Here’s a question that might not get asked as often as “Why do you pick the MMOs to play that you do?” is “Why do you choose not to play a MMO that you might otherwise enjoy?” By that I mean that you recognize that this is a game you probably would like, it’s right up your alley in many ways, but for one reason or another, you don’t take the plunge.
Maybe it’s because you’re overextended at the moment — you don’t want to play more than one MMO (or more than whatever you are enjoying), or that it would constitute too much out of your monthly budget, or that you’re not spending enough time with your primary game/guild as it is.
But sometimes it’s that the other game, as tempting as though it may be, exhibits some pretty serious red flags that makes you hesitate. For me, whenever I consider a new MMO, I’m always evaluating its potential future — does it have a solid playerbase (which is at least holding somewhat steady, if not growing)? If it’s shrinking, if you hear of company layoffs, if people are fleeing it as though the ship was about to sink and they don’t want to experience the final moments of the Titanic, these are red flags that keep me from plunging in, no matter how good the game is/might have been.
Take Vanguard, for instance. Yeah, at launch, it was an unmitigated disaster, a burden for computers to run, and saddled with scandal and heavy player criticism. By all accounts, the game’s improved substantially, and I’ve heard several people even praise how the new dev team has performed superhuman efforts in fixing bugs and adding new content, to make it a rather enjoyable game. And yet, when I hear reports like this, there’s just no way I’d ever want to set foot in the game. Yeah, no MMO will last forever, but when the writing’s on the wall where the best possible future is maintaining the status quo and there are dark stormclouds on the horizons, I don’t get that “long term” feeling of commitment from their end, and so I don’t even want to begin, because what if I end up really, really liking it?
What if my fragile gaming heart will end up crushed as I fall in love at the end of its life?
Better to not have subscribed and not have lost, than to subscribe and experience an epic fail.
Or maybe that’s just the Charlie Brown in me talking.