MMO Running Trends (Time Loop)
By Kei Beneza (dividelife), OnRPG Journalist
Exactly how many zombies do I need to shoot before the whole zombie-gig stops? Don’t we get enough zombies in console games? Right now, MMOs are revolving around a specific time loop where genres and game styles are recycled and reused. How many elves must we kill before they pick up something new anyway? Yes, we are currently waiting for new games like Ragnarok 2, but will it deliver something new other than new class names (Lord Dragon Knight LOL) and location names (Avalongarde LOL)? The answer is of course, NO. Although there are tons of new MMOs coming this year, we will still be experiencing the same meta of game play. Whether it is questing or grinding, we’re all playing the same thing. The only difference is that other games present these features better.
Yes, that shadow dancer looks and plays exquisitely, but you know that you’re still playing a rogue class that focuses on DEX. No matter what you call them, or how you divide them, there’s no denying the fact that these characters were taken from the generic Diablo classes (If you deny these facts, there’s always Diablo 2). We have the tank, the high damaging character that could’ve been the tank, the spell casters (who each took their own skill tree), and fast DEX dude who does tons of damage but eventually dies due to their low vitality. Good job to EVE online for taking us away from generic linearity, and establishing a new world without barbarians and elf rangers.
One of the most common facts in the MMO world is that Humans and Elves multiply like rabbits on Viagra. Rarely will you find a war-themed MMO without beings with pointy ears and metro-sexual physiques (and no, dark elves are no exception). Humans I can understand, but surely they could come up with more races than Tolkien’s cast. The guy’s been long dead for God’s sake, and I’m sure he’d butch-slap those developers for mass-producing Elves on a factory line. I mean, RF Online gave us Robots and Rohan gave us those pretty fish-folk, so why can’t everyone follow this exampleRemember those tiger dudes in Perfect World? They’re hip :D! I suppose everyone wants their virtual counterpart to look cool and sexy, so fish-folk are bound to be the least played race (unless they’re uber hot).
While I am not a fan of PEACE, the whole medieval age is getting… well… old. There are various ways to promote war without using kings and titan gods who happen to act and think like humans. Odin’s men feast in the halls of Valhalla and fight to the death right after—- then they revive, go back to Valhalla and pig out until everyone’s ready to fight again. It is simple really, but definitely a lot more original than Orcs and Elves.
Swords and dual daggers again? Wouldn’t it be better if you just put in a scythe or something? Hmm… what about Nun-chucks (or in that setting, SWORD-CHUCKS)? One thing about the whole MMO setting is that although they all claim to be original, the weapons will always be the same. Yes, that barbarian’s probably sick of the giant iron sword. We need more original weapons! Seriously, although he is a complete loser, Squall’s gunblade seriously pwnz your Bastard Sword. If they’re going to follow the whole RPG trend, at least get some of the rare stuff. This is probably why I respected 2moons (Dekaron). They have friggin whips man!
Although MMO games have revolutionized the aspect of multiplayer game play, they are still stuck in the same time loop as console games. One hack n’ slash outbreak in the console scene and we get a similar burst of beat em’ up MMOs. The same goes for the entire zombie outbreak thing. I’m sure people love shooting zombies, but give them more undead goodness and the concept loses its shine. Hell, we even have Sports MMOs. I was going say that we need something as unique as a dating sim, but the whole MMO scene’s a huge dating sim anyway.
After playing (and reviewing) tons of MMOs, I’ve concluded that most MMOs run on a specific pattern in general. Below is an arrowed sequence on how an MMO is played.
LEVEL1-(Grind/Quest)àLevel Up (x10) – (collect money) à get your mount -(Grind/Level)à PWN Noobs- (Grind/Farm)à High-level dungeons – (Grind a little)à Get faster travel sources (Epic Mount or Wings)à End Game Contentà Kill NoObZ till next patch.
Note: Sucks for those games without the mount part
The sequence is still enjoyed by various players but it wouldn’t hurt to break the cycle… really…
Reason for Repetition
I’m just thinking. Maybe players love playing the same race in every game. So I guess that means they have a long array of Elves with different skills in each game. I really consider this as a slump for game developers, constantly following gaming trends to avoid making games that turn away from the gamer’s personal taste. This is understandable, as they want to get as many players as they can (with Elves, no doubt); however, I wish someone would have the guts to take things further.
There are times when I just ask myself when games in general will get out of this slump. We do get minor tweaks once every 10 new MMOs, but the provided changes are mostly squeezed out from generic features. A good example would have to be how a warrior could be divided into 30 different classes just for games to show people that they have more classes than the rest. I understand that games are just doing this in order to for them to not suck in the eyes of the biased players, but will elves continue to walk the MMO plane until we get flying cars and giant mechs? There’s still room for improvement, not to mention innovation. Weapons waiting to be discovered (created), just as new game mechanics are waiting to be unleashed. Right now, games are stuck in an infinite time loop that continues to polish itself into making us think it’s something new. Simply put, I think it’s time to break free from all this reality.