I promised myself I’d take a breather from Vault work today and write a blog post - anything to keep this website alive! I started this blog because I wanted a piece of online space to call my own, a place where I could write whatever I wanted to write without having to answer to a boss or a client. I never expected to get a regular readership or have other bloggers, fansites and MMO news sites link to my blog posts, but that’s exactly what happened! So when things get hectic as they are now, since I have no boss nor client to answer to on this blog, it falls to the bottom of my priority list. Sad state of affairs but I figure, why stress myself over the very thing that I created to relieve that stress?
So anyway, on to my topic of the week. A reader sent me an email last week asking “Can you really go back to an old MMO and it still have the same or better appeal?”. Here is my response to that.
I view MMOs the way I view my single player RPGs or any other game for that matter - you go through the content, reach your endgame, and that’s it, you move on to your next game. Once you’ve gone through the content, I don’t see the point of going back and doing it all over again, which is really the answer to the original question. So unless there’s new content and I do mean something new, not just a rehash of the old stuff or the same quests in a different skin, there’s really no point in going back to a game.
For example, I left Star Wars Galaxies before they implemented Jump to Lightspeed, and because JTL added a whole new dimension to the game - the space gameplay and building spaceships - going back offered me something new to enjoy. The WoW expansion didn’t have the same impact on me though. Perhaps it was because I was in the Burning Crusade beta and had been trying to get as much info out of it because I was writing guides for WoW Vault at the time so I burned through the content before the game was even released. But I think it was also because, sure they added new areas and new quests but they were all too familiar. It was the same faction grind, and kill ten *insert monster name here* quests, just in a different backdrop. They tell me the raiding has changed, but I had soured on raiding a long time ago and didn’t really want more of that.
In this sense, Lord of the Rings Online has an edge over them all, at least from my perspective as a Tolkien fan. Why? Because Tolkien’s Middle Earth is such a vast and diverse world and there is just so much that we haven’t seen yet. Hayoo of Visions of the Ring has created a wonderful expansion timeline map that projects LOTRO expansions up to August 2015 and if you click on “Map Overview”, it will actually show you the reasoning he used in creating the timeline. Of course I am disappointed that his timeline shows I have to wait 4 years to see Edoras but I suppose that’s the reality of game development. I think those of us who have experienced “down times” when we’re pretty much done with one game and are waiting for the next good one to come along, may have used up a birthday wish or two that game developers could make games faster than we could go through their content.
As it is, I’m just glad that Turbine offered (and I took) a lifetime subscription to LOTRO.