Comparisons…

It’s no secret that we get very protective about the MMORPGs we play. That’s partially a good thing, and displays the power of immersive gaming. But it also leads to the bitching and one upmanship that means we *must* pick a side when it comes to the war of the MMORPGs.

Am I really threatened that someone enjoys Age of Conan, when I have no intention of playing it? I might miss them, and I do, but I have other ways of staying in touch and I know we’ll play together again. Does it really matter if someone splits their time between World of Warcraft and City of Heroes, or if they just dabble in LotRO while spending most of their time in EVE. As consumers, can’t we play any we enjoy without worrying about which is the “best”?

Also, there’s no actual need to bitch at people who don’t enjoy the same aspects of gaming as we do, the beauty of the MMO, to me, is to mix with people who can show me the positive sides of things I haven’t enjoyed before, and to do the same for them… but also to find like-minded people who share some of my basic gaming pleasures and to socialise with them while enjoying the game.

While comparisons can be a really healthy and interesting pastime they can also be a little troubling and I don’t think it’d hurt anyone to remember that there’s a chance a forceful defense can also sometimes feel a bit like an attack.

It seems quite a few people are blogging about comparisons recently. Keen and Graev have a couple of relevant posts, one asks if we’re more excited about WAR having played AoC, the other is about designing an ideal MMO. Syp, over at the Waaagh! blog also ponder the comparison curse, sparked by a post from Tobold on his MMO blog. We’ll no doubt see a lot more comparing and the recent spate is undoubtably because of Conan’s release, but I hope people don’t take it too personally as I’m trying not to, myself.

4 Responses

  1. We miss you too believe me :-)

  2. this post is a message to myself to stay sane over it all! you guys are definitely missed, but we’ll re-unite soon

  3. People do get very very defensive about their favourite games. But I agree that we don’t have to. I like WoW better than Idris does and LOTRO less but it doesn’t mean that we disagree about what makes them good games. Although I do really miss playing with her.

    At the end of the day, having a new successful MMORPG come out is good for everyone. Good for the people who were bored with their current games and get something new and fun to do, good for the industry if it keeps players engaged and maybe brings new players in (or old players who left), good for the current games as it keeps them competitive!

    BUT we do know how much social networking goes on in MMORPGs. People tend to move with their friends and a new game can be a threat to an existing one. Anyone hyping a new game is trying to steal your friends away to it! But you meet new people, who knew a year ago who you’d be hanging out with now?

  4. [...] Book of Grudges follows up my rant on WoW/WAR comparisons with one of their own. [...]

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