In these dog days of summer, on the cusp — but not quite over the cuspiness — of new, major MMO releases, the message of the week in the blogosphere seems to be “let’s flee back to the joys of older, established MMORPGs!” This is actually a recurring theme in the community, which I find endlessly entertaining — how flocks of bloggers suddenly, and almost without a solid reason, dive into a particular MMO and start talking it up for a couple weeks or so.
Earlier this year it was City of Heroes and LOTRO, now it’s EverQuest 2 (and to a lesser, and perhaps more personal extent, DDO). As I’m not going to be tasting EQ2’s fruits right now — or at any point — I thought I’d go back and explain why I never played certain MMOs that seemed to be en vogue at the time.
- Ultima Online – Why not UO, which holds an established place of honor as the breakout graphical MMO? Mostly due to my ignorance of it in the late 90’s, plus a crappy computer and no depedable internet connection.
- EverQuest – After graduating college, I had some college buddies get really, really into this, to the point where two of them were all but neglecting their newborn child because of it. That story kind of scared me away. Plus, by 2002 or so, I had heard about this upcoming World of Warcraft and was pretty sure that I wanted WoW to be my “first” fantasy MMO.
- Asheron’s Call, Dark Age of Camelot – Also for the reasons above, coupled with dial-up internet that persisted until sometime in 2003 when I got cable.
- EverQuest 2 – First of all, I simply cannot get past the ugly, offputting, uncanny valley avatars. It’s a fistful of ugly. Plus, it released around the time of WoW, and I was in the beta for that and knew that was the path I wanted to pursue. Since then? We’ve all heard the stories about how EQ2 has improved, but I’ve seen or heard nothing that’s grabbed me and hauled me bodily to SOE’s website for a trial.
- Planetside – FPS… pass. My reflexes are never good enough to compete on a competative level.
- Star Wars Galaxies – I was close… SO close to getting this and playing it. This was back in my dial-up days, and I remember buying the strategy guide for it just to read through and see if this would be my kind of game. To this day I don’t know what kept me from going whole hog into it, but I think I sensed enough “red flags” — the overly complicated HAM bar, the lack of dedicated classes, what have you — to give me pause. And considering NGE and all that, I’m glad I did.
- Age of Conan – A lot of potential Warhammer gamers back in spring 2008 were lulled into trying AoC, mostly because of the delay and a need to have something “new” that summer. Originally I was so on board with Conan it wasn’t funny, but the more I read about it, the less I cared. The open beta/pre-launch fiasco they suffered sealed my decision.
- Darkfall – Because I have good taste in games.