The Daily Grind: What seemingly unrelated things make you want to return to old MMOs?

Lately, I’ve been feeling a very explainable pull back to Final Fantasy XI. It’s easy to explain because, well, it’s the game’s 15th anniversary and I’ve been reading a lot of vintage FFXI humor. What’s not so easy to explain is why there’s a certain time of year, every fall, when I get perfectly nostalgic for killing things in Gustaberg. That specific region. I don’t even like Gustaberg, but every year, like clockwork, September rolls in and I think I should go back to visit.

Why? I couldn’t tell you; I also know there’s a certain point of summer that always makes me want to play World of Warcraft, and playing Mass Effect 2 always makes me think of Star Trek Online fondly. These things don’t line up to the same timeline, I don’t have strong associations between the two, but these seemingly irrelevant experiences line up in my memory. What about you? What seemingly unrelated things make you want to return to old MMOs? Is it a time of year? Certain movies or songs? Or even just hearing the right turn of phrase?

Every morning, the Massively Overpowered writers team up with mascot Mo to ask MMORPG players pointed questions about the massively multiplayer online roleplaying genre. Grab a mug of your preferred beverage and take a stab at answering the question posed in today’s Daily Grind!
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26 Comments on "The Daily Grind: What seemingly unrelated things make you want to return to old MMOs?"

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Jokerchyld

Shit. They were fun! I still go back to Everquest to have that TRUE MMORPG feel. The feeling of exploration. The feeling of fear that I could die. The feeling of anticipation of my next ding. The feeling of satisfaction of the extreme customization making my character truly unique in an online world. It felt like a real adventure that appeared endless (there were so many places to go and things to do). I miss that light hearted, moderate fantasy, somewhat cartoon yet real, theme and atmosphere.

MMOs today have lost that simple thing, and for many reasons which I see as the result of maturation. I wasn’t surprised by it, but disappointed. My view of the potential future (fully realized virtual worlds) seem wasted, in favor of (what I saw as the opposite) a more watered down restricted experience.

But here is how I saw it…

The genre went public. When I started MMORPGs only people like me were playing them let alone knew they existed. It allowed a form of integrity to extend in the digital world. You were responsible for what you character did because others remembered.

So the audience expanded bringing in new expectations of what the online experience should be. The exposure became greater. I couldn’t tell you what the hell 989 studios was thinking when they made Everquest. Mostly because I was too busy playing it. Today I could give you the financial run down of the publisher, developer and gossip of the programmers. Being someone in the software industry, thats a tremendous influence on design.

The cost increased. As the genre became more mainstream, and more and more people started playing, leading to more online content of peoples feelings of the genre, created more income, which lead to corporate strategy to make even more income simply by making the game bigger and prettier (but at the same time forgetting why they worked in the first place).

And now we are here (whatever this may be). While I appreciate the evolution and new experiences brought to the genre, I would be lying if I didn’t say I still feel saddened still believing what it could have become.

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Rolan Storm

a) couldn’t have said better if I wanted to;
b) we have some promising MMORPG that still can become VR.

“There are a lot of good people here, Colonel. Even with incomplete bios. Just give them a chance.”

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Mr Poolaty

When it starts to snow in the late fall I always get nostalgic for the original Simcity on SNES lol

I think it may be something associated with the weather around the time you started or something in the game weather or seasonal wise…

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Danny Smith

FFXI is the mmo version of Vampire the Masquerade Bloodlines for folks who played it “if you mention it, someone reinstalls it”. I love FFXIV, its my main mmo now, but every so often someone will mention Vana’diel, or youtube will recommend me the Windurst theme on the homepage and that pulls you right back out.
I’ve enjoyed a lot of mmos in my time and still love listening to things like my WoW soundtracks but XI is the only one that can pull me back like Bloodlines does for single player rpgs.

-though finally getting the headless horsemans mount in WoW killed my halloween revisits to it finally :p

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Robert Mann

… not me. I will play a game again because of what I remember from the game, and wanting to re-experience some things. Not because of other stimuli.

Most MMOs fail there, outside the people I know who may be in them still.

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Schmidt.Capela

I do get occasional yearnings, but nothing with a regular pattern. The triggers are usually reading about something similar in tone to the game’s scenario or playing a game that reminds me of something else I played in the past.

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steve

Just about anything in the news makes me nostalgic for my old EQ/WoW guild chat. We had two rules: No discussion of politics, and no discussion of religion.

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Ryuen

I can’t think of any but I must say I’m easily influenced by relevant things: an article on MOP, a screenshot, reading a related book or hearing a soundtrack, things like that.

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Bryan Turner

I don’t dwell on it, usually I get bored and think I haven’t played that game in months.

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David Goodman

“What seemingly unrelated things make you want to return to old MMOs?”

The price of tea in china.

Look, it has to do with SOMETHING.

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Serrenity

Spring time and hearing pseudo-celtic music always makes me want to go back to the Grizzly Hills in WoW. It’s still one of my favorite zones in any game — and the music definitely helps that.

Also, the song “Hooch” makes me miss the bar in Old Athens in Anarchy Online.

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MesaSage

e.s. posthumus “Nara” makes me want to kick Orc ass on a war-steed in Rohan.

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Mars Langley

For me, the urge to FFXI comes in spring – if I open the windows on a breezy, sunny day, I will feel Vana’diel calling. This is 100% because spring 2004 was when I started playing, and we had all the windows in the apartment open that year. The nostalgia hit particularly hard a couple years ago and I resubscribed; haven’t been able to unsub since, even though I barely get to do anything these days (toddlers and MMOs don’t mix). XI is where I wasted my youth and apparently is where I am going to waste my old age as well.

For a while I was stuck in a recursive loop where playing WoW made me want to play Dwarf Fortress which made me want to play WoW, until Mists of Pandaria finally succeeded in breaking that cycle.

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FreecczLaw

In the spring/summer when out on long walks I get an urge to play SWG. Not because I loved the game or even would play it now if possible but it reminds me of all the time me and my two best friends spent discussing and dreaming about the game long before release. We went on so many walks all over just dreaming and longing for the game. Thinking about it now, when I barely know one of them anymore due to drugs and see the other too rarely because we live in different cities, it makes me miss those days and the urge to get back into SWG with my friends gets strong.

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Keir

For some reason, when it’s a warm, sunny afternoon I want to create a new character on World of Warcraft and explore the world again. I think it’s because my first experiences of the game was when I’d go to my friend’s house when I was young, and it was always nice weather (it was summer I guess?), and I’d create a new character every time. It was always a tauren and the nostalgia of exploring Mulgore for the first time is a thought I’m very fond of.

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bigangry

Listening to Gin Blossoms’ Major Lodge Victory album, especially track 2, takes me back to running as an undead mage in WOW from the Sepulcher to… somewhere, from back in the late 2000s. Better days? Perhaps.

I kept getting killed by overleveled mobs, so not THAT great of a memory. ;)

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CthulhuDawg

A Perfect Circle’s album Thirteenth Step transports me back to a July 4th weekend in the early oughts. I bought the album and then had a bleeding episode (I’m a hemophiliac) in my ankle that kept me inside for the whole holiday weekend. I just jammed EQ while listening to the album on repeat. Good times.

django857
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django857

Flat out missing how the genre was back in those early days. Yeah games were harder but they all were very social and fun to play. Today the newer games just seem to be missing that. They have got way to competitive and gear dependent. The Devs seem to have forgotten what really made mmo’s great. And its not totally their fault. Players today have a big hand in the way the genre is going. Its the me me attitude that players have. New games have zero social areas or players that are interested in it. Those old games were so social in cities and towns. That’s what i really miss from those older mmo’s. In Anarchy Online back in 2001 just logging in and hanging out meeting new people from around the world on the weekends in cities. Just doing that for a couple of hours or more and loving it.

borghive
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borghive

I think people have just changed. I to long for the days you described above, but sadly most online communities these days are pretty crappy, not all of them of course. I think what you are seeing in MMOs today, both development and player behavior is just a small reflection of our modern world.

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Keir

I feel like we’ve very rapidly got accustomed to having an “on-demand culture”. We now get all our media on demand (news, films, TV). We speak to our friends and family whenever we want via social media and get an instant response. We don’t have to go to shops, we now buy everything from sitting on our butt at home. Instant taxis, pizza deliveries, etc have gotten popular with apps so you just click a button and it comes to you, rather than speaking to anyone. We can get everything we need at the click of our fingers nowadays.

I think this has taken its toll in everything in our lives, people now expect to be able to achieve everything without doing any work for it. In MMOs they used to require teamwork and socialising to progress, that was the whole point of the games. Nowadays such things are relegated to only the most dedicated players, and it’s considered “hardcore” to use your brain and work together.

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Schmidt.Capela

“On demand” isn’t quite about not having to work for it; rather, it’s about not having to wait. I still expect to work just as hard for what I get, I’m just not willing to put up with waits if they aren’t strictly required as a part of the product or service I’m getting.

Fun fact: as a child I had access to one of those early programmable VCRs (it used mechanical dials for setting channel, day of the week, and start and stop times), way before TIVOs were even conceived. So I mapped every cartoon and other TV program of interest to me, going to the point of developing a rudimentary understanding of standard deviation so I could compensate for fluctuations in the TV schedule, in order to program the VCR to record them and have my cartoons on-demand. It was a lot of work, I had to constantly update my time charts and my parents were actually unable to do it for me because they knew less about VCR programming than me, but it was oh so worth it.

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MesaSage

The Shanghai Restoration Project “Dark Horse”. Makes me want to play Glitch.

threeknee
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threeknee

Certain songs by Alanis Morissette make me strongly nostalgic for Guild Wars 1. At the time I was playing GW1 I also liked listening to her music and now the association between the two is still there.

miskav
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miskav

I have that with queens of the stone age and the offspring.

camren_rooke
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camren_rooke

I like GW2 during Halloween. Running around Lions Arch at that time is a lot of fun.

I’d rather be Door Busting but… :(

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thirtymil

Drinking Remy Martin brandy -> visiting Warcraft’s Isle of Quel’danas (which was a Burning Crusade-era rep grind for those who remember).

No, doesn’t make sense to me either.

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