Thursday, July 10, 2008

MMOs Are A Harsh Mistress: An Origin Story

I love the MMO in spite of its faults, recycling and trickery. I love to progress a character within a game, and to custom tailor it to my heart's content. I love to roam around with others'/friends' characters, and to wreak all manner of havoc and terror. It's also a blast to sit around with said buddies and do nothing but shoot the shit. I also love that little thing we call 'immersion'.

Now a little step back to my MMO origins: Motor City Online, may it rest in peace. There was, as far as I'm concerned, a one-of-a-kind game. A true racing MMO. Granted, it didn't last long. I'll attribute that to poor management and lack of exposure. Bottom line though, I love racing games. And with MCO I got to build my own cars, sell my creations, have my own little greaser guy in the car (yes, it was all muscle/classic cars and set in the 60s-70s), and race in every kind of mode you can think of. Although MCO was built on a Lobby setup, the player base was definitely Massive, and it was persistent. And I have to let it be known, the customization was phenomenal for its time.

This game really blew my mind. I had played plenty of games online. But nothing on this scale; just your usual lobbied games. Here I was indulging in one of my favorite genres, but I wasn't limited to racing the CPU/a friend/my brother like any racing game before. It was from there on that I was hooked on MMOs.

I think I'll leave my first leap at that, as my next MMO was Star Wars Galaxies. Don't get me wrong; I'm one of the people that had an absolute love affair with SWG (still would if not for the NGE), but that will have to be broken down into many posts.

I'll close with a thought I had while out jogging at 5 in the goddamn morning today (because any later is toooo hot): Repetitive gameplay and the $15 standard. I don't mind forking up 3 fivers every month for a great game... but some games (even when great) are repetitive. I could probably get a monthly handjob on the Harvard campus for less, and get more original 'content' out of it. Developers really need to step up the Dynamic in 'dynamic gameplay elements.'

Keep it here for my next installment in textual intercourse : Savagery and Broken Bliss in A Galaxy Far Far Away. ETA - whenever.

-R

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