Tipa at West Karana reminded us last week of her MMO Challenge. Which is, in short, to pick one MMO, stick with it for a whole year, and ignore everything else. The idea being that you don’t really get the full MMO experience if you dabble in a bunch of different games.
I pointed out at the time that she was quite right, and waved a hand or three at limiting myself to just one game, but it’s never worked out. I’m just not the kind of player that can play just one thing, and this dates all the way back to my tabletop days. I think I stuck more or less exclusively to WoW for about five months, but that’s where I stopped. I have failed at Tipa’s challenge.
What I have managed to do, since the original challenge, is narrow my selection a bit. EVE, which I am currently playing, and Age of Conan, which I am not but plan to get back to, are my go-to subscription games. Titles like DDO, LotRO and EQ2X are too attractive as free-to-play games for me to ignore entirely. And I have a lifetime sub to Champions Online, so I’ll be checking in on that again later this month. That’s my roster. Other games of which I was fond or that I played for a while, like Vanguard, City of Heroes, Guild Wars and WAR, I’ve written off permanently.
And I don’t intend to partake immediately in any of this year’s offerings, including Rift and Star Wars: The Old Republic. I’ve even cooled off a lot on Guild Wars 2, which I was pretty hot for a few months back. But if there’ll be an exception, GW2 will be it.
That’s because of the free-to-play phenomenon. It used to be that the available F2P offerings were all junky Asian grinders with predatory cash shops and a design and visual aesthetic that I just can’t stand. That’s not true anymore – we now have high-quality F2P titles built to big-budget Western standards. Consequently, it takes a lot to get me to pay a subscription fee these days. EVE and AoC offer me what I’m willing to pay a subscription for, while other titles do not – and that emphatically includes World of Warcraft.
But that brings me back around to the challenge. If you only could play one MMO – call it your desert island game – which one would it be? I suspect that for most the answer will be the pallid but agreeable WoW. For me, today, it would be DDO. I might have a different answer tomorrow, but it would be one of the games on the roster above, regardless. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.