Massive Multiplayer Online Games require more time and effort to really get to know than their single-player counterparts. With more and more titles going free-to-play, it has become easier to try them out. But getting to the core of an MMOG takes a substantial investment on the behalf of players. So, deciding on what game you want to devote your money and attention to is an important choice we all have to make. And one that can cost an obtuse amount of time.
There are several titles on my list of MMOGs that I await with a mixture of excitement and cautious anticipation. In the end, I’ll still have to decide what game will become my main addiction, the one that will hopefully keep me entertained and hooked for a while. How do we select the right title and on what criteria do we base our decision on? The choice is, of course, a personal one, but here is a list of factors that make it or break it for me when deciding on an MMOG. Mind you, the topics are in no particular order.
Beginning your adventure in a fresh new world is a thrilling experience. This is why one of the first factors that can draw me in is the game world itself. Some settings have almost a universal appeal – *cough* fantasy *cough* – others are less popular but still attract a large-enough audience. This, however, doesn’t mean we should simply judge them at face value. Even within the realms of fantasy there are numerous differences in the presentation and mythos surrounding the world. These differences determine whether a game is successful in providing a stimulating context and meaning to our actions. In this way, the lore serves as an important medium through which you connect with the game world and believe in it. So, if the setting doesn’t hook me from the start, chances are, I won’t be even interested in giving the game a go.
In the last five or so years, combat has increasingly become more prominent as a game system that most people look at first for an upcoming title. While it is certainly an important deciding factor (as a general rule, I tend to gravitate towards titles that have some sort of PvP involved), we should not forget about other game mechanics that largely affect our MMOG experience. This includes the level of freedom provided within the game (is it too linear or not enough direction?), the role-playing system (is it something fresh, innovative; what is customization like?) and other less conclusive examples (the level of grind, mini-games, crafting and others). These game systems largely determine what type of gameplay and activities players will get to see and try out throughout their experience, so only the feeble-minded can doubt their importance. Continue Reading