No Point to MMOs?

I got a chuckle out of this:

Bioware designer and writing director Daniel Erickson told CVG that the Mass Effect studio had been disappointed by the “lack of fun” in other MMO titles on the market.

He said: “In the early days when they first announced that there were MMOs, like the existence of them, I knew in my head what that meant – because I played Role Playing Games. It was just giant Role Playing Games.

“And then MMO [games] showed up, and it wasn’t that. It was the ruleset to an RPG: There was combat, and there were areas, but that was all. Someone had left out the module. There was no story, there was no point. You just kind of wandered around. And that hasn’t really changed all that much over the years.

“We’ve always had that thought in the back of our heads: That Old Republic should be all the things we thought an MMO would be in the first place – which is all the parts of an RPG. Which means – and this is the most radical idea – it should just be fun. Like, just fun to play. You shouldn’t be trying to ignore all of the content to get to the end as fast as possible.”

I’m getting a bit worried about TOR…for a couple of reasons:
1) Bioware is known for great games, but they tend to do too much blah-blah-blah and not enough gaming. Their expectations for what an MMO should be looks to be waaaaay off from what gamers expects an MMO to be. I foresee issues and I foresee mea culpa patches within the first couple months of release that will realign those expectations. Either that, or Bioware intends to re-train an entire generation of MMO gamers who’ve been suckling at WoW’s tit for the last 6 years.

2) MMOs gamers don’t care about story…ever. Most click through the text in these games and don’t read. Click-click-click…look at quest log….go kill 10 froogles. Quest text gets in the way of instant gratification and delays the receiving of the cheese for today’s MMO mouse. Bioware wants a cutscene driven MMO. If players click through text, do you really think they will have the patience to watch a movie when they really want to be chopping up things with a lightsaber? Cutscenes are fine…but if they are the focus of the TOR, then I don’t think gamers will stomach the delay it will cause in their gaming.

…here’s the kicker quote from the above that worries me and points to a futile attempt at Bioware retraining gamers:

“We’ve always had that thought in the back of our heads: That Old Republic should be all the things we thought an MMO would be in the first place – which is all the parts of an RPG. Which means – and this is the most radical idea – it should just be fun. Like, just fun to play. You shouldn’t be trying to ignore all of the content to get to the end as fast as possible.”

No…that’s exactly what gamers want to do. They want to get to the end as fast…and as efficiently…as possible, and I have no idea why Bioware thinks it can change a core element of MMO gamer culture. I hope they can…honestly cause I really do think that gamers need a bit of patience taught to them when it comes to the consumption of MMO content. I think Bioware can drop the “it should fun” goal…cause…duhhh. Every MMO since Pong (….lol….kidding…) has said “it should be fun”. I think gamers can recognize fun but I think Bioware has it wrong when they try and link “the fun” with all parts of an RPG. I think it’s safe to say that most gamers who play MMOs are not…at their heart…RPG fans.

I’m really looking forward to this game, but I think Bioware is going to hit some a bit of turbulence if they intend to take..what looks like…the MMO culture issue of “gimmie now”.

D out.

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