Global Chat: What powerful memories come from playing MMOs?
Upon seeing how a friend was becoming disenchanted with MMOs, blogger Ravalation hypothesized it was because he was shying away from other players too much and thus failing to form the powerful experiences that elevate these games to a whole new level. She took it upon herself to conduct a community-wide survey that asked other writers to share their favorite memories from MMOs in order to try to nail down the “essence” of playing these games.
“I’m not saying it’s all sunshine and rainbows,” she wrote. “I’m sure we can all recall encounters with trolls, guild drama and misunderstandings. But there are also good times, and I would argue that these have the potential to transform into powerful positive memories, which in their turn make us want to login and expect us to have fun.”
“So, I’m not going to knock it or anything, because the windows are nice and all, but the size of this place makes the starter inn room in EQ2 look like a mansion. Granted, you don’t have to pay upkeep and all, but still. Couldn’t they afford to give you a little bit more space? There’s hardly room for much more than a bed… if the merchant had a bed for sale. At least they gave me a free candle, right?”
“Elite Dangerous is in some sense the ultimate sandbox. It has all the hallmarks of sandbox gaming, in that it is almost entirely undirected. You set your own goals and do what you want within the confines of its universe. But the key is that its universe is so unconfining — the entirety of the Milky Way galaxy, a hundred billion stars or more, all out there waiting to be explored. No other game has anything close to this kind of scope. And it’s visually pretty stunning.”
“Switching specs is becoming easier and easier with every expansion. Gear has been given double or triple major stats: that is, you’re automatically start to benefit from intellect rather than agility if you Enhancement Shaman switches to elemental or restoration. Rings and trinkets have those stats removed — this is the next step in this direction. Legion has also granted us the ability to switch to whichever spec you want upon click without visiting training masters. At the same time the introduced artifact weapons became some sort of impediment.”
“Playing a few different games had me thinking of recovery time as a concept. I mean time in-between fights where your character needs to rest or do something to recover health, mana, or similar resources. The point being that in some games, you do not leave a fight necessarily ready to start the next one straight away.”
“I’m starting to load up on the experiences I’ve had with WildStar. I’m starting to bear in mind the fun I had with my very first guild before they dissolved. I’m recalling the PvP matches I dove into when I was hoping to face off against the devs. I’m remembering the ‘special event’ the game held which ended up being a sort of zone-wide stress test and all of the random stuff it brought.”
“People we’d never meet can become close friends. This includes people who might not have a lot of social opportunities offline: people who suffer from anxiety and depression, people who are just massive introverts who can’t handle a lot of in-person interaction, or people who are physically ill can make connections that would have been impossible a few decades ago. Yet, online designers often overlook this element.”