I think I’m on a roll on this whole positive outlook-thing. Despite my last post about MMO companies and their relationship to betas (it was not only directed at Square Enix), the MMO genre is still a source of happiness and pleasure. I’m doing great in Star Wars Galaxies, I’m giving Final Fantasy XIV a try and I recently resubbed to Lord of the Rings Online to be ready when the F2P version goes live in a matter of weeks.
It became a bit more obvious to me today, when I read Rankvile’s blog entry about Final Fantasy XIV. Don’t get me wrong, he’s got a lot of things right. The UI is horrible, the menus convoluted, the patcher a nightmare, the quest system non-intuitive at best. I’ll repeat what Pete said about it – Final Fantasy XIV won’t be for everyone. But when Rankvile writes that it’s an “advancement of sorts for it’s own predecessor, Final Fantasy XI” (compared to an advancement of the MMO genre in general), I feel happy. Because that’s exactly what I want from it. Final Fantasy XI fascinated me, but I burned out on forced grouping. I mostly solo in MMOs, and would love a FF-MMO where I didn’t have to group up only because I want to level.
That’s not to say that I’m sure I will play Final Fantasy XIV for a very long time after launch, the game does have its issues. But I am not cancelling my preorder yet.
The second time it struck me today was when I read Heartless’ post about the latest Star Wars: The Old Republic-video released by Bioware. Heartless (man, he’s grumpy these days) thinks the combat looks terrible in TOR, with a traditional “trash pull”-mechanic. It has looked that way for a long time, there doesn’t seem to be anything truly innovative about combat in TOR. In fact, there doesn’t seem to be much innovation in the game at all. The “epic storyline” and the fully voiced cast might be cool, but in general it’s looking to be a classic MMO. Levels, trash pulls, dungeons, etc. And you know what? You probably guessed it – that’s exactly what I want from it.
I want to play a MMO set in one of the coolest time periods of the Star Wars mythology. I don’t care about innovative combat mechanics or the storyline. I just want to play a MMO where I can team up with my friends and go explore the world of the Old Republic. I don’t even care about the fact that TOR’s space missions are on rails anymore. That minor disappointment eroded as soon as I remembered that I have the space-system I need in SWG anyway.
It’ll be alright. Because I got one hand in my pocket, and the other one is swinging a lightsaber. And I look good doing it.