In Tyler’s longform piece on The Secret World a while back, he said something that leaped out at me: that the game isn’t really harmed by the fact that it’s nearly empty.
“The ambience of some MMOs might be hurt by the lack of players, but in the case of TSW, the loneliness almost enhances the experience. It’s a bleak game, and most of the zones you explore are extremely isolated, post-apocalyptic, or some mix of both, so being alone against the wilderness makes perfect sense.”
I can think of a few MMOs where the lack of people really isn’t a huge problem – like Guild Wars 1, since all but the hubs are limited in how many people you can bring anyway, and heroes flesh out parties. But I can’t think of many where it’s actually better. Maybe sandboxes, where there’s less competition for hunting spots, but then that always harms trade so much it’s a net negative?
You tell me. Which MMOs are better with fewer people playing? Are there any?