I’m having a jolly good time reading some of the MMO veteran rants currently out there. It’s a topic that comes back in waves and is always simmering in the background, for those of similar conviction anyway. Epic Ben is on a delightful roll, pointing out one important misconception that is particularly infuriating –
“It’s not about my TIME. It’s about my desire to SUCCEED”
He’s spot on there. Yes, the future MMO audience will be made out of the oldschool generation with maybe less playtime and the younger crowd of generation twitter. The genre will face a more mixed audience like that and handle it one way or another (pick me, pick me!). Then, there’s also been the point about transient and extended players lately which categorizes MMO players in a general sense.
Both notions are true – yet, in combination not so much. I have a feeling that correlation is being mistaken for causality here and there.
There is an age gap and time available can influence gametime, but not necessarily playstyle. The older players with less time are still often veterans who want the requirements and restrictions – the punishments and “timesinks“. In contrast, it’s often younger players or genre newcomers who won’t deal with restrictions and frustrations, gravitating towards faster gratification in a themepark MMO full of baby rides and cheap roller coasters. But younger players have more time in general and therefore better options to play extended, in theory.
So, time does not affect our gameplay wishes and motivations in the same way – there are different answers to that problem. I have less time now, but still love “oldschool“; I don’t wanna play MMOs catering only to a transient crowd . I’m not transient. I will still play MMOs like an extended player in the future – or at least I hope they will let me. So, in case any of you important dev people out there are listening, let’s make sure once and for all:
I’m COOL with missing out compared to teens with 20+ hours gametime a week, knock yourselves out (I did too)! I’m COOL with advancing slower, I’m COOL with getting lesser or later rewards! Yeah, my life gets busier, but PLEASE don’t take my age as an indication! PLEASE don’t let me have everything the easy way! PLEASE don’t remove more and more roleplay and sim aspects from your games to optimize my time for me. I don’t want that!
I WILL cope! I am not a whiny old wreck. And I still don’t want to eat fast food, I will always cook my own dish over a small fire. Less time available doesn’t make the transient player. Just like more rewards don’t equal bigger accomplishment felt. Free rides, they don’t fool me.