As long as I’ve owned a computer, I’ve been an avid gamer. I’ve been through phases over the decades. I remember when I played nothing but Flight Sims. Then it was First Person Shooters, which led to LAN based First Person Shooters.
This phase I’m in now, that feels like its coming to a close has been MMOs. I’ve been playing them for around 10 years. Initially, with great passion and intensity. The past year has seen that passion fade.
Some evenings I login, and stare blankly at the character screen only to log out. I simply can not bring myself to play. When I had the passion, the MMO grind didn’t feel so grindy. Nowadays though, running around and doing “stuff” for virtual possessions isn’t fun anymore.
In several games I play, the friends I had made have moved on, the guild has all but collapsed and is just an empty place. Occasionally you bump into a new player who is struggling and for a an hour I feel a bit better that I helped someone. The thing with a Massive Multiplayer game, is when you are on your own; you really feel it.
There is only one MMO I’ll keep playing, once a week. There is no grind there, just a few friends who still get together to have some fun. Last week when that happened, after a while it was just myself and one other guy. We talked about real life in a casual and relaxed way. He, being in the engineering game for 25 odd years, myself in IT for 20. Just stuff like that. It was refreshing and oddly relaxing. No one there measures your DPS, or how good a tank you are, or just how incredibly lousing at healing one is. You bring along whoever you want, focus on fun.
Some of the other MMOs had that, and through game design and sometimes people, that was lost. It all boiled down to metrics. If you didn’t measure up, you were out.
For most of the MMOs I play, that time is over. I thought the reboot with Secret World Legends would be different enough, but its the same candy in a different wrapper.
Only DDO, Dungeons and Dragons Online, holds a special place for me and my gimpy characters.
I still enjoy game playing as a form of entertainment, its time to move into a different genre and experience something fresh.
Maybe one day if my kids express an interest, they can hop into one of those games and dust of a character and show it a good time.