Gracie has a topic up on ingame happiness for this rainy Blaugust Saturday (rainy for me anyway) and I decided to follow her example. On our blogs we often talk about our gripes with games or how MMOs have changed for the worse over time, yet clearly there must be things that still make us very happy or we wouldn’t be playing them.
I still feel that MMORPGs are the greatest genre there is. I didn’t expect too much of 2015 game-wise but in many ways, it was a much better year for MMOs than many of us anticipated. There were the GW2 and FFXIV expansions for one thing, Wildstar is going f2p any time now and introducing some new features and I’m also hearing good things about Project Gorgon from various bloggers. For now, I am rather content. As for the specific things that make me happy in MMOs, these are just the first ten that popped into my head:
- Random kindnesses by strangers while soloing out in the field or running dungeons. Meeting players that will help you out when they don’t have to or go the extra mile just for you, without any notion of wasting their own time.
- Laughs in guild chat and getting to know new people across the world with whom I can have so much in common.
- Spotting the little things; fireflies roaming in dark corners when all other lights have gone out. The first sunrays creeping over the distant horizons. Windmills creaking.
- Getting my character to a stage where I feel competent and look crazy good in my gear.
- Unexpected NPC interactions that make the world come alive for a moment. Companion pets doing the wrong thing at the exact right moment.
- Heavy rain soaking my clothes. My cloak fluttering in the wind.
- The sound of snow under my boots as I cross a white snowy field. The way it sounds different from a cobblestone street or a wooden bridge.
- My own little space, a room in a guild house or a fully decorated plot that is as unique as the next person’s.
- Getting that mob down against all odds. Not giving up when all seems lost and somehow prevailing.
- Idling in the city and seeing everyone around me starting to dance because somebody must have started.
There’s so many great things about MMOs: their scale, their simulation, their longevity, their interactivity and social aspects. Most of all however, my magical moments lie in the unexpected. That’s when the game seemingly transcends the boundaries of its script and I feel as if the world was truly unique and live, just for me. MMOs leave room for that sort of thing when most games do not – they leave room for many individual experiences influenced by countless random factors. So I guess you could say I am most happy in MMOs when the game actually stops feeling like a game.