In a recent One Shots, MOP’s Justin asked readers to offer up their screenshots of MMOs with diurnal cycles – that is, games with day and night cycles. I remember back when it was a really big deal for MMOs to promise atmospheric content like this, but now I suppose it’s become old hat, to the point that some MMOs still don’t even bother, or they put everything on such a long cycle that you may never even notice it. Seasons and lunar cycles and weather have kinda become something that survival games focus on, rather than MMOs.
And yet I have such fond memories of roleplaying in MMOs that dumped snow everywhere come winter. I loved hanging out in Star Wars Galaxies and watching all the roleplayers scatter when a sudden downpour dumped rain on us and everyone had to react accordingly. I love the glowy windows you can finally see when the sun goes down and night has come to an MMO. It’s the casual environmental ambiance that makes MMOs feel like, well, immersive virtual worlds instead of backdrops for more murderhoboing.
Do you care whether MMORPGs have seasons and diurnal cycles? And which MMORPG does them best? (By the way, you can send Justin your pics for One Shots right here!)