I was chatting with MOP reader and commenter Bruno Brito a while back when something he said about player expectations in MMOs struck me. I’ll paraphrase him here a bit:
“I see that a lot of people on MOP started with EverQuest; others started with World of Warcraft. WoW was my first game that had quest design, but I started by playing games like Mu Online and Priston Tale. In those games, grouping was more of a convenience tool, since you were grinding all the time, like in Diablo, where the idea was just farming drops until the best one dropped. But when I started playing World of Warcraft during Wrath of the Lich King, I got really used to quality-of-life features like the random dungeon finder. It’s made transition to other games without those features quite hard for me.”
What he was getting at is the idea that the early MMOs you played become the cultural luggage of the games you play, essentially setting your expectations for everything you try later. I certainly think it’s true for me; I am constantly comparing new games to experiences I had in the first six or seven years of the genre (and often, though not always, being let down – but that’s another topic for another day). I wondered whether that was true for other folks too and how it differs from my take. How did your early MMOs shape your expectations for the MMOs you play now?