Just a quick post today to talk about an issue that's been on my mind and I wanted to discuss with you all. My posts recently have really been one of two types; either talking about some past game or issue, or some theory of game design. I have not really talked about a specific game in detail for quite a while, and I have been straying from MMO's into more general gaming commentary. I wanted to take a minute to explain this in a way, and to reassure my readers that MMO's remain my primary interest and focus of this blog.
It essentially comes down to one issue; I am not playing an MMO currently. My RIFT game time expired. I cancelled my Star Wars: The Old Republic subscription ages ago. And The Secret World has been pushed back to the beginning of July. The announcement of the Storm Legion expansion had me considering buying into RIFT for another month to bridge the gap to TSW's release, but I ultimately decided against it. So because I am not playing an MMO currently, I find I don't have much to say about any of those games specifically at the moment. I try not to comment on this that I do not have direct experience with, and so while I have played RIFT, SW:TOR, and World of Warcraft in the past, I may not be up to date with everything that is happening with them today.
That leaves me with broader questions with which to occupy my time. That is why you've seen a lot of posts from me recently looking more deeply at game mechanics, storytelling, what makes games fun, etc. I realize that these "philosophical" concepts may be less interesting than a more specific topic like "Threat Management in Infernal Dawn" would be, but I hope you will bear with me during this period and that you will enjoy some of the more theoretical topics that I will be posting. As I said, MMO's remain my focus and I intend to keep it that way. Once TSW launches, I can assure you that I will have all kinds of specific things to say about the game and issues to comment on. And when an old game that I do have experience with does something significant, I will assuredly contribute my "two cents" on that as well.
I feel like we're reaching a "pivot point" in MMO's soon. The release of WoW was obviously one such point, and while I don't think a specific game will mark the next one, I believe things are moving to another significant change. TSW, Guild Wars 2, even the upcoming WildStar are all challenging MMO standards in different ways. The "WoW model" or "Everquest model" if you really want to be fair, may finally be slipping by the wayside in favor of something new. That is not to say that the model was a bad one, but everything needs to change or it becomes stagnant. So I think we're in for an exciting time in MMO's over the course of the next year or so.