The Daily Grind: Have you ever changed your mind on an MMO expansion over time?

    
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Pet action.

At the time Final Fantasy XI launched its second expansion, I loathed it. Not only did it offer no new jobs or the like, but it launched when I was not at all flush with money to buy video games. It felt like a bit of a slap, to be charged money for something that only offered story which was barred to all but the top end of players. Years later, on the other hand, I… well, I still dislike it. None of those things are suddenly good. But the new areas are lovely, the new story is good, and it was a genuine attempt to give the game new spaces to explore without new jobs or an updated level cap. I can respect it more.

Our reactions to any expansion are largely temporal, things we experience in the moment based on where we are when they launch. Sometimes, as the years go by, you start to look back at something you once disliked with the ability to re-examine major updates or system changes, ultimately leading you to accept that it might not have been as bad as you thought. Other times your opinion actually diminishes over time; either a once-beloved update reveals flaws you overlooked before, or a bad one has downsides greater than you first noticed. So have you ever changed your mind on an MMO expansion over time?

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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HawkeWar

No when I hate I hate Forever!!!!!!!!

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EmberStar

My first impressions of expansions tend to be pretty close to my final impressions. I wasn’t thrilled with with the SWTOR “Fallen” expansions at first. The story seemed trite and derivative, they confiscated my existing companions so they could replace them with “one size fits all” story companions, and the story was really about the Emperor anyway. (Even though he spent most of it dead.) Then I hit the final, or second final mission where I had to solo fight a boss that I had no HOPE of defeating. And the only way to have any NPC assistance at all was to have basically known in advance and done a completely out of character thing so I could have an angry Sith ghost to order around.

Basically, I started out not liking it and ended up just walking out before even finishing the final mission. Since all the *following* areas were gated behind it (and were all apparently based around PVP and/or group only content Flashpoints) I just stopped logging in.

Same thing for Neverwinter. They added a big update that included “guild progression.” IE, there’s a big selection of upgrades you can only get access to if you’re in a guild with enough people who are rich enough (in time or preferably money) to have upgraded to T5 and unlocked all the upgrades. They followed it up not long afterwards by taking all the existing character powers and throwing them in the bin. (I assume to make the game more like 5th Edition.) Again, started out not impressed and after a very short time switched to just not caring enough to even keep logging in.

On the bright side, both of those probably saved me a great deal of money since I no longer had to deal with their cash shops and “Well, this new costume is only a few dollars. And it looks really nice.” So… good job them, I guess. They succeeded in narrowing the playerbase by one that didn’t fit the demographic of what they apparently wanted.

carthoris
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carthoris

It was kind of a mini expansion, but Rift’s Ember Isle is the first thing I think of. At the time it came out I loved it, a new GIGANTIC zone with tons of content and new 5 man and new raid and new dungeon difficulties on top of whatever else I don’t remember? Count me in all the way!

Midway through leveling in the first true expansion, Storm Legion, I realized that all the things I enjoyed in Ember Isle were awful, predatory gameplay mechanics designed to chain me to the computer as much as possible. This philosophy only got worse as time went on in the game and it’s why I finally dropped it completely even though it remains to this day my favorite MMO. Ember Isle in hindsight was a warning of where the game was headed, and all I can think when I look back now is disgust.

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traja

Many times but never in a positive direction. It is always the same story where progressing further into the expansion reveals all the weaknesses of it. Also my opinion on expansions after they are no longer relevant tends to stay static. For example I still get slightly nauseous thinking about my garrison in WoD.

Cyclone Jack
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Cyclone Jack

I thought that Lich King had a fantastic leveling experience, with some very memorable quests, but the dungeons were too simple and easy, and offered no challenge whatsoever (Warrior Tank). As a non-raider*, I found Lich King to be an over-simplified, easy mode expansion, with some of the worst dungeons ever added to an MMO; and it got me to quit the game.

* I’ve never enjoyed raiding, so I’m the guy that’s content to run people through whatever dungeons/heroics they need so that they can gear up for raiding.

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Sorenthaz

Yeah, WoW’s Pandaria expansion was one I had stayed away from, but after actually playing it near the end of its patch cycle (and that giant content drought) I wished I had been around earlier to see the Isle of Thunder and whatnot before it became oudated.

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starbuck1771

When the NGE for SWG was in testing I was very vocal about my displeasure with it. Then it went onto test center for everyone else and the whole community had to be locked out from posting due to the same displeasure. Anyway my fears were realized when the game was suddenly bombarded with kids that wanted everything handed to them.

Eventually that died down and they started making improvements and my opinion changed.

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Ironwu

Mists of Pandaria. Just did not seem what I would like to play. But man, the stories. The enemies. The continent. Dungeons were kind of still not what I wanted, but the rest of it was really grand.

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zoward

Mists of Pandaria. Expected a Kung Fu Panda ripoff, got one of the best WoW expansions.

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NeoWolf

A number of times over the years, for sure.

I never write games off as games or companies for that matter, as things can change (for better or worse). I can be 100% opposed to a game/expansion or company but that only persists until they resolve the issues I am having with them.

Nothing in life is written in stone, immutable and unchanging forever and so I don’t treat things as if they are.

Expansions etc.. are no different, they are still just content and that can all be changed/altered/added too or removed over time providing the company is listening and willing enough.

Indeed fewer things make me happier than a game turning things around, or a company coming good finally, as both of these thing mean nothing but beneficial things for us the players/consumers :)