I've given up on MMOs for the near future, especially free-to-play ones. Here's why.
1. MMORPGs are community-focused. Community is the real problem, and communities for popular games are always poor. MMORPGs are based around having large communities that are too large to effective self-police. This problem is unsolvable.
2. MMOs are bad strategy games at their heart. Execution of strategies is trivial. The content is so easy 90% of the time that developing strategies is unnecessary or trivial. The only part of the game that isn't trivial is PvP, which is often trivialized by loot differentials caused almost exclusively by differences in time played. Raids are trivialized by guides that players are expected to know before doing the content.
3. Maintaining a guild in an MMO is more challenging than actually playing the game. The community is bad. Maintaining a guild is outside the scope of game design, though a game can have some features that help with this. When the most difficult problems presented to the player by a game have nothing to do with the game, I lose interest.
4. MMOs are most likely to be unhealthy games to play. They require time commitments that are pretty ludicrous if you want to see any remotely challenging content without making actions artificially induce difficulty.
5. MMOs tend to be bad for the rest of gaming because they consume all of players' gaming time and some of their personal time. Players play MMOs instead of any other game.
6. MMO business models tend to reward developers for producing very addictive content at the expense of everything else. A big selling point for spending money on free-to-play games is that the game is made less bad by paying. This is not the kind of business model I want to endorse.
There are a lot of other games to play--I can't spend time playing these games that offer me so little actual fun but stand to ask for a lot of time.
Making competitive play interesting
3 weeks ago