I don’t think World of Warcraft is something that will ever truly leave us. It came onto the scene in 2004, and it’s been the grand-daddy of MMORPGs ever since. There were certainly MMOs before World of Warcraft and there’s certainly been MMOs after World of Warcraft, but there’s never been an MMO that has managed to take the throne. And I want to run through some of the MMOs that have tried, and failed, to take the top spot. And, give my thoughts on why they couldn’t take the throne.
“Quitting is easy, I’ve done it tons of times.”
But first, a quick background on my qualifications. I started playing World of Warcraft in 2010, so I’m not even an OG. But I started with some friends and been hooked ever since. Every expansion, every raid, every classic expansion; I’ve been there for them all since I started. So I am one of the hopelessly addicted players that has kept World of Warcraft at the top for so long.
But that’s not to say I haven’t tried to have a little fun with some other games. I believe I’ve played the majority of other MMO releases, And that’s honestly because I love the genre. There’s something in my goblin brain that just feeds on the formula that is drip-fed through these games. Every game in this list I have played, and I loved them all. But part of loving something is making jokes about it. So let’s take a look at why I think these games didn’t have what it took to topple The Lich King.
Old School Runescape
I am confident in saying that OSRS was the first MMO for most people my age, and that’s when it was just called Runescape. And that’s why it still gets a lot of players, it is a perfect, harmless nostalgia trap. The most recent time I played was because my partner was playing it again, and it’s just a fun game to zone out and play together.
The thing I loved most about Runescape is that you could do it all. I didn’t have to find a Runecrafter, I could be my own strong independent Runecrafter. There’s a beauty in not needing anyone for anything, and it happens in such a way that it doesn’t get to feel old. I need food for this boss, so I need to get my fishing up. But to cook these lobsters I need higher cooking, and so on. It all flows into the next.
But, at the end of the day it’s just clicking one thing at a time. And once you get up in the levels it’s clicking one thing at a time, a lot of times. Which all leads back to my true feelings about OSRS; it is a perfect first MMO. It might not be your last, but it’s a good gateway MMO.
If you’ve played Dofus, we’re friends now. Dofus was this beautiful mix of turn based combat, adorable art, and awesome characters. I loved this game. So if you’re a fan of gameplay similar to Fire Emblem, the combat in Dofus will suit you just fine.
Nowadays the game has a pretty low population and most of the players are French speaking, which makes sense as the developers are French themselves. But, when I played there was a healthy English player base and I very much enjoyed my time playing this game.
The reason why I’m not still enjoying this game is honestly linked to the playerbase. It became difficult to find a group of players to mesh with, and I felt that later game content was very repetitive, which seems like it would apply to most MMOs. But Dofus had so much awesome content in the world, but only a small percentage of it was considered optimal, or worth completing, so it got dry very quickly, for me. And on top of that it also started to get to a point where you essentially were required to have two accounts in order to progress.
This one will be short.
If Dofus is Coca-Cola, Wakfu is New Coke. It’s kinda the same, but a little different. But sometimes people are just going to stick to the original.
Guild Wars 2
This might get controversial, but that’s why we’re here.
I think Guild Wars 2 was too similar to WoW, without being WoW.
I will not explain further.
Destiny 2 is like playing Borderlands 2. You run into the room, you shoot the big guy, he dies, and then you get all the shiny things. This is something that my goblin brain loves. That part of it is loving the shiny little pick ups, and shiny new guns. But if I wanted that I would just play Borderlands 2.
What I think Destiny lacked (when I played) is meaningful difficulty. It seemed like the difficulty was just larger health bars, which didn’t engage me in the way that difficulty in other MMOs have.
Final Fantasy XIV
I think I’ve saved the best till last here.
Final Fantasy XIV is the MMO that I wish I was still playing. It brings together the two things I love most in games; MMORPGs and pretty characters with bunny ears. Honestly, what more could you want?
But seriously, the only reason I stopped playing this game is that I had no one to play with. I was new, and I was enjoying it, but without friends or people to play with I lost that drive to make it to the end. But I’m ready to dive right back in, as soon as I can pull my partner away from OSRS.