Monday, June 20, 2016

Some Hate on MMO Cities

After the hundreds of days worth of playtime I poured into WoW, I told myself to stay away from other MMO's for a while. I've been doing so-so on that front, since there are a ton of them nowadays and some seem truly interesting and like there is a fun game there to play even for someone who has no actual multiplayer interest in it, like me. Eventhough I've hardly tried many - I've managed to stay clear of both Rift, Wildstar and Final Fantasy XIV so far - the ones I have tried have horribly failed to keep my interest. And it's turned out it's not for lack of social sphere like I thought it would be.

Funnily enough, the only MMO I've played other than WoW and actually really enjoyed I played while I was playing WoW - Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning. The only reason I didn't stick with this one was the one I thought would be a problem for any MMO other than WoW, that I simply didn't have enough friends playing it at the same time. In the end, eventhough I had fun with it and managed to even get my then bf to play a bit with me, the pull of the social life on WoW turned out to be too great. Once WoW was over and done with for my part, I thought that I might be able to enjoy other MMO's uncrippled by this fact. In fact I was intent on it (the lack of social sphere in the game) not being allowed to cloud my judgement of an otherwise good game, because I always felt it was unfair towards other MMO that WoW would always have the bigger playerbase. Once WoW didn't have the social bit to keep me tied to it, I hoped I'd be able to enjoy other MMO's freely eventhough I feared the opposite.

Nothing fun to do here... -

So I tried Guild Wars, admittedly this was also while I was still playing WoW, but this time the problem wasn't the lack of friends to play with. I got to some sort of quest hub, and I'm not even joking, I couldn't find my way out of it. I thought that maybe I was just being stupid for that particular game, but it turned out this would be a recurring issue for me with other MMO's I tried. Ok, so I wouldn't necessarily fail so horribly as to not even manage to make my way out of a city. But the city, usually a massive main hub with not only quests but anything the player might need in terms of interaction, crafting and general restocking is where I end up logging out for the last time.

I tried Guild Wars 2 because everyone said it was such a masterpiece of a game, some said it was really even better than WoW but most players just didn't realize because they had their noses too far up WoW's posterior. And it was quite fun, I actually played it for a couple of hours before I ended up in yet another darned city and just... lost interest in the game completely. Because I had professions, or tradeskills, or whatever Guild Wars 2 calls it, and I had things to sell and probably a lot of other stuff that the city could provide me with. But I just got utterly lost and the entire thing was so boring because running around for an hour just trying to find things is not my kind of fun. And I realized I would have to do this many times before I finally had it all in my head and didn't have to think about it or google names to find the blacksmith and even then I would still have to spend a lot of time just travelling around in the city doing all those chore stuff that is often required in any game that has all that gear and item tinkering going on.

Yet another vendor

I tried Neverwinter and ended up having the exact same issue. The game itself was actually quite fun, the battles were fun, but then I had to run around in the city talking to quest givers and finding vendors and all the fun I had just blew right out the window. I realized yet again that any fun I might have inbetween the city-visits would just not be enough to make me want to go through it over and over. (I also tried Star Trek Online but that was just weird).

It's the size of it. See, I have this issue with cities in any old RPG, not just MMO's, but most of the time they're fortunately not big enough for it to become big enough of a problem. It does happen though, Final Fantasy XII was right on the threshhold for what I can endure. I've realized I pretty much detest having to run around in a city or village and look for things. Maybe I enjoyed Warhammer so much because I don't even remember it having cities!

Just loads of characters I don't care about -

I don't know if this is something that has come with age, or if it's the times - the instant satisfaction times. Maybe me not knowing exactly what to do and where to go frustrates me too much or maybe... it's because I remember the first time I stepped into Orgrimmar and I was completely blown away. Running in through those gates I pretty much gasped at the massive city that lay before me. It was something I had never seen before and I was amazed at everything there was to see and to do. Eventually I learned where everything was by heart in pretty much any city in WoW and barely had to even look to get where and what I wanted. The more I played the more the amazement wore off and everything just needed to be as effective and fast as possible. I lost interest in the exploration for explorations sake, something I loved to do in WoW, and just wanted to get to wherever would get me the next piece of gear or level as fast as possible.

But that was because I had done pretty much everything there was to do in WoW many, many times over. Somehow I've transferred those feelings over to other games I play and other MMO's are hit especially hard because you spend so much time in cities doing the tinkering and trying to find people to talk to.

There are still MMO's I am interested in trying however, like beforementioned FFXIV or The Secret World. We'll see if I get around to it and if I end up logging out in another city.


  1. I think I know what you mean. When I first started playing WoW, I chose the horde as I liked the units better in the old Warcraft RTS games. I remember some of the frustration the first time I hit Org and didn't know where I was going and couldn't find anything. It was not a lot of fun. But over time I learned the layout and locations and would now consider it my WoW home. I still get some of those issues when going to Undercity or Thunder Bluff as I don't get there much. When I rolled Alliance to try that for a while, it was the same issue with the cities. The problem was that I had already lost some of my patience and just did not like having to hunt around in a new city again.

    Not sure about the reason for this but I'm going with the age thing. I think I am just getting crotchety in my old age.

    1. Yeah it's something about getting older and losing your patience with things you've already done a bunch of times I think.

  2. I understand completely about GW2's and Neverwinter's main cities. I still get lost in them whenever I get back into each game, and I honestly prefer the hinterlands where the small towns allow me the ability to find what I need quickly because there's hardly any place to look.

    1. Yeah exactly, you've got to find yourself some little not too out of the way town to do your business in. Dalaran in WoW was a great example of a city for me, pretty condensed, yet pretty.

  3. TSW is a lot of fun, and it has very little in the way of city to get lost in, and decent maps. The dungeon/raiding scene is ok but not great. Otoh, the questing! Best questing ever, and it is very much playable as a solo player. Kill 20 mobs using a molotov cocktail, a bomb, and a flamethrower. Sneak around quests where you lose if the traps/mobs catch you. Puzzle quests. And more story than I thought you could stuff into a game.

    Also, fun dress up if that's your jam.

    1. Well that does sound like something I could have fun with :) I like the setting too, I'm a little bit of a Lovecraft-nerd, so there is that.

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