An Outsider’s View of MMO’s

So I was in a group in Mythos a little while ago, and I mentioned that the NDA was lifted on AoC.

“What’s AoC and what’s an NDA?”

I explained what the two things were, and then asked, “Do you know what WAR is?”

“Nope.”

At this point I knew what I was dealing with. A complete MMO virgin. I found out that he had been a huge D2 fan and was really enjoying Mythos so far. I asked him why he’d never tried any MMO before, at which point he said that he couldn’t understand paying for a game and then paying a monthly fee on top of that. This completely threw me. I would have completely expected this comment five or more years ago, but I didn’t realize that there were gamers who still felt this way. He then added that he couldn’t understand why a game would purposely take more than a month to “beat.” I tried explaining that MMO’s were about a lot more than “beating” it; They are about the community, the ride to max level, and the content once you reach max level. I tried explaning the increased depth that an MMO offered and how the additional depth and content, which is always being updated, required continued support from its players, but he never bit. One of his retorts was that he’d seen people hop on their gryphon and walk away. He couldn’t understand taking 10+ minutes to get from one place to another.

In his favor, I can see how this could put him off if this was all he’d really seen of an MMO. On a regular basis, non-gamers will look at my monitor while I’m playing an MMO and see me performing some absolutely mundane or downright annoying task in game, and when they ask me why I’m doing that, I realize they have me at a disadvantage. Unless I sit them down (which they need to be willing to do) to watch a raid or a string of quests, I’ve already lost the argument/conversation before it even begins. It’s very frustrating, and I’m sure a few of you have faced a similar situation.

Getting back to the point though, I knew that this would be a tough nut to crack. Even with the support of another player, we were unable to shift his mentality away from the D2, action-rpg mindset. He said he’d also played Guild Wars for a week (which I still don’t consider to be an MMO, by the way) because that didn’t require a monthly fee to play. I tried to explain that there were several trials out there that he should try, but he kept coming back to the fact that he more or less thought that the game companies were ripping players off since they’d already purchased the game. I basically ended the conversation by saying that I’d done all I could (in the current situation) to convince him to try an MMO, and that he should pick up WoW/LotRO/EQ2 for 20-30 bucks, use the free month, and decide for himself. I don’t think that he is going to however, which left me feeling like a failure as an MMO enthusiast.

I guess what I’m ultimately trying to say is that I’m surprised that some gamers, especially those who have ventured online for things like Quake, Diablo, or Mythos still haven’t been exposed to full-fledged MMO’s or understand their appeal or value. I’d love to hear some of your thoughts or reactions as to why you think this is. Have you experienced similar situations to this one? Do you think he is just a bit more stubborn than most and simply isn’t willing to believe that a game could be worth a $15 dollar monthly subscription? He did say that he would be willing to pay $7 or so, but no MMO currently offers a subscription fee that low, just micro-transaction games (or the very similar Dungeon Runners.) I’m actually headed out of town for the weekend, so I might not be posting over the next few days, but I’ll hop in to hopefully see what any of you have to say.

~Kanthalos

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3 comments so far

  1. Tipa on

    I don’t necessarily agree that every gamer should be an MMO gamer. If he likes F2P Diablo-esque games, that’s great 🙂 Mythos was made for him! Action RPGs make few demands on your time, cost nothing to play, no tedious raiding to do, no tedious faction grinding to do, no tedious farming to pay for raiding to do.

    I’m not seeing the problem here 😛

  2. kanthalos on

    Ok, I guess I shouldn’t have made it seem like that I suppose. I think I mostly wanted him to understand that there are valid reasons to pay a monthly fee for an MMO. 🙂

  3. Thallian on

    The number of gamers that do feel this way (that a monthly fee is crazy talk) is astounding. They probably dwarf the ones who are willing to pay by a large percentile. Just something for devs to keep in mind. Some can be seen in the FTP MMO’s (free to play)


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