Saturday, April 19, 2014

My Decision to Play My First MMORPG.

Apologies for not getting this out yesterday.  I ran out of time before having to leave for work and didn't have any time after returning home.  Had to watch Vikings 2.8 afterall.

Online gaming is a genre that had never really interested me.

In 1995, my friend, we'll call him BunnyBurger, and I tried to coordinate a Warcraft II co-op session over my family's phone line with a 28/8 modem.  That ended with me answering the phone when it rang only to hear his modem beeping and whirring at me.  I never figured out what needed to be done so I stuck with the single player campaigns.

As I have mentioned a few times on separate occasions here, I never got into World of Warcraft despite loving the ever living fecal matter out of Warcraft II.  Back in 2004 when the game came out, I hated the idea of paying an upfront cost to buy the game, then having to pay an additional monthly fee to continue playing said game.  I did not see the appeal in this model.  Even with the North American release of Final Fantasy XI, which until 30 seconds ago I did not know was released 244 days *before* World of Warcraft, I had no interest in continuously paying for a game despite loving (most of) the Final Fantasy series (minus VII, VIII & X).

In 2011 I did quest for a short time in Diablo II along with two housemates, but that was more like a short lived LAN threesome.  We'll always have the memories.

In late 2012, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim sucked myself and Conklederpand then I started playing the other games in the series (sort of anyway; some with more success than others).  I knew that I wanted to explore more of this world, its histories and peoples.

Why then have I purchased The Elder Scrolls Online and am an active subscriber, especially in the world we live in where there are any number of free MMORPGs (Neverwinter, WoW, Dungeons & Dragons Online, Lord of the Rings Online)?  The simple reason is that I love the world created for the Elder Scrolls games.  The lore that is told through the various books and tomes throughout the continent of Tamriel are full of histories and allusions to past events and people, mentioning just enough to evoke interest, but not so much that you feel like you are reading a high school history textbook.  There are mentions of races that are either long dead or that inhabit other continents never visited in the games.  To me, it was like a combination of Star Wars, The Lord of the Rings and A Song of Ice and Fire.

Story and setting aside, why then opt to pay up front for a game that requires a monthly subscription fee?  Well, partly because Conklederp has been looking forward to the two of us playing Skyrim since she got into the game and this is the only outlet, specifically set in Tamriel.  But, I cannot put this on Conklederp as it was I who signed up for beta access thinking that if I were to ever play an MMORPG that this would probably the one game that would get me to join.

Honestly though, a big portion of it might have been part of Bethesda/Zenimax's overall marketing strategy.  By bringing on people to beta test, they would hook people into buying the game when it came out then subscribing.  Granted the game that I played had bugs here (quest elements would not spawn or spawned before the quest was given and would not respawn once quest began and then could not be completed) and there (falling through stairs and bridges), but in the back of my mind, I knew that the game I was playing/testing was not a completed product so there were going to be things that were not supposed to happen (unable to leave conversation with NPC).

I also understand (now at least) that the cost for Zenimax to operate their "Megasevers" (each regional continent has their own server so that people can all play online at the same time and with each other without having to worry about if everyone is on the same server).  I understand that owning and operating something of that scale does not come cheap.  The cost of the servers themselves, the cost for maintenance, repair, oversight, cooling, building costs, property taxes. . . all of that adds up.  $15 a month subscription (or about 50¢ a day, depending on the month).  I do not mind paying that price for something that I enjoy.

I do still have some reservations about the genre or things that I feel that I am supposed to do because ESO in an online RPG.  One of those reservations centers around the multiplayer aspect, in that I am not out there looking for groups; which apparently has it's own acronym (LFG).  Presently I am playing the game solo and I am pretty sure that I am missing out on some parts of the game because I have yet to join a guild or experienced a "group adventure zone."  In the end, I do not want to feel that I have to be communal in order to proceed.  Yes, I understand the apparent disconnect within the context of that statement.

I'll get into this more on Monday when I give my First Impressions and then on Friday when I'll talk about the music from the game.

Let All the Illusions Just Wither Away

No comments:

Post a Comment