Sunday, September 21, 2008

Do we even like our games?

A thought occurred to me as I read a discussion on Man vs. Horse about some various MMO's and people playing for the first time.
Or if NOT for the first time, the first time for that game...

The article has several parts, and deals with two players entering trials for World of Warcraft, Eve Online and City of Heroes.

Their conclusion? City of Heroes won. But, it won for several reasons.

As noted.

"Ludo: But why was City of Heroes more fun? It’s basically the same as WoW, press 1, 2, 3. Rinse and repeat.

Dante: For a start, it’s a lot faster than WoW. You don’t level faster, but fights are faster, your powers recharge faster and your powers look cool.

Ludo: That is important actually, I liked smiting people.

Dante: Also, you’re actually saving people from the bad guys. Every NPC in that game was doing something.
There are guys sacrificing citizens to dark gods on hidden rooftops and stuff.

Ludo: Not just local wildlife wondering aimlessly about the place. It’s less obviously a game in that respect.

Dante: More immersion."

This specific line hits close to home for what I am thinking though.
"Ludo: So where’s the appeal? It’s got to be about the teamwork, rolling with a posse, dominating your foes. Being in a group, being in a guild."

So, why is it that a game where we do the exact same things over and over is so appealing to us. And not even that, but the fact that the mechanics are so much the same in these games.
The game has become a job. It surely can't be about the "fun"?

Ludo's comment that it is the "teamwork" spells it out.

Otherwise, we could play single player games for something more inviting, more satisfying and pleasurable.

Each month we fork out the cashola on a game that has us doing repetitive mechanics, but it is the friends we make along the way that really makes the difference.

But, why CoH which obviously does NOT have the population of WoW? You could find more friends in WoW?

Aesthetics played another key role.
"your powers look cool."

We want our game to look awesome. And this is where the change takes place.
We want friends, but certain people will be picky about their game.
They wish for the game to do something for them...
Whether it plays "faster" or looks "cool" are factors in game decisions.

If the game is repetitive, will we continue on when our friends are minimal in that game? Does this person want realism or do they want a stylized feel?

So many varying mindsets here.

I guess we got to see how this played out over the last week with people defending or hating on the new "MMO" on the block.
But, are people playing the game for the right reason? Are they playing because all the cool kids are? Or are they playing because they are having fun...

And by fun, I mean is the GAME fun or is it just the people who are fun?

Do they even like the game in the first place?

Time will only tell.

Maybe the market already had it's killer app (if anyone remembers this phrase from years ago), and all others are "wanna-be's". WoW being that killer app.

Until we see a real change in the market, we will not see WoW populations in any other game that is out now. No game has been able to attain such a mass market appeal.

We will only play what our friends play or play what looks "cool" to us for now. This has really split the community...

The major question we need to ask ourselves though is "Do we really like our game??"


Anonymous said...

While CoH may not have anything like the raw numbers of WoW, it's got a lot fewer servers... the populations on every server I played on (in the last year) were quite robust, and actually I'd say the game has an overall excellent community.

Elementalistly said...

Tipa had said at one time she felt the game was quite fun, and if I was a super hero buff, I would probably love it as well.

I tried it once and it was fun, yet, I am too steeped into Fantasy and Sci-Fi I guess.

Take that system though, wrap it into a good Sci-Fi game, then we could talk..I would love it.

I think I better go mess with it again and just try to overlook the Hero stuff.

To me fun and fast furious gameplay always is a big sell.

Stargrace said...

"We will only play what our friends play or play what looks "cool" to us for now"

I admit, of course I like to play what my friends are playing, because playing alone really sucks. I've got enough alone time as is, gaming with friends is fun and in the end can make a game fun. When I bought guild wars I admit it was because it 'looked cool' and for no other reason then that.

I may try a game out, and even play for a month or two - but if the game itself is not fun for me, there's no way I'll keep playing it even with the fantastic community it may have built up. I like to try things out so I at least know whether or not a game will appeal to me, and then a few months down the road figure out whether or not I'll stick with it (like my lame attempts at playing WoW, which never pan out). Why would I bother paying for a game that's simply not fun.