Anakin( Online games), You're breaking my heart! You're going down a path I cannot follow!!
The following blog post, unless otherwise noted, was written by a member of Gamasutra’s community.
The thoughts and opinions expressed are those of the writer and not Gamasutra or its parent company.
Recently two online games were breaking my heart.
First one was DiabloIII. I had fallen in love with him soon in May this year, then spend very happy time until normal difficulty ended. I enjoyed hack&slash and moved to watch great CG movies. But when I went to next difficulty level (Nightmare) Act2-3, suddenly I could not dating him anymore. Because enemy's attacks were too simple and bothered me. foot print fire field, rounding purple laser beam, teleportation, and immune barrier! There was no strategy, no player skill. I realized that all I need was "PATIENCE" (Obi-Wan once said), then I quit just like Luke in Episode 5 said to Master Yoda, "You're impossible".
Second one was CAPCOM's Monster Hunter Forward4 (PC). In fact, until now, I divorce two times. About 3 years ago, I started to play with my friends who were in Hokkaido, Yokohama, Osaka, Kobe etc. Playing with talking through Skype were really interesting. Until to reach HR(Hunter Rank) 100, we are exciting to battle new monsters. But from HR 100, repeat playing started with minor changed monsters. My motivation lost, then first quit. Second quit was when I start to make FX armor about HR 300. Too many rare ingredients (10%, 5%!) needed to make FX armor. What a painful play! So I quit. After some months passed, I restarted to play over HR 500, to start SR (Superior Rank? I don't know exactly). But again, SR playing was much more painful. Available weapon's rare degree was capped ( you could not use the strong weapon ) and armor weakened ( calculated minus damage point ), and to level up we need too much SR points. Of course fighting same monsters. I tried to play some times because this time was third revenge. I really wanted to reach SR 600 ( all weapon available ), but I could not reach that. Finally I gave up third times.
In my experience, I could not reach the happy endings with online games. After all, online games have no endings due to earn much more money, so the ending were always player's gave up. The last memories was always bitter tastes. From Ultima Online released, too many online games have developed and played. But now, I feel that we need to re-think how to design online games. Why we needed patience to just play games? Everlasting play style was OK? We really don't know how to end the online games.
The power of the dark side (earn money) is very strong. Anakin finally became Darth Vader. The developer must obey his master. But I believe there is a good in developers. We could say someday like Luke in Episode 6, "Never. I never turn to the dark side. I'm a Jedi... Like my father before me".
Much too lean you still have!