Millions of World of Warcraft players would say yes, but many gamers such as myself that experienced the genre much earlier than WoW’s 2004 release would disagree.
This is def how I feel after playing over 10 MMORPG's. How I miss the days of Ultima Online madness.
Ultima will go down in history as probably the best MMO before Trammel stomped out the population.
I have to admit that UO was an awesome game. When a Pker would come around, my heart started jumping, because I was an anti-pker and had to fight them (Alantica server). EQ was also awesome because there is no game that had the adventure that this game had. But so far, the only games that have my attention are Champions online and Star Trek, and that will only last until I played through the game once. What MMOs genre needs is the Vanguard open world, no instances, huge dungeons, open PvP with full loot. Cities guarded for the morons who want to PK when someone is looking at a vendor screen. That would suffice for me!
Agreed, I still remember running around on Chessy as a thief. The joy of Ultima was that the players didn't need to balanced against each other. The thief didn't need to stand a chance in a fight against anyone else, he just needed to be able to get away. Now games with all these glasses just focus on making them even, but different, where as all the roles you can play in UO were different, without needing to be balanced against each other. What do you think of Star Trek Online?
WoW isn't, but there are lots more out there that are. If you want a game that's actually worth the money with endless gameplay and tons of new content being released instead of paying $60 for 5 hours of gameplay, MMOs are about the only way to do it. Oh wait, you're a "games journalist", you probably get most of your games for free, I forgot. You don't have to worry about paying $60 for a game you can beat in one sitting.
I think they're still worth playing, but the genre has become stagnant in my eyes and I now take long breaks of not playing any MMOs at all. The thing is, *most* of the MMOs released after WoW turned out to be crappy rushed WoW clones, usually with some novel feature or a popular IP to try and set it apart. The ones that weren't WoW clones didn't do too well either because they were buggy, unfinished or just poorly done, which just reinforces the idea that making a WoW clone is the way to go. What they don't seem to realize is - why would I play a crappy clone when I can just play the original? Of course... WoW is basically just a refined EQ clone made accessible and fun to the masses...
I think WoW took a good approach to appealing to the casual gamer, and I think that is partially why I didn't enjoy it too much. The game contained little to no risk. You died, you res, you pay a small fee, and go on your merry way. UO on the other hand required more thinking and planning, even when traveling. Leaving town became an adventure in and of itself. Now you leave town in WoW and can go anywhere without risk, just having to avoid portals. I remember the first time I put on UO and I got killed maybe 10 minutes in. My father was watching me play and just laughed that I got killed and that the other person could, if they wanted to, just attack me. But that was the moment I got hooked. In UO you needed to make friends, make contacts, support yourself, etc. And the community behind it was amazing, mainly because the community had the tools to create their own events. You could set up a shop, a give away, a tournament for fighting, a group of owners could setup a festival, etc. There is something different about owning land and protecting it, and more so about being trapped in it, or having to run to it while being chased down lol
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