I keep hearing people bitch about how much damage the cloning of wow has done to the industry. How every product us the same and flitting between each release like a plague of locusts. I’ve been a part of that and even I yearn for something more… How could you not? But then, I continuously see the call for games to change; games that are maybe trying to be something different or give a different experience. That have pieced together the resemblance of a soul yet we want to stomp all over that and cram it back into that overused mould. Archeage is trying something different a least by a little, the iteration it is now is more themepark orientated but there is still a little charm there. Charm that mostly comes from certain PvP elements which many have been attacking and so, that means for me it’s time to get my flame on.
Bio Break recently had a pots about this and it made that black bile rise a little from the pit of my stomach. I see a list of quite valid complaints in that post, several note worthy ones and a few more personal and yet, the only argument I see from this side is “waaaah!, this game isn’t catering to me”. Well Boo fucking hoo. That is entitlement speaking and no, me saying that right now isn’t contradictory… it is accepting of a game for what it is and what it provides. Constantly asking for change on every single product is entitled, and quite damaging in my mind. If your after more of the same I seem to remember a large release called ESO you can indulge in, the single player “mmo”. Or how about Wildstar, what we were apparently making out as the the patron saint of mmo rebirth. Oh that’s right, most of you dropped it after a month and are now lavishing after a new mmo carcass.
Do you really understand what a PvE server would involve well, it would no longer be that Sandbox or sandpark many have been excited for. It would become just another themepark in a long line of themeparks with a farmville addition… and not a very good one at that. The questing is sub par, the dungeons are adequate, the end game is minimal and it’s the same grind you’ve been doing for years… Some of you decades. Those trade quests well, glorified escort quests now. Naval warfare, pretty much becomes meaningless, and the entire criminal system pretty much becomes pointless. A post from Geek spinkles, an avid player and care bear supports this same thing as it’s is the PvP elements that make the world more exciting and without those the whole experience would be pretty predictable.
Predictable… When you think about it that word is pretty much the death of an mmo. Once a game become predictable there really isn’t any content left, the game been completed and any play after that is just robotic. Predictable… going through prescribed motions rather than playing a game, hitting that lever for the next pellet. I don’t know about you but I want my gameplay to feel far more than predictable. I want to open up a game and not know exactly where that session is going to take me. We should be embracing this unpredictability but from this WoW approach to design we’ve been hypnotised into the safety of near every element being controlled. There is a certain appeal in repetition but when that’s the entirety of the experience then you no longer hold a person’s interest for long.
You want the same old bullshit over and over again with a different paint job paint job fine, gorge yourself on the billion other titles out there catering to your exact interests. A mass of follow the leader ftp garbage but leave the few titles trying to do a little something different alone. This is a billion dollar industry that has become nothing more than eating the fallen and regurgitating it back up, time and time again. There is a place for more, the interests of its players are more diverse than that and for fuck sake, just leave the ones wanting to be different alone. Not everything has to cater to your exact whims, not every title must have its soul erased so as to appease the fickle masses long enough for them to ravish it’s carcass and leave it buried within its shallow grave before moving to the next. Differentiation in the market is a good thing and if you are actively trying to remove that well… you are everything that’s wrong with the industry right now.
Now Syp says that we are scared, or threatened by the idea of a PvE server and that is true but only in part. It’s not for the fear of losing easy targets like him, a bountiful land of noobs to frolic through while killing with abandon. No, that is the least of my worries. It is first that the development needs to change in order to accommodate this new PvE server which it would. More content to be developed for these locusts, changes to systems that had PvP in mind when developed. There are a whole range of elements that would need immediate and ongoing development and this would take away from development in other areas. It would no longer be that PvP sandpark people were excited for, just another MMO with a watered down approach because they try to appeal to everyone and yet satisfying no one. The pve crowd will move on within a couple months and the PvP crowd will get even more resentful at the carebears ruining another potential MMO.
I think it’s funny also how it’s often said that the PvP payers need the pve ones, those carebears but really, I think it’s the other way around. If the combat and systems are interesting enough we are satisfied for a long time. The prevalence and popularity of death match style multiplayer games and the whole moba industry is a testament to that. It is actually the PvE players that need us; to add an element of unpredictability, to make the world and experience more dynamic and create something more akin to a world rather than a corridor filled with quests. If you actually want to improve the experience you should be asking for things like greater accountability for a players actions, not removing such interactions entirely.
Now for Archeage , I’m partial about it so far. It certainly has some faults but I’m willing to try and experience the game for what it is. It’s time to move out from that pillow fort we’ve been enshrined in for so long, make some friends and try something new. Maybe you’ll like it, maybe you want but at least it will be a new experience and something more than the repetition of the familiar and predictable. And for god’s sake, lets move beyond expecting MMO’s to always fit within that tired design and celebrate the differences.