Massively Overthinking: Is there an MMO you’d never be caught dead playing?

No, saying that you don't care is not actually an answer.

So today’s Massively Overthinking question is entirely the fault of fanny packs. I don’t care how hard retailers and fashion gurus push fanny packs as “hands-free belted satchels for the urban adventurer.” I don’t even care that they’re actually a clever and ancient invention that makes up for the lack of pockets in clothes. I don’t care that they’ve made them out of vintage brushed vegan leather or whatever. No matter how hard I try – and I try! – I can’t stop seeing them as something tourists wore (and the world made fun of) in the ’90s. I just wouldn’t be caught dead in a fanny pack.

I hope it’s obvious that I’m half kidding here, and if you want to wear a fanny pack in all its glory, you go right ahead and I won’t actually judge you because this is my dumb fashion hang-up. But this is an MMORPG website, so of course, you know I’m going to bring this back around to MMOs and mutilate an idiom too. Surely there’s an MMO out there that you have some sort of irrational, deep-seated disdain for – the fanny pack of MMOs. Is there an MMO you’d never be caught dead playing? Which one is it, and what happened to create that antipathy?

Andrew Ross (@dengarsw): The original EverQuest. No joke, all the cleavage-Elf advertising made even high-school Andrew embarrassed for their player-base. EverQuest II had some nice ideas, even if it seemed oddly similar to Asheron’s Call 2’s story, but I digress. Original EQ did nothing for me, and I don’t think it ever could. There are probably others, and mostly older titles, but I’d be willing to give most a chance, if only for a few hours tops (assuming there’s a free trial – too many games I want to play, too little time to waste on paying for duds).

Brianna Royce (@nbrianna, blog): This is hard because I’ve played so many MMOs over the years! Hell, I can’t even say I’d never go back to WoW because I can think of some (very unlikely) scenarios where I would. But I don’t think there’s anything that could coax me back into original EverQuest or EVE Online, though. I left for good reasons. I could probably add some particularly toxic rogue servers to my list as well. But for most of the games I don’t want to play or wouldn’t log into, it’s more a question of indifference or exhaustion, rather than fanny pack-levels of hate!

Carlo Lacsina (@UltraMudkipEX, YouTube, Twitch): I won’t play any sort of MMORPG with no combat and a focus on crafting. That was never my jam; I like running raids, dungeons, grinding (pretty much anything people claim is killing the genre), and if they take that out of an MMORPG, then it’s a pass. These days, any mobile MMOs are a big nope now since League of Legends Wild Rift has filled my need of a solid mobile game that isn’t pay-to-win.

I know. I’m a simple guy.

Chris Neal (@wolfyseyes, blog): Being the person who has taken the helm of Choose My Adventure, you’d be generally right in believing that I’d pick up pretty much any game if people cared to read my thoughts about it. That said, there are definitely some titles that are something I’d avoid like the plague, and EverQuest is one of them.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not about to dunk on this game’s legacy or what it’s done for the genre as a whole. I’m also not going to act like I didn’t cut my teeth on the genre by playing EverQuest Online Adventures on my PlayStation 2. Or that I’m passing curious about EverQuest II. Or wasn’t eager for EverQuest Next before Daybreak decided to put the kibosh on the project. That said, some games age like leftover cheese, and I really feel like the original EverQuest is one of those. I don’t have the patience or especially the time for a game of its size and scope, and I’m also way too comfortable with several modern MMO systems to do without them.

Sorry, EQ, it’s not you, it’s me.

Justin Olivetti (@Sypster, blog): It’s funny, because I’ve been getting into hiking lately and hikers love fanny packs to hold quick-access gear. Plus, when you’re in the forest, who’s going to laugh at you?

I wouldn’t say that there are any MMOs that I’d feel ashamed to be seen playing. Probably the closest would be sitting down to dig into a kid-focused MMORPG because there’s that weird stigma of an adult playing a kiddie game. It makes it psychologically more difficult to get into, say, Wizard101 even if I know that a lot of adults do enjoy it.

MJ Guthrie (@MJ_Guthrie, blog): Do I really need to answer this? is there anyone left who doesn’t know? I refuse to touch WoW. The same goes for the entirety of Blizzard’s portfolio of games. I won’t play any of them. It has to do with how the game irreparably damaged the genre and the behaviors/attitudes of the players. It became all of Blizzard because of… well, Blizzard. Nothing that studio touches will be anything I ever play.

Studio WildCard (which tried to hide itself as Grapeshot Games) is another studio that earned my ire. I will never touch Atlas, and I have no intention of supporting Grapeshot Games’ future endeavors — no matter what studio name it comes up with to hide certain very disreputable developers. I am more amenable to offering conditional support to those who were abandoned and left behind in the remnants of Studio Wildcard who have been trying to do more right by ARK by continuing its development. I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt until they lose it or as long as certain devs don’t show back up to screw everyone over again.

As for other games, I have been fairly open to try most anything, even games way outside of my comfort zones. I have found fun in places I never would have thought! But as for those two studios, they are completely written off. I will be honest, however: If I were offered a million dollars to log into one of those, I would likely take the deal to better support my family. But no amount of money would ever make me say good things I didn’t find true! Logging in I could do; lying I can’t.

Sam Kash (@thesamkash): I’m going to get a bit of grief here, but I wouldn’t be caught dead in WoW. It’s the Apple of MMOs: It’s too popular for its own good, it’s overpriced when compared to competitors, and I’m sick of hearing players say it’s the epitome of the genre and everything else is just a copycat pretender.

The main reason I feel this way goes back to when I was a young and broke guy in school. I didn’t have the cash flow to play a sub game, so when a buddy of mine keyed me in on Guild Wars, I became hooked. Occasionally there’d be the chat debates where someone was complaining about how GW paled next to the superior game WoW. These “debates” only led me to dig my heels in further to a mindset of WoW being this over hyped menace.

Now in my old age, I’ve backed off my disdain for WoW and can let others enjoy it without totally losing my cool and trying to convince them it’s a waste of time and money. Even so, I don’t think I could ever totally let go and actually play it.

Tyler Edwards (blog): I’ll preface this by saying that I’m a fan of never saying never with MMOs, given their evolving nature, so I’m not sure there are any games that I absolutely, positively would never play. But there are some that come pretty close. For me, it’s mainly games whose developers and/or fans send the message, “This is a real game for real gamers, and all those other games are baby games for babies!”

Crowfall comes to mind immediately. Its initial marketing was so deep into dudebro gamer edgelord territory it immediately and utterly turned me off. There’s very little it could do to convince me to even try the game at this point.

This is also one of the main reasons I haven’t made more of an effort to get into Path of Exile. To be fair, I’m not aware of GGG’s messaging around the game being particular elitist or toxic, so it’s not wholly the studio’s fault, but the fandom sure likes to shout that sort of thing from the rooftops. In the immortal words of Sloan, “It’s not the band I hate; it’s their fans.”

You can also apply this to a lot of parts of MMOs, as well as whole MMOs. My desire not to do raid content in World of Warcraft is at least as much about the culture around raiding as the content itself.

Every week, join the Massively OP staff for Massively Overthinking column, a multi-writer roundtable in which we discuss the MMO industry topics du jour – and then invite you to join the fray in the comments. Overthinking it is literally the whole point. Your turn!
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