Back in September, Bree posed a Daily Grind question that I thought was genuinely intriguing. You know, for once. Just kidding, Bree! She asked the community to share a nice thing or two about MMOs that people weren’t playing.
I thought this would be a great exercise for this column because there are all sorts of MMOs I’m not playing right now for various reasons — and yet, I can be honest enough to admit that there are elements to each that seem appealing. In this age of bashing things we’re not a part of to make us feel better about not being a part of them, I wanted applaud the effort that goes into these titles.
1. EVE Online
EVE, you have some seriously wicked-awesome looking spaceships. I love your variety and willingness to go strange, sleek, lopsided, and futuristic with many of your designs. The fact that your four main factions each have their own ship “style” speaks well of your commitment to visual identity.
FFXIV, you package a lot of great ideas inside that odd MMO of yours, but you know what I’ve always liked the best? Your weather and skies. You have truly majestic and breathtaking outdoor scenery, from rainstorms to sunsets, and I think it contributes well to your sense of world.
Aion, I kind of poo-pooed gliding as a big feature when you first came on the scene, but after having experienced it in other MMOs, I think you were a little ahead of your time, there. It can be really serene and relaxing to just soar off of high places, and I’m sure it encouraged your players to explore your world more.
SWG, you and I never really connected, but I’ve come to respect you greatly since your passing. Looking back, I think what you did best was expand the Star Wars franchise from a very narrow scope to a much broader idea of what this universe is like. Letting players live a huge variety of lives and go beyond mere combat as the only activity made a deep, lasting impression on so many.
Skyforge, I’ve always been kind of impressed about how you let players swap classes in and out. True, other MMOs have done that, but it’s a good decision for you and encourages players to experiment and have a good time without constant rerolling.
Blade and Soul, you’ve really been servicing your community well ever since you launched. As long as I’ve covered the news, I’ve noticed how many updates keep rolling out for your players on a very regular basis. I imagine that if I was playing, I would probably never get bored.
ESO, I only spent a very short time playing you, but you know what stuck out at me? Your questing is kind of really awesome. There’s a lot of development, dialogue, and scripting that takes place in the midst of the quest — not just at the start and finish — and that makes it feel more like actual stories that the player is a part of creating.
ArcheAge, you tried so hard to bring the MMORPG sandbox back, and you might have done it under better business circumstances. You had so many cool ideas and wild things to do that it started to seduce me. Maybe in another life, we would have been the best of friends.
Furcadia, before I wrote my column on you, I thought you were kind of a joke. After my research, I saw that you were more about making an inclusive playground that would be a safe and welcoming environment for people who really loved roleplay. I can respect that.
RuneScape, you put in so much darn effort to please your community, and that’s why you have one of the most loyal bunch of followers an MMO has ever seen. You created an older version of the game to please them and continually add content that’s informed and selected by the community. Plus, your team has a great sense of humor from what I’ve seen!