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Image of Critical Hit - MMO Themes

It's the start of a new week and time for another of my MMO ranting articles with Critical Hit. In previous weeks I've tackled everything from subscription MMORPG games to the responsibilities of the industry in regards to violence but I'm taking a lighter approach this week; the generic themes we seen in practically every MMO game.

I've played countless MMO games in my time and if there's one thing that really gets on my nerves, it's the generic fantasy theme that appears in a ridiculous number of free-to-play MMO games; and whats with the lack of a serious antagonist? I don't recall a single MMO game that featured solely around one particular enemy. Sure, some of them mention you're the last hope to save a struggling world from the evil forces of "XXX", but after the opening cut-scene you don't hear about them again until end-game raids.

Luckily, the boring theme trend seems to stop when we enter the world of pay-to-play games. Guild Wars 2, Star Wars: The Old Republic and the upcoming Elder Scrolls Online, all feature a depth of lore unrivaled by free-to-play games, but even still they do follow certain specifics.

Class archetypes, game progression and generic questing are just more mundane problems that plague the MMO world today, but at least the bigger titles are attempting to bring some innovation to the industry.

Why is there nothing fresh? Why do MMO companies feel the need to follow a dull trend? People are screaming out for more in-depth worlds, better background stories and more detailed lore; but instead we're dumped with the traditional fantasy setting with practically no antagonist in sight. Do you agree that MMORPG's have become too much of their own genre over that of the original idea, an online role-playing game?

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