Honest MMO Previews
by Tyler Edwards, Nov 7, 2012
MMOs are a genre filled with hype. The massive nature of the games leads people to view any game that isn't an immediate smash hit as an utter failure. Thus, whenever a developer prepares to release a new game, they do everything in their power to convince people it will be the Best Thing Ever. Their need to hype people into a frenzy for their game often leads to them playing fast and loose with the truth. Maybe they're not being deliberately deceptive; maybe they're just blinded by their own passion. Whatever the case, we thought it might be fun to imagine what their previews would have looked like if they'd been just a bit more honest.
It seems like the whole MMO industry is devoted to producing countless games from the same World of Warcraft-esque cookie cutter with just one shiny new feature to set itself apart from the pack. And we're jumping on the bandwagon!
What's TERA's gimmick, you ask? True action combat. No tab targeting or "tank and spank" fights here. You'll need all your reflexes and careful aim to defeat the game's enemies, especially its mighty Big Ass Monsters.
Yes, that's really what we're calling them. Really.
We've got at least one or two other new ideas, too. We have a political system in which players can rise to the esteemed rank of Vanarch through elections or PvP, granting them great power over other players. We're confident nothing could go wrong with this. It's not as the largest guilds could just dominate the election process, or that players would be inclined to abuse their power…
Of course, we won't have any proper PvP when the game launches, and pretty much everything else about the game isn't much more than a bland, grindy WoW clone, but hey, we've got gorgeous graphics, more scantily clad avatars than you can shake a stick at, and Big Ass Monsters. No MMO player could ask for more, right?
4: Star Wars: The Old Republic:
For too long, MMOs have lacked something crucial: story. Plots are told through bland quest text that everyone just skips through anyway.
Star Wars: The Old Republic is different. It combines the epic mythology of the Star Wars universe with Bioware's famed story telling skills to create a uniquely story driven MMO. Instead of quest text that everyone skips through, the story is told through hundreds of fully voice acted cut scenes that everyone skips through.
Instead of reading badly written text telling you to kill ten rats, you can be treated to five minutes of dialogue telling you to kill ten rats. You'll understand how your character truly feels about killing ten rats.
The story continues on throughout the game, providing a unique experience based on your class and faction. It's exactly like a single player game, except sometimes other players will be there to steal your mobs.
Once you do finally finish your personal story and reach max level, you'll be treated to an exciting endgame exactly like what you'd see in every other MMO. Except with perhaps a bit less content. But hey, you can always level more characters and enjoy more of our story. Who needs fresh raids, or dungeons, or a reason to interact with other players?
SW:TOR also features a dynamic combat system completely lacking the traditional auto attack. You'll be constantly hitting buttons to defeat your opponents; no standing around while your character simply fights for you.
What? People do actually hit buttons all the time even with an auto attack? Oh. Well, our way is still better. Trust us.
Hey, we can hardly do any worse than Lucas did with the prequels.
3: Guild Wars 2:
You know how every MMO claims they're not going to be a Warcraft clone, and then they turn out to be one anyway? Guild Wars 2 isn't a WoW clone, and we actually mean it.
We've come up with something so new to the MMO genre - original thinking - that it will just about break the brains of all our fans, until they rave and slobber over the game's release like they're all terminal cancer patients, and we've got the cure.
We're going to build expectations so high that nothing will ever live up to what we've promised. The truth is we're making a good game, not the MMO messiah, but why would we let people know that until they've bought the game?
People will complain we don't have enough endgame content even though we've repeatedly stated we intend the whole game to be endgame. People will be disappointed that there are still some things that never change in our evolving world. Some people will ask for a subscription even while others cheer our free to play format. They'll complain about our story being poorly written, and to be fair, we didn't do the best job on that.
But we're not going to let Guild Wars 2 be another game known for its toxic community. Rule breakers will be dealt with swiftly and brutally. Exploiting? Banned. Harassing other players? You're gone. Look at a game master the wrong way? Bye. Say the Asura aren't cute? Meet Mr. Banhammer!
YOU WILL RESPECT OUR AUTHORITY!
Brace yourself: you're not in Azeroth anymore. But you might as well be.
Are you tired of the same old grind in World of Warcraft, but also afraid of change and new things? Do you yearn for a game that provides some new thrills scattered through a comforting melange of sameness?
Rift is the game for you.
Rift is a daring new game that super imposes dynamic invasions and events over the same old MMO formula. Imagine: you're collecting bear asses, when suddenly a rift opens in the sky and begins pouring out hideous demons. Players flock to your location to defeat this wicked invasion in an epic struggle, before dispersing back to their quests upon the event's completion. It's so exciting that you almost forget that the rest of the game is the exact same grind you've been doing since 2004.
We've even made our races and factions familiar so all you WoW players will feel right at home. We've got a reckless red faction and a stuffy blue faction, and for all you Blood Elf and Night Elf players, High Elves and Kelari are there for you!
Rift also features a complex "ascended soul" class system, which allows you to build your own class by choosing a broad archetype and combining many different "souls." If throwing all this complexity at you before level five gives you a headache, don't worry. That means it's working. Just take some aspirin and search for a good build online. The ultimate power of customization is in Google's hands!
So come play Rift. Its graphics are good enough you can convince yourself it's a totally new experience, but you won't need to feel like a newb, because everything will be familiar.
1: World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria:
Look, we know some people weren't so happy with Cataclysm. We're not really sure why. Half the people tell us it was too easy, and the other half tell us it was too hard, and they all say they didn't have enough to do.
But don't worry! This time will be different. Our new expansion, Mists of Pandaria, fixes every complaint people had about Cataclysm - even the ones that completely contradict each other.
People didn't like how scattered Cataclysm was, so MoP features a unified continent inspired by Asian culture. Players told us Cataclysm didn't have enough content, so MoP features more raids, more dungeons, more zones, more battlegrounds, scenarios, Pokémon, Farmville, and everything else we could pull out of our asses!
And for all you casuals out there, don't worry. This won't be another expansion of you being shut out of all the best content by elitist hardcores. Every MoP raid has a Raid Finder difficulty so easy a monkey could beat it, and we've added scenarios and pet battles. No need for good gear, skill, or approval from those nasty elitists to play those.
And for all you hardcores out there, no need for concern. This won't be another expansion where you have to watch those ungrateful casuals running around in your epics. Raid Finder gear is clearly marked (so you can see the noobs coming) and valor gear is now locked behind a weeks-long reputation grind that no sane being would willingly submit themselves to.
So come play Mists of Pandaria! It's the most fun, quick, slow, brutal, grindy, casual friendly, hardcore, easy, exclusive, inclusive, open ended, railroaded World of Warcraft expansion ever!
Also, pandas! Everybody loves pandas, right?
...Please don't leave again.