6 of my MMO gaming pet peeves

map

Pam over at Cannot Be Tamed has a video list up of her five gaming pet peeves, which got me thinking of my own little frustrations with MMOs these days. Instead of making a general list, I am drawing one specific peeve from each game that I’ve played in the past year.

(1) WildStar: The user interface breaks constantly

I get that WildStar is a very mod-friendly game, but as I don’t use mods, I would expect the default UI to be pretty stable. No can do, friends. At least once per session, I get an error popup that says that some element or another of the UI has broken — nameplates, costumes, what have you — requiring me to reload the UI. It’s small, it’s fixable, but it DRIVES ME CRAZY. I have never, ever seen this in any MMO. Why does it break like this? Why can’t Carbine create a stable default UI? This is so, so stupid I can’t even.

(2) Guild Wars 2: No mounts

Yeah, I know some people have quaffed the ArenaNet kool-aid on this principle, but honestly — it’s dumb. Waypoints or no, you need mounts, Guild Wars 2. You show them in cutscenes, you have a couple of cosmetic mounts, you have a world with freaking airships, but horses? Ground transportation? The wheel? These are so unknown and scary to Tyria as to be subject of mockery.

(3) Star Wars: The Old Republic: Bad hand gestures

The “necessity” to automate a lot of the dialogue interactions with NPCs resulted in characters performing the same hand gestures that don’t always fit in with what they’re saying. It makes me miss how The Secret World would hand-craft every mission cutscene. Why are you making little circles with your hands while talking about intergalactic politics? Stop it. Put your hands in your pockets.

(4) Final Fantasy XIV: The map

The map in this game is an abomination of Satan.

(5) The Secret World: The chat and emote system

I’ve talked of this before, but TSW makes using emotes and switching chat channels take one keystroke more than most MMOs. It’s awkward and weird and I’ve always felt like I was struggling with the chat window in this game.

(6) RIFT: Generic races

I’ve had a long-standing pet peeve with the racial choices in this game, which can really be boiled down to: human, more human, big human, elf #1, elf #2, and dwarf. The generic, lackluster racial choices stand in stark contrast to the sheer array of choice that goes on with class builds, and that’s always felt like a missed opportunity to me.

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14 thoughts on “6 of my MMO gaming pet peeves

  1. magnethead September 15, 2015 / 9:08 am

    I quite like FF14’s map-system on the local level, and the interconnection between zones isn’t that bad. hBut a friend of mine loathes it to the point of citing it, along with the sub, as the reason he’s not playing it. So maybe I’m in the wrong there.

    I can however agree on the TSW one. Even back when I was playing it regularly and had a pretty good grip on the systems, the chat was a troublesome beast.

  2. Aywren September 15, 2015 / 9:21 am

    I agree with these on the games I’ve played. The FFXIV map takes a lot of getting used to – I absolutely hated it for the first 3 months. There are still times I don’t like what it does, but I’ve learned how to make it work. It’s been improved greatly (believe it or not) since launch.

  3. Dahakha September 15, 2015 / 9:29 am

    I do admit that nothing puts me off an RPG (either MMO or single-player/co-op) in quite the same way as being confronted with a bland, generic race selection screen.

  4. Rowan September 15, 2015 / 9:49 am

    The silly gestures in SWTOR are a constant joke when Scooter and I are playing. It’s not just that they are silly, but that dozens (hundreds?) of people of all sorts of different cultures and species are using the same gestures.

    I didn’t mind the lack of mounts in GW2, and rather enjoyed the start and stop running animations. The characters have “inertia.”

  5. Bree September 15, 2015 / 11:16 am

    I agree about GW2. So much about that game ruins immersion for me, no mounts being just one. That said… I like the FFXIV map! ;-p

  6. Syp September 15, 2015 / 11:43 am

    GW2 does SO MUCH right with its animations, I agree. I love how their feet and legs will adjust to standing on hills/steps/etc.

  7. Sylow September 15, 2015 / 12:03 pm

    I don’t mind the GW2 thingie. I mean, what would we end up with? My cat riding a cow or something? There is a flying carpet in the item shop, so it’s not like there is no mount at all, but it doesn’t give increased movement speed.

    Also, i dislike the “pop out of nowhere” mount system which almost all MMOs these days use. The average character seems the have several different animals, cars, motorbikes and what else in their pockets. (Along with 7 different sets of armour and two dozens of weapons. ) There were some exceptions, namely Star Wars Galaxies, Neocron 2 and Fallen Earth, where mounts did not pop out of nowhere but had to be retrieved and stored at garages or stables and stayed in the world as individual entities when you dismounted. For the feel and flair of those games, these vehicles being separate objects instead of extensions the character extracts for transportation went a long way. For the same reason i actually dislike the motorbikes of TSW and while i know that more of that stuff will come, i’d gladly roll back and remove them again if i had the option.

    Superhuman running speed due anima is fine for me, but the full-size pocket-motorbike just does not fit.

    On the other hand, i just try to figure out the difference you refer to for the emotes of TSW. For reference, i chose GW2 (which seems to be like any other MMO).To use an emote i hit enter, type the slash and type the emote. I use them too rarely there to be certain if tab auto-completes them or not, (and i know that several MMOs do not have this) but i guess it does. Use enter to start it. For TSW, i hit enter, type the slash, start typing the emote and use tab to auto-complete. Use enter to start it.

    Perhaps i am doing something wrong, but i see no difference in the behaviour of TSW and GW2.

    For switching chat channels, i can use /g or /s just the same in either game. Note that /g of course is “guild” in one and “group” in the other game, one of the effects of each and every MMO having a bit of its own nomenclature.

    What i agree to is that TSWs chat is not as customizeable as in many other MMOs and at launch was a very unreliable piece of crap, but by now i wouldn’t be aware of any remaining problems. (They rebuilt the complete chat system and went away from the IRC-based system of AO and AoC. The luxury of being able to join your guild chat with a lightweight client from outside of the game was lost that way and i sometimes still miss it, but while the IRC protocol was easily accessed, it also has many security issues which also were abused in the other games, so abandoning it unfortunately probably was a good idea. )

  8. pkudude99 September 15, 2015 / 2:09 pm

    I dunno, seems to me that pretty much every “race” in MMO’s is simple a re-skinned, perhaps scale-adjusted human. There are some exceptions, but … humanoids win out. Generic humanoid races for all!

  9. jason wolcott (@woolydub) September 15, 2015 / 2:12 pm

    I go back and forth on the GW2 mount thing. Mounts to me are like underwater content. They are novel at first and then once the novelty wears off I don’t care. In a big, non-instanced open-world, I want mounts. Especially when those game’s fast travel systems leave a LOT to be desired with cool downs of an hour or more. If I had to choose between the convenience of waypoints in GW2 or mounts, I am going with waypoints every time. If there was a cool down timer for fast travel in GW2 I’d tend to agree more, but totally understand why it’s a pet peeve for you.

  10. baldwinp September 15, 2015 / 4:24 pm

    wow, has it really been over a year since you checked into Lotro?

  11. wolfyseyes September 15, 2015 / 8:58 pm

    Nothing cemented my rage at XIV’s map more than when I was in the Dravanian Forelands. Specifically, the mountain paths weaving around towards Sohm Al.

    RRRRRRGGGGH!!

  12. Syp September 16, 2015 / 9:39 am

    No, I was in LOTRO as recently as May or June, I think.

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