MMO Purgatory (Archive)

Now, try not get caught up in the “Hell” part of the diagram, because frankly I have no idea what MMO hell is like (Wait, I take it back, here it is). Or MMO Earth for that matter. While I read a post about Funcom by OpenEdge, I went through a series of flashbacks from previous conversations I had in several MMOs. Although not conversations I necessarily participated, I recall having a familiar reaction every time I saw the familiar phrase. Almost always the conversation had near the exact same phrase, “I’m just staying here until ____ comes out.” For Age of Conan the inserted game was Warhammer. For Warhammer, the next game was Darkfall. In EVE the game was JumpGate: Evolution (RIP). Suffice to say, at this time you can insert Guild Wars 2 as the next game that we’re going to finally make our “real” MMO.

And every time I saw that, my brow furrowed and I mentally sneered at them. It seemed so horribly obnoxious. A planned temporary stay in an MMO? A trial perhaps, but who would be so obnoxious as to lead an MMO on like a woman who wrapped a man around her finger until her real boyfriend came back from vacation. The nerve! The gall! An MMO is designed to go on for years after all, if you didn’t plan on staying for the duration, why be there at all?

That thought stewed with me for some time, and I tried to rationalize it out as best I could, why I must clearly be right despite my own prior MMO hoppings. I would ultimately come to believe it was because of the plan. When I came to a game it was at least with the intent of staying as long as I could. That seemed far more reasonable.

But that could do nothing to satiate the thoughts that nagged at me. It reeked more of naivete than good intentions. What good was it to be part of a persistent world if you weren’t just as persistent in your existence in this world. Only then did it finally dawn on me; I was depressed. Not in terms of existentialism, but I was depressed at the thought that I wouldn’t actually stay with the game forever, and with such futility in mind, why should I even bother? Why should I buy the next shiny new game, if I would only purchase it while wistfully looking at the horizon for the next MMO that was really going to be “the one” this time? It was like playing an MMO after the announcement was made that the servers were shutting down; You were just passing the time.

One could say the point of games was to pass the time, but who actually approaches a game thinking, “I’ll get this much closer to death!” You look forward to actually having fun, not the explicit goal of passing the time. I’ve long since gotten over this, acknowledging that I’m here to have fun with people if I can, and if I’m going to stay for years on end, it will be because I haven’t stopped having fun, NOT for the purpose of feeling more permanent.

Do you ever feel like you lost the fun, waiting for the next big thing?


((This archive post has been edited to better relate to the current times.))

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