A Massive Curiosity

Through the past 10 years or so. I’ve frequently dipped in and out of the world of the MMORPG. These games give you whole worlds to explore with hundreds or thousands of other players sharing the same environment.

In even more recent years the Free to Play model has reared its head. As much as I hate to admit it, I’m probably more of a casual gamer, so this model suits me quite well…

I’ve always had that part of me that wants to go full swing and get involved in these huge games and communities, but there have been a few things holding me back. In the early days, all of these monster games had a monthly subscription. Not something I could commit to in my college days before I was getting any kind of real money in. It can safely be said that the daddy of all MMORPGs is World of Warcraft, a world heavy on fantasy. Pretty much all MMORPGs in the early years attempted to mimic this kind of fantasy in some way, unfortunately that kind of setting has never been something I’ve been able to get into and commit to. Just a personal preference I’ll point out, give me a dark and gritty Sci-Fi any day, but I’ll always approach a fantasy game with a bit of caution. So very few of the early MMORPGs really had the appeal to drag me in either.

Once I had finished dyeing my hair silly colours and wearing hoodies all year round (I left college). I at least had the funds to attempt to enter the MMORPG world properly. Conveniently enough this was around the same time that CCP Games released the Sci-Fi oriented EVE Online. Now here’s a game that gets me wanting to commit! I signed up for my trial, I think the initial trial was either two weeks or a month. In that time I know I barely scratched the surface of the game. You truly get the impression that space is massive in this game, with over 7,500 systems to navigate, it’s truly massive.

This looks fun, sign me up... for a bit
This looks fun, sign me up… for a bit

After my trial ended I considered signing up for the monthly subscription and continuing, I held an internal debate on the subject. I realised in an attempt to get the most out of the game I had almost shut myself off from most other people in my life, if I had a paid subscription would I act the same? I wouldn’t want to pay a sub and let it go to waste (same reason I don’t have a gym membership). In the end I realised that I didn’t want to make the investment and instead spend my time with friends/studying for work certifications or other personal projects.

I’ve always come to the same conclusion with subscription based games. With my ever increasing workload and the growing number of personal projects (I’ll be a millionaire one day) I actually get very little time to game, I don’t want to find myself tied to a single game purely because I’m financially invested in it.

In even more recent years the Free to Play model has reared its head. As much as I hate to admit it, I’m probably more of a casual gamer, so this model suits me quite well. I’ve had the opportunity to try a number of MMORPGs thanks to this. A few I’ve tried recently spring to mind. Star Trek Online, now the space combat in this game is fun, it’s quite simple, it never feels like you’re navigating these massive starships, but it’s fun. I do struggle to get back into it now however, I normally load the game up and send my crew out to do missions, and then shut the game down, I’m fairly sure I’ve been sitting in the same place for the past three or four months now. I’ve also tried out Rift, this one stands out as having a strange introduction, which I really enjoyed. Once into the main game I started to move onto other things however.

I do find it frustrating that I can’t find myself able to commit properly to the massive worlds created for our enjoyment. I still dip in and out, but I know I’m not getting the best out of these games. Are there any MMORPGs out there for a casual gamer who maybe only has a few hours a week for a game like this? Yet enough going on to keep my interest? Suggestions are welcome.



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