Paeroka over at Nerdy Bookahs recently posted about some MMOs that have died since World of Warcraft launched and her thoughts on them. Nogamara at Battle Stance and Everwake at Everwake’s Internet Adventures also made their own take about the subject. You can find their posts here and here.
It is an interesting enough topic so I figure I might as well join in with a post of mine. Also I don’t really have any screenshots for… well, almost all of the games I am about to list. So I am afraid this post will only have the feature image go accompany it. Sorry~
City of Heroes, Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning, Free Realms, Wildstar
In my first draft I tried to write about these games separately but they all end up with one or two paragraphs that boiled down to: tried a few times, didn’t get into it and never really played it. I couldn’t even remember any particular reason for not being able to stick with any of these games too, the best reason I could give would be either because the gameplay wasn’t engaging, I wasn’t burnt out of MMOs at the time or a combination of both.
Because of that I didn’t form any strong feelings or memories about any of them that I could talk about. Which is a shame because some of them had some neat ideas.
Like Paeroka I will list both of these together as they were initially meant to be different sides to the same game. I liked a lot of the ideas of Everquest Next. But I also had a lot of concerns. If I recall correctly part of the goal was for players to build stuff through Landmark and then those creations to be part of Everquest Next. The environment was also meant to be fully destructible. Both features sounded cool on paper but my concern was that in a big MMO how would that all work? Would there be a shortage of land space for players to plop down their creations if they came later? What about the destructible environment? Was it permanent or something that would only last a few seconds? It felt like an overly ambitious project but there was very little in term of information on how it would all work. There was also the graphics style which I disliked.
I did get into Landmark though, very early on, because I was already following a blog from the guy who created the tools they were using to create the world and I wanted to give those tools a try. Unfortunately in the first days of Landmark it was extremely grindy to get the materials to build anything and the systems were pretty confusing.
I didn’t come back to it much later, when it was clear it was only a question of time until they pulled the plug on Landmark. By then they already had tried to make it a game on its own and I believe had announced the cancellation of Everquest Next. Still I’ve seem some pretty amazing creations done in the game and once again I wanted to give the tools a try.
At that time it didn’t feel grindy anymore but the game was already a ghost town, only with some structures left to show that people played it. I wasn’t able to build anything because as often happens with games like this where I can build absolutely anything I get a bit of “choice paralysis” and end up unable to decide what I want to create.
There was supposedly some adventuring you could do too and even monsters to fight but I was unable to find it.
I still regret not putting more effort into this game because what people created with it was amazing and those tools looked pretty good. Sadly I don’t think we’ll see anytime soon another MMO that allows the creativity that Landmarks allowed to its players.
I have no idea how I heard or got into Fallen Earth. All I know is I loved the concept, the lore and a lot of the ideas of the game. It had a lot of potential, specially because there was no other Post-Apocalyptic game out at the time (I believe that is still the case).
I loved that the game had no classes, it was all about choosing skills and what stats to raise. I liked how the factions felt like a natural result of what kind of groups would appear if a post apocalypse scenario would happen, how they went out of the way to explain why players were allowed to only PVP in certain areas and how we respawned after being killed by enemies. The crafting system was interesting too with it being time based.
Unfortunately the game was plagued by horrible bugs, like enemies being able to shoot you through walls and an engine that just wasn’t meant to be used as a game, let alone a MMO, if I recall correctly. I also didn’t like the FPS-like combat much but that is only because I am rubbish at shooters and I was making-do with a melee build.
Despite all that I loved traveling through this post apocalyptic world and just puttering around. It is one of the few MMOs that felt like an actual world for me and even if I gave up playing it a long time ago I am still sad that it died. I can only imagine what would have happened if it received the resources it deserved.
That turned out to be a lot less that I had to talk about those games than I thought. Still it is always sad to see any MMO die. Even if they weren’t for me they were the favorite game of someone else. Now those people have to find a new virtual home for themselves that probably won’t be as great as they one they lost. Also the less MMOs we have, the less diversity we have and the more this genre will become stagnant which isn’t a good thing to anybody.