Thursday, April 10, 2008

Mah Theory of Everyhting

You are now going to be subjected to my rambling thoughts on the cyclical nature of... well basically everything but specifically gaming/society. The three of you who aren't Radar can go ahead and run away now, I'll understand. Radar has to read the whole damn thing though, because it's his fault I'm writing it.

As a rule I don't involve myself in politics and whatnot. However I do have a few very politically savvy friends and relatives and tend to just sort of soak up the information they shove at me on a regular basis. I learn a lot this way. One of the things I've learned is that politics goes in cycles. For a while we're very conservative. Then things swing in the other direction, until those policies no longer work for society and things swing right on back the other way.

Everything tends to end up coming full circle in the end. That isn't to say that everything always ends up staying the same. But the patterns tend to return after a while. How the hell does this apply to gaming?

Believe it or not it does. While we've evolved in the gaming world, we still tend to return to the same patterns. We started out as kids playing cowboys and indians or whatever sort of FPSish game we played when we ran around til we passed out. We got older and started playing arcade games like Pac-Man and Galaga and the fighting games (Mortal Kombat ftw!). Then we started gaming on PCs. Hello Doom and Quake and Unreal etc etc. From there we moved to MMOs. Now, even our MMOs are shifting back towards FPSishness. Only now they're somewhat evolved FPS games and our deathmatches have matured.

There's also a cyclical pattern to the way that people seem to play online games.

My personal example. EverQuest and EverQuest II tend to be my base games. Touchstones that I always play. When I played EQ, I'd stray now and then and play something new when it came out (Dark Age of Camelot!) but I'd return and apologize for having been an MMOslut and promised to once again be monogamous.

I quit EQ when I had a kid cause I spent all my time playing with him and sleeping. Then I found out that EQ2 was coming. WOOHOO! I dove back in (i cut out sleeping, cause really who needs to sleep?) and learned everything I could and eagerly waited for the beta. I even jumped back into EQ for a while to enjoy the nostalgia.

With EQ2 there also came an explosion of other MMOs (I missed SWG pre-cu and I'm terribly bitter about this!). WoW, DDO, LoTRO, TR, etc. I've tried darn near all of them at one point or another. I've missed a few here and there, whether from lack of time or money for yet another game.

The point though is that all the sampling of other games aside, I keep coming back to EQ2. Someday a game will come along that will woo me away (I know, how fickle, right?) but that is going to take a hell of a game.

There's all this speculation right now about how Age of Conan and Warhammer are going to spell the death knell of EQ2. That's a crock of shit. I fail to comprehend how people can honestly believe this. Vanguard was supposed to be the death of EQ2. And while it did have a ton of potential, it was released unfinished. It could have been a great game. But that's neither here nor there. Would it have killed EQ2? Not a chance. Because every game appeals for different reasons. That's why people keep coming back. Just like they keep going back to WoW or any of the other games on the market.

A game doesn't need ZOMGZ 10 MILLION!!!!one11eleventy subscriptions to be a success. Having a player base that can't stay away and speaking to people on a level that keeps them playing through all the growing pains and shinie new games is what makes it a success. Yeah, people will leave EQ2 for a while to try the new games. And they'll be back. Then it'll start over again with the next round of releases.

Your Ad Here

Related Posts by Categories