I went to see The Dark Knight last Friday, which was the day it opened here. I’m not going to review it here although it was an awesome film (if you like that sort of thing) and I expect to see Oscars heading that way next year.
Going to see a big film on its opening night is a very different prospect to going at the end of the run or watching it on DVD later. The film itself is the same, but the atmosphere of being in a packed cinema full of excited people, many of whom are in costume? That kind of event only happens on the first weekend.
A MMO is different of course because players interact with each other. Instead of just sitting quietly (or not quietly if you’re the guy who was 2 rows in front of me, but I’m not bitter) enjoying the film together, there’s a more active element involved. But a MMO feels very very different to play when it’s new than when it’s a couple of years old, even though the basic gameplay may be the same. The basic gameplay will even likely be better later on due to improvements and bug fixes.
Despite this, I’m really hooked on trying MMOs when they come out because the playerbase seems friendlier. I always assumed it was because people hadn’t settled yet into their cliques and were more motivated to meet people, if only to figure out who they wanted to hang out with in the endgame. Later on, the experienced players get more hardcore. They’ve finished their learning curve and aren’t finding it fun any more to do things inefficiently . But somehow for me, the really /fun/ part of the games is in the first 6 months. While we’re all learning together.
After that, it settles into a hobby. And while it’s also fun to know that you’re really good at playing the class/game and hone that as much as possible, somehow the sheer childlike play quality fades away.
What is it that appeals to you about being in right at the start, bugs and all?