Today’s MMORPG worlds are vast and expansive. You need to look no farther than World of Warcraft to fully understand just how big some of these worlds can get. I once attempted to run from the southernmost point of Tanaris to Orgrimmar and bailed about half way through. Suffice it to say I was running for a while, and felt that I could be better using my MMO time. So onto my point, what is it about these hugely expansive worlds that draws you in?
When I first start a new MMORPG I take at least a few hours to fully explore the world. Doesn’t mater how many times I die in the process, I am very picky about my worlds and if I can’t be convinced that I am actually a part of it then I usually just stop playing the game right away. I absolutely can’t tolerate a stale or stagnate world. Vanguard: Saga of Heroes was a perfect example of this. I initially started playing the game a few months after it was released (there was no way I was getting trapped in the beta-retail version). I began the game all cheery and figured the world would be awesome to explore and have fun with. Unfortunately, what I found was immaculate graphics attempting to cover up an otherwise boring world. Needless to say, I didn’t make it past my first month subscription. Of course, Vanguard isn’t the only culprit in this…
As more and more MMORPGs come out I am beginning to notice a trend in the way worlds are built. I don’t know what it is, but the World of Warcraft has character and, as such, I never thought the world was boring. For other games, like Tabula Rasa and Vanguard, the worlds almost feel methodical, like it was a randomly generated map. So what gives? How can an almost 4 year old game have a better, more lively world than games that have been released fairly recently? I honestly can’t tell you, but I bet it definitely helps to have a solid franshice to build off of. Just ask Lord of the Rings Online developer Turbine.
Thoughts? Comments? Let’s hear em!
P.S. Sorry for the absence/random slowdowns. We changed servers and had to deal with that mucky-muck.