everything in its path.
People will complain about anything. Games are too hard. Games are too easy. Games are too quick. Games are too slow. PvP is bad. PvE is bad. Free to play is bad. Subscriptions are bad.
It's not possible that these complaints are all coming from different groups of people. The only logical explanation is that MMO players are just schizophrenic crybabies who pathologically complain about anything and everything.
There's no escape. People complain in games, on forums, on blogs, on social media, in snide articles on MMO sites… It's endless. If you're in the MMO community, there's absolutely no hope of ever escaping the endless tear-tide. Well, unless you stop clicking the links and reading the chat. But who could muster the willpower for such a feat?
If only we could harness the power of the endless raging. If only we could turn the vast droves of haters towards complaining about the one thing truly worth complaining about: complaining.