Monday, March 21, 2016

Solo Play and the Future of MMOs

Fishing is a solo activity even if Nat Pagle is with you... twice.
I haven't posted in a long time and really have made very little progress in World of Warcraft and haven't played any other MMOs in the last 6 weeks. I am continuing to do my daily Garrison activities for Kanter and bi-weekly ones for the other 4 toons with Garrisons, but I have cut down gathering because I have so many crafting resources and don't particularly want to sell them when they are so cheap now.

My gaming is moving away from MMOs, primarily due to my family.  I picked up a 3DS XL and Pokemon Y to play with my daughters.  I have been gradually catching Pokemon and advancing through the gym leaders and went ahead and got Pokemon bank so I would get the bonus Pokemon they are offering.  We also still play our Minecraft Realm periodically.

I would still like to advance my other three toons in World of Warcraft to level 100 before Legion, but I can't seem to ever focus the time.  I even have a toon sitting at level 19 that could (I believe) get the level 20 achievement in an hour or so of play but can't even be bothered to do that.  Maybe I'll go back to group play some day, particularly if I feel safe playing with my daughters and they want to.  Both of the younger ones like playing video games, but they mainly use their tablets or DSes, not the computer or video game machine.

Once that time comes I wonder what MMOs will be like.  The announcement that Daybreak games was stopping production of Everquest Next confirms what seemed to be in the cards - continuation of older games and more games with a smaller focus and ambition.  That is probably a good thing as far as I am concerned.  I will probably continue to play World of Warcraft as long as it is around and I can play for free.  I invested so much time in the game up to this point that I'll want to see what comes next.

But I also believe I will eventually find other MMOs I want to play.  I tried Lord of the Rings Online, Final Fantasy XIV and Guild Wars II (along with a few others), but none of them really worked for me.  Many people have started playing Black Desert Online and I really like the fact that you can focus on trade skills and learn new systems without the focus on combat.  I came close to buying it once, but since I'm looking at is as a solo game to play along with others, there is no rush to get involved and so I plan to wait.

Brad McQuaid just showed a demo of his new 'Everquest-like' game Pantheon.  I hope it is successful, but I don't think it's for me.  Based on my schedule, I need a game that can be played solo and in small time segments and I don't think those are his goals.  Likewise, Blade and Soul has a set of dedicated players, but action-MMORPG is also not what I'm looking for.

Hopefully smaller MMO games will continue come out with more focused goals and we can all find ones we enjoy.  I'm not sure what to do with this blog now that I am not doing much MMO playing and I don't see that changing anytime soon.  It'll be four years since my first post in May, so I'll probably think about it until then and try to come up with new goals that match what I'm playing now.