Thursday, December 21, 2006

The State of the Union Address: MMO's & Me!

I've been playing MMO's since 1996. I started with MUDs and quickly moved to Ultima Online. I still play Ultima Online today, but not nearly the 10 hours a day I put in when I was a teenager.

After my initial UO experience, I looked around for a different MMO to feed my need. I tried games such as, Anarchy Online, Everquest, Asheron's Call 1 & 2, Shadowbane, DAoC, Star Wars Galaxies, Matrix Online, Eve Online, City of Heroes, TSO, Neocron, World of Warcraft, etc etc etc...

I've pretty much tapped any mainstream MMO that's been put out. The strange thing about all this is that to this day I still find Ultima Online to be my favorite. Why you might ask?

The game Ultima Online had little restriction placed on the player's ability to make decisions. In Ultima Online, if you wanted a house by the lake (not in an instanced housing zone) then you could place a house on the lake and customize it from the ground up. If you wanted to player kill someone who had been stealing your kills, or just being an ass, then you could.

The possibilities in the Ultima Online "world" still surpass those of all the subsequent MMO's and their online "games".

I yearn for the day where I can play in a virtual world where the possibilities nearly mimic that of the place we call reality. The first step to achieving this dream is for game developers to start lifting restrictions that, to me at least, hinder the worldly-like atmosphere.

I understand the reason most restrictions are put into play are to prevent grieving and exploitation, but let players police those situations, not programmed game mechanics.

Take WoW for example, why can I not attack a member of my own faction if I so see fit? I should be able to attack the alliance hunter stealing my kills for being a dishonorable player. But then, you say, we would have PK's running rampant; however, this would not be the case if there was a penalty for the said action.

If I kill that hunter, even thou I was probably in the "right", I would have to suffer some consequences that the "players" would have to enforce. This would bring a worldly atmosphere that I haven't seen in an MMO since Ultima Online.

If any of this post has struck a nerve with you, or has captured your interest in anyway, then I urge you to check out a new game in development that is aiming to achieve the things I've mentioned in this post. The game is called Darkfall Online, and can be found at

Please go to that address and check out the F.A.Q. and you'll see what I think an MMO should be like. (whether the game lives up to its hype is a totally different matter)

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