The Daily Grind: What do you remember differently about older MMOs from what was true?

    
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Sort of?

Let me tell you, going back to an old MMO after a very long time away can be a shock to your memories. I had always thought of City of Heroes as having snappy quick combat, for instance, but that was a faulty memory that didn’t recall all of the slow activation times and extensive cooldowns. And when I went back to Warhammer Online this past week, I discovered more color in general and bigger, more vibrant skill icons than my memory recalled.

That’s just how our memories work, and when you do go back to an old favorite, it can be a shock to the system as memories realign with reality. What do you remember differently about certain MMOs than ended up being false when you investigated it?

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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Pandalulz

I don’t really have a good answer for this since I rarely go back anymore. My memories are all I have.

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Sorenthaz

Usually graphics and UI.

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Rndomuser

I’m probably not the only one wishing to have their entire MMO memories wiped out and start playing Vanilla WoW (and MMOs) freshly as something never experienced before.

I don’t wish that. Even if I forgot about some old MMORPG and all its quests and zones – I would most likely still dislike replaying it because of its many deficiencies (poor graphics by modern standards which does matter to me, lack of features like dungeon queue system or guild finder, slow leveling, boring quests and so on). For example I did not play much of original EQ so my memory about it is almost non-existent but at this point I have no desire to start playing it after watching few people playing it on streams.

I’d rather experience newer upcoming MMORPGs in same way – discovering everything that is new, exploring zones I never explored, but in an environment that is more visually attractive and with much more options and more convenient systems.

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Rndomuser

I understand what you mean and I agree that if you have no memories about playing MMORPGs – you may enjoy re-experiencing old ones all over again as if it was your first time. I still do not wish to do that right now, I’m fine with experiencing future games without losing any memories about playing old games, even if it won’t feel the same as playing the first MMORPG 20 years ago for first time.

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Pandalulz

It’s an interesting thought experiment, although I’m not sure it’s what they meant. If I could forget about the last twenty years of MMOs, then could I look at something like Astellia without any baggage and think to myself, “huh, maybe that could be fun…” instead of instantly writing it off as garbage.

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Bryan Correll

If my memory is incorrect, how do I know?

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styopa

Pretty much as described: you’re not going to realize the difference until confronted by going onto a legacy/vanilla/private server and seeing the game as it actually was.
Essentially, this list is what in WoW Classic is the “working as intended” list where people complain about crap that they don’t like and the dev team points out that was, indeed, how vanilla was.

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Bryan Correll

Of course, a sizable portion of those people aren’t willing to accept the idea that memory cheats.

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Arktouros

The only thing that consistently catches me if I go back to a MMO is how bad the graphics are compared to what other games I play today in many cases.

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SmiteDoctor

I remember Classic WoW being fun, but then after losing my temper after multiple attempts I remembered I never made any real headway with Classic WoW unless my wife and I were playing together, and I wasn’t able to play WoW solo until Burning Crusade there must have been some kind of a nerd patch when that happened.

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squid

I remember thinking Age of Conan had amazing graphics and animations. I went back to it a few months ago and yeah, no. It was great for the time, but the animations in particular really don’t hold up against modern games.

Music is still #1 tho.

In a more general sense, games felt more dangerous back in the day. Death penalties have since been watered down to such an extent that failure is irrelevant. In some modern games, it doesn’t even slow you down.

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Ironwu

Well, because most currently running MMOs are heavily modified from the original, it is tough to answer this question.

About the only one I can currently speak to is WoW Classic.

I remember it being difficult.

But it was that I was actually inexperienced in the MMO. Going into WoW Classic, I had the same nothing that I had back in the day. But within hours I was kitted out with bags and potions (ran two characters for Tailor and Alchemy).

I know how to pull, when to leg it. What to do and what to skip.

Not saying that’s a bad thing. Just that the difficulty I remember was just never there.

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Pandalulz

Whereas after playing FFXI,AC, Shadowbane, Lineage, the Lineage 2 beta, a few others I’m sure I’ve forgotten, and watching folks play EQ (I never fell into that trap), I remember WoW Classic as the easy-mode MMO. And then it just got easier from there.

Which is to say, I guess, that the summary sentence is the same for both of us, we just got there via different paths.

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Dug From The Earth

The only thing that comes to mind is how awful many older mmorpg’s UI and controls actually were.

I remember loving Asherons Call 1

Went back about 10 years later to try it out again and was appalled by the interface and control system. I cant figure out how I even managed to play without being frustrated.

Dark Age of Camelot is in the same boat here. Many of these games didnt even have mouse look, and had to patch that in as an option much much later.

I guess thats the downside of things improving, getting used to those better things, and then having to use the non-improved ways again.

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Pandalulz

The controls for AC1 were so very rudimentary. It could be interesting enough I guess if you were a caster, but I was a dude with a sword. All I had available to me was hit auto-attack and wait for the guy to fall over dead.

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Utakata

I had always thought of City of Heroes as having snappy quick combat, for instance, but that was a faulty memory that didn’t recall all of the slow activation times and extensive cooldowns.

However, flashy spells and abilities stacked together with other player characters in a warehouse Mish’es to go bowling for Hellions for example, seemed to give the weird impression that combat could wipe the floor with everything. o.O

camren_rooke
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camren_rooke

and still have enough time if you were quick to type out a witty rejoinder IN character.