2012 – So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish

New year 2013 London

I was looking to write some sort of detailed account about my gaming activities in 2012 and in particular reflect upon my involvement with the MMORPG genre. However, upon mature reflection, I really do not need to and more importantly want to. It’s all there in black and white in the various articles I’ve written over the last twelve months about Star Wars The Old Republic, Star Trek Online, Guild Wars 2, The Secret World and of course LOTRO. The MMO as a concept has undergone some major changes in the last year as has my perspective on them. I simply do not enjoy them as much as I did.

Don’t get me wrong, I have no intention of sitting here and bad mouthing this genre of game. I still think they can be immensely rewarding and can provide a rich and varied social experience. I just no longer feel delighted or enthralled by them and consider this to be a perfectly healthy perspective. Nothing remains the same forever and in the case of leisure activities, tastes most certainly do change. Furthermore, I have become far more interested in the nature of the developers and wider industry. I often find that scrutinising a games community is in some ways more intriguing than the game itself

LOTRO Community screenshot

So 2012 has seen me (and possibly many others) leave three premium title MMOs behind. It would appear that the MMO genre is not expanding to any great extent and is developing a very migratory player base. The last twelve months has also seen a radical shift in payment models, with subscriptions fast becoming a thing of the past. For the present I content myself with Turbine’s Lord of the Rings Online, although it too seems to be beset with problems with the developers and the community being very much at odds with each other. I cannot say that I am especially excited by the current MMOs that are in development. Both The Elder Scrolls Online and Neverwinter seem rather generic. They’ll have their fans of course but as a more casual player I simply have become tired of swinging a sword in-game.

Neverwinter image

So there will more than likely be a lot more guest writers providing insight and commentaries about MMOs in 2013, here on Contains Moderate Peril. I shall still be keeping an eye on LOTRO as it is my game of choice and it certainly is going through some sort of transition at present. It will be interesting to see whether that will be for the better or ill in the months to come. As for me, I think I shall be gaming in a far more casual manner and will certainly be playing more FPS, RPGs and puzzle based games such as the Sherlock Holmes series from Frogware. As I get older it really is a case of some many things to do, so little time. Under such circumstances I think I should choose what I do with care and if I am not enjoying an pastime, then it’s best to pick another.

One thought on “2012 – So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish

  1. Jonathan Baron says:

    Around 14 years ago, Scott Jennings on his site, Lum the Mad (a web commentary site before the hideous term “blog” was coined), created Effeminate Sailor in EverQuest. Thus began a lampooning more cunning and thorough than any before or since of the leveling model of what we now call the MMO. If 2012 marked anything in the genre it would be the year that its audience finally caught up with Lum….even though I doubt anyone reading this remembers him.

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