So that was 2009, a glorious MMO year

January 2, 2010

I have seen a few posts from various bloggers about how bad 2009 was for MMOs. Personally I do not quite agree. For me personally there were more interesting new titles released in 2009 than in 2008. But also considerations for a good/bad year should include existing games as well – new expansions and changes, different price and payment models etc.

Thoughout 2009 I have played/tried a few different MMO or MMO-type games:

City of Heroes/Villains, Guild Wars, Lord of the Rings Online, Chronicles of Spellborn, Runes of Magic, Jade Dynasty, Project of Planets, Zero Online, Vendetta Online, Pirate Galaxy, Champions Online, Saga of Ryzom, Dungeons & Dragons Online, Fallen Earth, World of Kung Fu, Twelve Sky 2, Age of Conan, EVE Online, Shin Megami Tensei, FusionFall Online, GhostX – perhaps a few others also that I have forgotten about. Some of these would be an emphasis on tried rather than played though – for various reasons I barely completed the tutorial on some.

While otherwise limited in content updates, I loved when NCSoft/Paragon Studios released Mission Architect for City of Heroes/Villains. A really great feature! It was however plagued with being exploited by some and also in a sense too successful – too many story arcs and less than adequate search tools initially caused some trouble. While it is used by players today, it has perhaps not created the subscriber success that some may have hoped for. Still, it is an important step in making an innovative approach to MMO content a reality. I think that was one of the major milestones of 2009.

With the exception of Guild Wars, most of the fantasy titles I only played for short periods of time. Sometimes a bit grindy and with no special love for the fantasy genre, I gre tired of most of them quickly. Guild Wars has been lots of fun though – partially because it is a good game, but also very much due to the people of Tuesday Noob Club. Not played much lately though and the combination of real life schedule and lack of excitement for fantasy titles has contributed to that.

Just as I managed to totally avoid Warhammer Online last year I also totally avoided Aion this year, and World of Warcraft as usual. There simply has not been any compelling eason to consider playing either of the games.

Champions Online has received the bulk of my play time lately and for good reason – it is an excellent and fun game if you just want to mess around a bit, blow off some steam and get your mind of real life issues, just for a short bit. It is a good complement to other games or other activities.

I think most of the games I have played or tried I have not written much about – which is not to say that there are bad games. Sometimes it has just been bad timing, or some technical issue. I am glad that I have at least tried a fair number of games and see more of what is out there, rather than just focus on a few new Western subscription-based titles and live on the hope that the next big title with be it.

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  1. January 4, 2010 at 00:58 | #1

    Right with you on 2009 not being as bad as everyone seems to think. Your comment about what Champions is good for sums up my approach as well. Really it sums up why I play games in general, I always have difficulty understanding people calling for more challenge or complaining there’s not enough of a feeling of accomplishment after beating something.

  2. Aberron
    January 8, 2010 at 13:37 | #2

    @Blue Kae
    Do something really ball-breakingly hard really incredibly well and you’ll understand, I promise :)

    Of course you don’t need to play a game to do that but you’ll still understand it. Do it even if you don’t believe me, I promise you won’t regret it.

    Anyhow, it’s been a wierd year. It feels like we are all waiting for something and arguing between us what it is. I suspect none of us will know until we see it.

    2009 – Year Of Meh.

  3. January 8, 2010 at 16:53 | #3

    Aberron, I get enough challenge and accomplishment from my work and family life. Games fall into the same category for me as television and movies, I like to relax and have fun, not get frustrated.

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