Monday, August 23, 2010

Neverwinter Nights

Interview at Gamespot.

I could like that; even if it is Cryptic. With every passing year I feel like my original vision of MMORPGs just won't come. An EVE-like triple-A fantasy MMO with meaningful travel, exploration, trade, conflict and focus on credible stories, immersive environments, etc. etc. etc.

The movement of the industry is eratic. Dominated by ill-informed short-sighted financial interests that don't understand the appeal of a virtual world in the first place. Talking about Farmville will probably get me more listeners at headquarters than talking about a consistent world.

In that case, I might as well play single player games with added multiplayer options. Here the limits of immersion are well defined at the start and not constantly violated while playing.


  1. Funny. I'm already playing a MMO with meaningful travel, exploration, trade, conflict and focus on credible stories, immersive environments, etc. etc. etc.

    You said you wouldn't even want to try it, because you can't kill people in it.

    Not only do I think you are missing out on your dream MMO, I'd even go as far as to say that by insisting that your dream MMO must have combat, you are making sure that it will never exist. If you have combat, especially PvP, people will clamor for balance. And that balance will destroy the immersiveness and realism, because real life just isn't fair, and any efforts to force fairness destroy realism.

  2. You are talking about "A Tale in the Desert" (Not everybody reads your and my blog :).

    You might have a point here, Tobold. But I'm just not a builder or a crafter. I like to explore dark, dangerous caverns. I like to live on the edge (virtually). I like conflict in stories. Not the kind of conflict of "Who builds what first" or "How can I annoy this guy by placing this building there?". But existential conflict.

    That's just the way it is and even though this 'limitation' could prevent me from ever playing a MMO that is better than vanilla WoW (ridiculous), I cannnot part from it.

    I like "The Lord of the Rings" or "Babylon 5", because they tell a grand story of critical importance. I wouldn't play Sid Meiers Civilisation without any opponents.

    If all MMOs where like ATinD I would not constantly talk about immersion, but about conflict. It is at least as important for me. If not more important.

    Interestingly, my "dream MMO" almost exists (e.g. Dawntide), just not as triple-A (and with a stupid skill system).
    Animations are laughable and movement feels unimmersive. That's why I still sporadically play WoW. The very basic basic gameplay is just that good.

    Your remarks about balance are very, very right, by the way.

  3. Nils, while you're waiting for Dawnstar to become a reality, have you tried Darkfall? I gave it a go in the spring after they introduced a $1 trial, and I had great fun with it. What I felt was missing then was some decent questing, and an auction house or some other means of easily trading, but I enjoyed the thrill of adventure again, the feeling that I could get killed and lose stuff, if I wasn't careful.

  4. I haven't tried Darkfall, because I heard terrible things about the community.
    I'm also not really a fan of the FPS control or the skill system in place.

    Add to that that there was this joke that even getting into Darkfall is more hardcore than most MMOs. They only offered a very limited amount of accounts at the start.

    I also don't like PvP to 'pawn' people or to show off your supremacy. I like PvP as a tool. An immersive tool.

    On the other hand I might one day try it out. Let's just hope that they don't make it F2P, because I never join F2P games.
    Why? I am just stubborn ;)