The Everchanging Playerbase

This comment on the wow forums is something that I agree 100% with and thought it would be a quick way to introduce some thoughts on the subject that will lead into my other posts mentioned in the collectors edition post.

Waxen LVL 8 Tauren Warrior from Blackhand, most likely a forum alt.

http://forums.worldofwarcraft.com/thread.html?topicId=20136602894&sid=1&pageNo=6#108

Maybe you’re too young to remember the evolution of MMOs, or maybe you’re just forgetting, but the big picture is a an UNCHANGING curve of play getting more and more casual. And the more that curve moves, the higher the adoption rate goes.

That curve goes back much, much further than WoW, sunshine. I was playing MMOs back in the early 90s when they had no GUI and everything was text commands. TBC, even vanilla raiding, even EQ raiding, was total QQcasual in comparison to what grouping in those was like. Back in the MUD days, MMOs were “just for Comp Sci majors with uni accounts and telnet”.

Having seen this progression over the last 16-17 years, trust me when I say that the WoW raider who whines about the QQcasual and quits in “disgust” are being replaced by folks like my retired father, my wife, and my non-gaming bro-in-law who are getting socialized to MMOing through stuff like Facebook and finally deciding that its not just for “24 year old guys with no friends and no life”.

The “not just for” statements will just keep getting more broad, the sub numbers will keep going up, and making the learning, gearing, and time-commitment process “loleasy” are the REASON for it, not an impediment.

Ok this whether we like it or not is the future of the MMO market.  MMOs will from my generation onward become a larger and larger part of entertainment media.  Will TV, Movies go away no, will there become a blending of all 3 mediums most likely is some way, shape or form.

I first started playing games on computers with Commodore 64s and VIC120s.  One of the early computers I played on for years before getting an early 286 processor computer was an Atari computer, with 2 – 5 1/4 inch floppy drives.  My first look a the web before it was a web was through Compuserve for about a month then dropped it because it was too expensive given where we lived.  I then got into the web and telnet MUDs when I hit college.  As for the “Hardcore” I did all of that on my console games years ago.  Now I do not want to or need to rehash the same grind every single game.

For example I farmed in FF-VII till most of the characters had around 230+ in most stats by logging 20-40 hours of just the undersea shinra plane with the materia that changes enemies into items for stat boosts.  I leveled several sets of master level materia through that process.  Then went to Emerald and Ruby weapon and KotR/Mime/Mime/Mimed for 20 minutes.  In FF-X I hated the mini games for the ultimate weapons so much that in the end I farmed the mobs and monster fighting arena, boss mobs, to collect enough Dark Matter to create 3-4 of my own versions of the ultimate weapons, or as close as I could get since it did not get the base double damage increase.  One of the easiest was getting the one shield after purifying the Cursed Shield in FF-VI while fighting dinos for xp.  Ended up with 4 characters level 90+ in that game before I went and ROFL-Stomped Kefka.

However now that people are doing no armor/no weapon runs these may not seem like much.  But then again I also have a (Fun versus (% chance of success) versus Reward versus My Time) evaluation and as I have gotten older the My Time portion trumps most followed by Fun.

Actually I will come back to this evaluation and may even expand upon it when I get to the grouping and new Battle.Net posts.

I really think this (F v P v R v T) can add to the Bartle (World/Players, Acting/Interacting, Implicit/Explicit) evaluations.  Wow a 7 dimension solution space gets a bit insane, however the 4 values that I discuss are variable and are in the eye of the beholder where their limits are set.

Well I have rambled enough here and there are a few interesting things I want to contemplate further before spouting off about them.

2 thoughts on “The Everchanging Playerbase”

  1. but sometimes, too easy gets boring too quickly. Being able to breeze through 25-man ToC too quickly means that some guilds are losing members left and right just because there isn’t enough new content that is interesting.

  2. There are people in MMOs that detail every number and spend countless hours working the mechanics of the game to their favor. However, many people don’t have time for that, namely me.

    When I played through WoW on my first character (Antien), the learning curve was moderate, but was overall easy to grasp. I played through half the game on a ret build before I ever learned what a rotation was. Now that I’m at the end-game, it’s mostly about the details I didn’t need to pay much attention to, such as a few more attack power points, a few more defense rating points, or even the difference between life and death that one second can make.

    After playing a simple MMO such as RuneScape over 6 or 7 years, I can say without a doubt that MMOs have reached the realms of “easy playability” and simplicity.

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