Tuesday, February 8, 2011

MMO Magic Tricks

After having one too many deep thoughts about MMO's today, I came to thinking about some of my usual frustrations with MMO, namely their over reliance on compelling mechanics, rather than depth or storytelling.

I thought about how best to explain something like this to the more laid back MMO gamer, who doesn't get all this 'mechanics' mubo jumbo.

This is the analogue I came up with.

Think of it as a person trying to get attention, magic tricks are a rather easy way to impress people who aren't overly familiar with how they work. They can stagger people and give them a much higher opinion of the person doing the magic tricks without really knowing anything about them.

These are your 'run-of-the-mill- MMO's.
But like magic tricks, if you know how their done, or have seen the same tricks being played 4 or 5 times, they become a lot less impressive and get old quick.
Sure there might be the occasional bout of novelty, and some people will remain fooled no matter what, but eventually most will realize that the magician is just hiding the fact that he's just got nothing worthwhile to say.

But take Guild Wars as a different example. It's more like an attractive member of the opposite sex, pretty and charismatic, and willing to engage you in a lengthy conversation.
Sure it may not be as immediately impressive, and the conversation may end up being little more the idle chatter, but at the end of the day you walk away with a much more pleasant experience, that doesn't really diminish with time.

Guild Wars 2 on the other hand is like her charming, sexier, older sister.
Not only has she learned from her mistakes, but is otherwise much more worldly and experienced in life, to make her a much more rounded person.

The conversations are likely to be even more engaging and entertaining, than with that of her sibling. But most importantly, by being such a diverse and entertaining as a person as she is, she really doesn't need to use magic tricks to impress people, listening to her talk is plenty enough.

And maybe, just maybe, after listening so her speak and seeing the attention she brings, the magician might realize that it's time to put away the cards and wand, and just start talking to people.


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