It was only a matter of time, really. Something I’ve noticed more and more as the days count down to other mmo’s being released. Everyone talks about “the good old days” of EQ1. It’s what a lot of gamers base their experiences off of, and how can they not after the length of time and dedication people put into it. I remember camping for three days straight for some mask my rogue wanted, badly. After I got it I was ecstatic. Pretty sure I still have it, too. I remember the community back then, and the friends I met. I look at everyone else reminiscing and I can say “yeah, I remember”.
So what do I attribute the change in gaming to (and yes, I feel as though there is a significant change in things, such as community)? Easy. It feels like everyone now treats mmo’s like the newest consol game. Where you pick it up, test it out for a little while, play it and get as high as you can as fast as you can, and then drop it for another game when it arrives on the shelves. There used to be a stage where you could not “beat” an mmo. Where you always seemed one step away from ‘finishing’ it. I think people feel differently now. You can ‘finish’ the games.
How many people these days talk about ‘when AOC comes out’ or ‘when WAR is released’ or any other mmo that’s going to be on the market in the next little while (those are just the two major ones that come to mind). My group of friends have already split in so many directions as more and more games come out, and people wander off. EQ1 is not the only option any more, not by a long shot. There are people in SWG, EQ, EQ2, WoW, LoTR, EVE, and beta testing for AOC and WAR that I can name right off the top of my head. We’re pulled in so many directions when it comes to gaming choices. How many people these days are only playing ONE mmo exclusively? Only paying one subscription? Sure, there may be a game you only play ‘some times’ or when you’re bored of your ‘main mmo’. But gaming has very much evolved into a form of consol (NOT in the literal sense of the word remember here) where it’s not unheard of for a large number of people to pick up and move on when another comes out.
Is this a bad thing? Well, no. Options for gamers is always a good thing, however, it does make me sad.
With each ‘diversion’ of friends, with each little splitting of a community, you loose a little friendship. A little piece of what we all had back in EQ1. It’s so easy to let go and forget about that guild you hung out with way back when. Sure, you’ll remember them, events you had and the like. It’s not quite the same though. You also meet new people, a good point. The community has still changed those as I’ve grown older. Could it just be age? I suppose so. I hate to appear jagged over events as I am personally only nearing my 6th year if mmos in general, though I played MUDS for three years before that. My dad used to run a BBS and we had a game called ‘hack ‘n slash’ that was a lot of fun. Then I moved on to ‘redemption’, a mud I played for a long time (and also met my fiancee there). From there we both started playing EQ1, then EQ2, WoW, VG. Now there’s talk of WAR and AOC, when those come out.
I could stay playing where I am. The community around me, however, more then likely will not. I don’t think I actually know anyone who will NOT be playing a different mmo in a years time. I guess I just miss the sense of community that I used to know. NOT that the community now is bad, not in any way. No, I’m just saying it’s different, and some times, I miss the way things used to be.