Jan 1, 2007
We've lost at a lot of MMOs over the years. That's the one thing we're pretty good at when it comes to them. After the initial period of infatuation with any given MMO we find ourselves helplessly obsessed with, we always lose. We lose track of what loot drops we wanted from what boss, what quest we were trying to clear, or why we even started playing in the first place. Every time we sever ourselves from whatever MMO we’re addicted to, there's a part of us that swears we'll never touch another one again.
It's the part that remembers hearing adults arguing over imaginary in-game items, the part that remembers a good night sleep, and a diet not entirely consisting of microwave meals and canned goods. Here's what MMOs need to stop doing if we're ever going to jump back in for the long haul.
Above: The frustrated MMO player on the left calls the gold farmer on the right a geek in the documentary previewed below
Farming and working
All too often, playing an MMO feels like work. These previews of the documentary, Gold Farmers shows one result of that work: a class-based virtual economy where wealthier players are paying to have poorer ones play on their behalf.
Developers like Blizzard ban users they believe to be gold farmers all the time. But the problem of farming has nothing to do with the gold farmers themselves. It's the gameplay that feels so much like toil at times that more affluent players are willing to pay money for someone else to level up their avatars and line their virtual pockets with gold. If you want to see more farming footage, visit www.chinesegoldfarmers.com.
Below: This trailer illustrates the divide between regular players and farmers
Below: A professional gamer gives some insight into the pressures involved with playing games like World of Warcraft and Lineage for a living