Love and Hate: MMORPG Environments
Each year, ESPN columnist Matthew Berry writes an article called “love/hate”. In this article he gives opinions on why he loves and hates certain football players that year. This idea although simple, can be applied to the video game world; so that’s exactly what I did. This series aims to break down what we Love and Hate about the MMO gaming world; including aspects like a game’s economy, chat methods, leveling capabilities, and overall player interaction.
In last week’s article, I covered the ups and downs of dealing with community chat in MMO gaming. The ease of communication can be wondrous, but the mass amount of players can often make it a hassle to deal with. Players may create the society you become part of in an MMORPG, but the developers create the ambiance.
Players begin their massive gaming experience leveling through early areas. Until being dedicated enough to reach higher levels and achieve faster means of travel, gamers are usually subject to repeated grinding in these same areas. When people have to keep returning to the same locations, they tend to become masters of their MMORPG landscape. Other times, players are so immersed in their gaming experience that they don’t notice the full extent of such brilliant environments until having to pass through them for non-battling purposes.
One of the biggest reasons I quit Final Fantasy XI was because of how long it took to get places, even with the use of a mount. It wasn’t even the fact that I had to travel far that killed me. It was the fact that I kept running into walls because I would look toward my television knowing I would never see anything new in the games early areas. Every experienced player will end up exhausting uses in low-level areas of their game, but it doesn’t hurt to give them innovative visuals.
What do you think about the importance of visual in an MMO game? What MMO aesthetics have kept you hooked? Which games have lost their appeal because of mandatory repeat experiences? This is the third area of MMO gaming that can be a breaking point for players involved. Check back with MMO Attack next week when I discuss the leveling options of both lone and group play.