Online Game Sabbatical & What I Seek From Games Now

As a followup to my leaving Guild Wars 2 for a time, I decided to extend that to a general sabbatical to all online gaming.  On reviewing all the MMOs I had installed, four were deleted – of which only one (Eve Online) has a chance of being installed again.  Even then, that would only happen if the ‘Tiered Subscription’ model I predicted is actually implemented by CCP.

The other three – WildStar, Secret World and Skyforge – don’t have enough of what I now realize I was seeking from this type of game:  A long-term, engaging Single-player Story element, that’s not hindered much by the game’s advancement mechanics.

Lets pick apart these three against my new metric:

Skyforge – has a story of sorts, but is lackluster at best and not very engaging.  This is hindered further by the immense amount of grind required to get past what they term the tutorial, for goodness sake…

Secret World – while it does have a very good story (very dark and moody), its falling apart point is still the character advancement.  I’m also not as big a fan of the genre in question (very Lovecraft inspired), which is not helping either.  Their re-work of the system has helped a bit, but also added an element of grind which has made things more unpleasant to me.

WildStar – is probably the saddest of the three.  I’ve always believed it was supposed to be a dedicated game for the Hardcore folks (in regards to Raids and larger scale PvP), while Guild Wars 2 (under the same publisher at that time) would be aimed toward the Casual market.  Since the original collapse of this game – which does have a fairly coherent Story element to it – both this and GW2 morphed to add elements of each other.  I consider this to be a tragic turn of events on both games; I feel that Raids caused quite a bit of toxicity to what is left of GW2’s playerbase (of which a decent portion left over it).  I feel they could have re-worked the World vs World system instead, for the same element of strategy and difficulty that Raids would have had.

Where does this leave Guild Wars 2 then?  Its still installed, though I’m only likely to fire it up when there is an actual Story update for now.  As the only game that has a Story Arc I can be engaged with so far, I intend to go back to it when I feel I can find a like-minded group that is ‘Story/PvE Only.’  Even if that means I have to take up the mantle of Guild Master.

Either way, its currently looking to be no earlier than July; Work is just too hectic right now anyway, and I’m enjoying myself with a backlog of other Stories – like Valley, which touches on an altruistic form of game mechanics.  But more on that later.