Tobold's Blog
Wednesday, February 08, 2012
 
Next generation

Me and all my friends finished school years ago. Based on that representative sample I am quite certain that nobody goes to school any more these days! Does this sound slightly crazy to you? The conclusion is wrong, based on the sample not being representative at all, and completely ignoring the next generation of children going to school. But while this is obvious in the school example, the arguments pops up a lot on MMORPG blogs. "Me and my friends don't play game X any more, it must be dying."

Among the blogs I read, there is a certain end of days vibe. Some people apparently had hoped that SWTOR would revive their flagging interest in MMORPGs, and ultimately the game failed to do that. Blogs are being shut down while waiting for the Jesus game, or they increasingly treat other subjects than MMORPGs. I pretty much lost interest in SWTOR myself as well, although I'll still play a bit while my subscription is still running until end of next month. And yes, me losing interest in MMORPGs will an impact on my MMORPG blog, most probably by going more and more off-topic, until I feel the need to rename it.

But I don't have any trouble realizing that this might be "generational", and that me getting bored with SWTOR has more to do with the many years of similar games I played before than with Star Wars: The Old Republic itself. I don't doubt the 1.7 million subscribers figure. I am watching the development of that number with interest, but not because I personally want the game to succeed or fail. It is just that I have this theory about the longevity of story-based games, and I would like to see whether that theory is right or wrong.

I am sure I will still play online role-playing games in the future, from Diablo 3 to Guild Wars 2 and beyond. But I'm not holding my breath while waiting for some revolutionary game. Even GW2, which promises a lot, will still suffer from many of the limitations that all MMORPGs share. While step changes are possible, at its heart game development is more evolutionary than revolutionary. And I don't begrudge the next generation the fun they are having with the current games. I would have been delighted if I had been able to play SWTOR ten years ago, why should it not be normal that somebody coming ten years after me to the genre should enjoy that game now?
Comments:
I remember you saying once that WoW sets the bar for other MMOs. It seems now that pen and paper D&D is setting the bar for other leisure activities. Which is rather delightful.

Do keep writing about D&D, it's kind of relevant to MMOs as they're mostly based on it and it's very enjoyable to read. You may even get some of us veterans to try it again.
 
I'm not bored with MMORPGs. I like them as much as I did when I first discovered them. But then, I'm not bored with the books I read when i was a teenager, or the movies I watched in my twenties, or the music I listened to in my thirties. If I like something I tend to go on liking it.

Star Wars, however, I was never that fond of in the first place. I like the first two movies (original release order, of course) and that's about as far is it goes. My lack of interest in TOR stems from the I.P. not the format.
 
I agree it's generational.

However, every generation prior to 2004 had very limited access to MMOs. EQ and UO peaked when people were still dialing up if they had internet access at all. While you could play them, it was a pain, and frankly, you had to a great deal of patience to actually learn how to play those games.

So WoW had the unique opportunity to be the 'first love' of several generations of people who totally would have been MMO gamers but just didn't really have the opportunity until then (cause let's be real--- text based MUDS don't count).

As the previous generations quit, the number of MMO players will slowly decay to a much lower number to the sustainable number of as each generation starts to go through the mmo cycle on their own.
 
. I am watching the development of that number with interest, but not because I personally want the game to succeed or fail. It is just that I have this theory about the longevity of story-based games, and I would like to see whether that theory is right or wrong.

Is there really no dream MMO you would like to play, Tobold? No desire? Just unbiased blogging about what is and no hope for any future direction the genre might take :)
 
Why should my personal desires to see the kind of MMORPGs I would like to play make me hope for the failure of the MMORPGs I don't like or grew tired of?
 
I hope you won't completely abandon your MMORPG postings. Even if you don't play the games, maybe you can still post your thoughts about what's going on in the MMORPG industry.

I feel the same way about gaming generations. I know the younger gamers and kids are loving all the games out these days. Most games are nothing special to me these days, but I know they love it. I'm perfectly fine with that. There are still a few games each year that I really like, and that's enough. I don't have enough time to play all the games anyways.
 
Why should my personal desires to see the kind of MMORPGs I would like to play make me hope for the failure of the MMORPGs I don't like or grew tired of?

It shouldn't .. I guess you misunderstood me.
 
So is Jade the jewelry of choice now in blogland?

I just don't understand ... but then again I didn't play EQ either.

Frankly I am tired of all the hand wringing over this. Yes you have seen it before... can those of us that are not yet jaded please be allowed to enjoy what has been provided?

Be thankful for what you have I say.
 
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