alright, so since i don’t play mmo’s anymore lets try dig into why i did, and “what is an mmo”
so, while “mmo” might technically stand for massively multiplayer online, a bunch of them has another common factor, some “rpg’ish” element…-mmorpgs
hell even if Guild Wars was an MMO, it offered a nice “singles” way of play i enjoyed for a while, so it apparently doesn’t have to be multiplayer or “massively” to be an “mmo” or to be good it seems
so for me it was definitely some of the “rpg’ish” elements, (and for WoW, i must say i loooved the toon’ish graphics too)
Besides fantasy settings, which most also share, there is the lvling up, hacking&slashing’ish-lite combat, choose your skills, weapons, magic, the whole “defining your character/you” (even if there might have been “a certain path” supposed to take) you can usually do things “your way”
so to me it wasn’t about being “an mmo”, it was about incorporating elements i thoroughly enjoyed, on bigger scale/just having a ton of X/Y individual “game parts” that i like, stuffed into 1 massive pie -which then just happened to have been done in a "massively multiplayer online"format, but was the “rpg” definer i liked
it’s a “real” + “complete” adventure, that you’re on
so what about WoW made me go full Leroy? (warning; (incoherent?) wall inc)
well we probably have to go back to some of my earlier years.
Blizzard always had me hooked, Diablo series, star craft series, warcraft series
so when you take their Warcraft world, which was probably one of my favourite rts, not entirely for the gameplay, but for the setting/story/heroes/world mostly.
Then tries to put it in a lab, and force breed it with Diablo 2, which was another favourite of mine, here mostly for gameplay. Add some sprinkles of gnomes and pets here and there, and you get a pure lab-grade liquid ambrosia to hook me on.
- “deeper” character customization, here i could make “whatever” toon or person i desired, (serious, a gnome with pink hair how is that not game of the century right there).
- The semi faux “complex” build options, by having not just several tiers+trees of skills/“talents”, but the complimenting lvling/main spells as a side dish too, giving you an ocean of stuff to experiment with (even if 99% of your experimentation would have been immediately useless or invalidated on face value)
- the grand open world. Like, feck me was Azeroth big, huge even -especially when you had to bloody walk most of the places… but it wasn’t completely “samey” everywhere you went, and so many places was absolutely gorgeous.
- the combat, pve or pvp, both casual and simplistic enough with it’s button spam or even “1 button char”, and interesting/open enough to vary it up, and go utterly bonkers and have fun, even if you didn’t need to (can you hear the cries on TS as an afflict Lock takes up half the debuff slots on a raid boss? )
WoW had so many smaller/“perfect” elements put together there was no way i couldn’t get hooked on it.
(eventually)Decent loot tables, that didn’t make you pull out your hair like in D2 when either RNG just wasn’t with you, or you got some lowball far from avg or even further from less than perfectly stat rolled item.
Quests galore, even the dumbass fetch/kill quests i couldn’t help but read, just to see why this stupid farmer need me, a mighty gnome hero/God in the making, to gather some corn, when it was “right there”, but ofc rampant mechanical scarecrows would be no match for such peasants, so makes sense.
The “openness” of the boundaries, meant you could go damn near anywhere (lvl1 naked gnome runs anyone?), but also mean you could try and break sht,
surething game! allow me to take a quest 12 lvls above me, and then kite that fcn elite boss aaaall the way to the nearest town with higher lvl guards, 2 zones away, just so i can get this badass item and be Über Gnuffi (for 5mins until the item got obsolete)
Or elaborate/intricate chain quests, be it to open a gate of some mystical ruin, or to learn how to pet a bear/succubus/turn people into pigs. Or if you want to be the shiniest of shiny -and ride on a motherfuckin sparkling magical steed (i don’t care: that’s pretty much a unicorn by all definition!)
A semi-chill imaginary fantasy world, where even a pessimistic grumpy misanthrope can interact with people, when wanting to, because (“most”) players switched into “persona X/Y” to just either relax, mess about and goof off without having to behave the same off-putting way as they might irl
So you naively roll into Ogrimmar and ask “need a rogue” -while looking at the (literal) Horde of undead rogues standing in line behind you, and they laugh with you, because you already know how silly that question was.
Then you switch to a gnome/warlock instead, and ask some freshly minted online friends if you all should party… and they ask if you can behave “this time”, to which you answer… “depends, 'cos Gnuffi, but i can also come as Pixie… -if you want to play it “safe”… ;)”’
so you go and waste a couple of hours fcn shit up in BRD, because the game offers a dungeon/place for any occasion, char or “person”, be it (item) needs, or just to have fun rushing through a mass slaughter.
And when the day is almost done, you just lean back relaxing on the beach of Tanaris, with a fishing rod in hand, sitting on your spoils(of freshly picked flowers), while you think to yourself, "what a wonderful world
it didn’t really matter what someone might be looking for, that game(/“those games”/mmos) offer(ed) so many possibilities there was/is something for everyone. And to me this just struck so many chords “just right” it devoured me
and subsequently also became why i ended up disliking the genre/format/grind etc…
suppose too much of a good thing really does make “the same” less enjoyable in the end…