One of the biggest and most impactful changes to MMORPG design over the last decade is one that’s gotten remarkably little attention: the shift from skill based character progression to character level based progression. This was a shift that brought with it not just significant changes to the way characters are progressed and designed, but a mandate on the types of content that an MMO’s virtual world would offer going forward. As its grip on MMO design coalesced over time, I would argue that this mandate has largely resulted in consequences that did more harm than good.
One of the more surprising developments in my recent check-in with Crowfall was just how much the game’s starting experience feels like a survival title these days. Now that’s not to say that it doesn’t also feel like an MMO, but from the very beginning, when you start with nothing and have to forage to craft your first items, to the very end, when neglecting your hunger meter can severely impact your gameplay, the influence of the burgeoning survival genre can be felt. Even knowing it would be there, just how prominently it features still managed to take me by surprise.
It was March, 2015. The beginnings of what would turn out to be a prolonged contraction of game development in the MMO space were starting to become apparent, and the throbbing disappointments from the rote, development via mad-lib style themeparks of the past were still fresh in mind. I looked desperately for something new – and that’s when Crowfall made its debut.
The Elder Scrolls Online’s slow march to its June 6th expansion release continues ever onward, with more and more information being drip fed to the hyped up masses as we get closer and closer to the day we return to Morrowind.
Our Editor in Chief here at MMOGames, Nick Shively, recently had the opportunity to visit the headquarters of ZeniMax Online Studios for a behind the scenes look at The Elder Scrolls Online’s upcoming Morrowind expansion.
So The Elder Scrolls Online just announced its first expansion, and naturally it’s already found itself entangled at the center of the game community’s drama du jour. Now as much I love to get into the ol’ whining on the internet, in this case, I find the drama a lot less interesting than the potential questions it raises.
The honeymoon is over. I came, I saw, I floundered, and after a few blissful months reimmersed in my old Azerothian stomping grounds, I’ve found myself completely sapped of the will to carry on.
Turns out I’m hardly alone in this. The forums and social media communities have been aflutter with a consternation regarding the current state of the game. There’s been weeping, gnashing of teeth – you know, all the usual stuff. So where’s it all coming from?
I recently had the opportunity to chat with Steven Sharif, founder of Intrepid Studios and the Creative Director behind the nascent studio’s upcoming MMORPG title Ashes of Creation.