I love to follow topic threads as they wander around the blogosphere. An off-hand comment on one of Gordon’s posts at We Fly Spitfires prompted him to write further on the topic, which in turn prompted Klepsacovic to weigh in at Troll Racials Are Overpowered (which, in turn, is prompted the post you’re currently reading).
Gordon asks if MMOs have affected the success of single-player games. It’s an interesting question. I don’t think Gordon’s speaking of the actual, quantifiable sales figures; he makes the point that MMOs take up so much of his available leisure time that he rarely has time to dip his toe into any other game’s waters. I think that’s a feeling that a lot of us would share.
Klepsacovic’s follow-up asks what it is we’re actually paying for when we renew the subscription for our MMO of choice. For him, a single-player game has a higher “fun per hour” ratio than an MMO. The ace up the MMO’s sleeve is the social factor; being able to interact with, cooperate with, or compete against your friends (or, more often, random strangers).
I can empathize with both of them. When I first started playing World Of Warcraft, I treated it effectively as a single-player game. I barely interacted with other players at all. I simply leveled my character on my own, in just the same way as I would have done if WoW was a single-player game and every other player was an AI bot. At that stage, I still had time for other games.
Once I joined a good guild and started end-game raiding, it all changed of course. I’m still a pretty casual player by most definitions, but I rarely find time to play other games. I haven’t even completed Fallout 3 yet, and if you knew just how much I loved loved LOVED Fallout 1 and 2 you’d understand what an extraordinary thing that is. In fact, come to think of it, I’ve played Fallout 1 and Fallout 2 right the way through several times. Of course, that was back in my BW days: Before Warcraft.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have my Dragonmaw dailies to do.