Wednesday 23 November 2011

Skyrim, MMOs and dead eyes.

This is a really good post I saw linked on G+ today: I do not wish for an Elder Scrolls MMO. Go have a read, once you're done here. ;)

I compared the atmosphere and sense of place that Skyrim has with MMOs recently, but I too wouldn't want to see Bethseda make the next Elder Scrolls game as an MMO, they're too good at making single player games and we still need to have quality single player games. What I would like to see is some MMO developers be a bit more influenced by games like Skyrim and less by the long standing traditions of firmly rooted spawn camps merely existing to service questing and/or grinding. As really all we get in the vast majority of games are worlds that quickly start to feel sterile and lifeless with their soulless automaton mobs and overall static nature. I'd just like something that wee bit more alive. Which is considerably easier for me to type than for some poor sod to make reality of course, but there you go.
OK this screenie is not an example of anything except pretty, but meh, I like pretty.

One of the reasons I was quite enamored with RIFT was it almost did this, well, ok "almost" is a bit much... lets just say it at least it tried a little bit. The rifts added a nice random and chaotic element to things, but unfortunately that was still overlayed on the standard essentially static game world and actually the impact of the rifts was lacking at level 50. I know when SWTOR arrives it will also be the same and once the nice new glow from all those sabers wears off I'll probably notice the game staring at me with sinister dead eyes.
Lots of undead eyes in Skyrim.

Though as I've said many times before regarding SWTOR, I am looking forward to it, but thanks to my slightly jaded/tired (or perhaps experienced?) state I'm not super hyped or anything. It will be the same again and that's no bad thing, it just is what it is.

To be honest though whilst I'm a bit tired of the status quo, that doesn't mean developers should do much different to the WoW winning forumla. It still sells after all. Perhaps I'm just experiencing the symptoms of having played too many MMOs since Ultima. It's no coincidence that the true faction based RvR games (DAoC & WAR) were the ones that held my attention the longest, as I think that higher level and complexity of player interaction in those games distracts from how sterile I often find the PvE side of MMOs to be.

Ah well, bring on Planetside 2 :)


  1. I need a mod or macro to turn off the UI, take a screenshot, turn the UI back on again.

    I did it with ~ and "tm" and aw it's clumsy. Some perfectly fine wallpaper quality screenshots get ruined with the UI, even if it is fairly minimal.

  2. True points. However how can a world be anything other than static with hundreds of thousands of players?

  3. That's the problem. If I recall correctly in the very first days of Ultima (before I started) they had a very dynamic system for the mobs, but it just got destroyed by players and didn't work.

    Perhaps there's a way of making MMOs that feel less static, but I suspect it would need a major move away from how MMOs work right now. Or of course just play small scale co-op RPGs, but thats a whole other thing.

  4. Good reading Boots. I feel the same as you about upcoming MMOs and the past ones. DAOC continues to be my fave MMO of all time. Grindtastic it was but accompanied by depth too and possibly still the best RvR/PvP of any game (especially from a balance aspect). Finally, have you considered like me that you may just be reaching an age where games just can't hold your imagination any more or the 'pull' just isn't there? It's a scary thought which I'm just ignoring. Hope you and yours are well,



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Half man half pixel. Music obsessive, likes a drink, occasional bastard.