Do We Expect Too Much From MMORPGs Now?
I’m not going to weigh in on the “Is Champions Online Worth Buying?” debate that seems to be the hot topic at the moment amongst all of the bloggers. I’m still on the fence with it – I’m enjoying the open beta but, due to the fact that I have to move apartment soon, I’m still wondering if I should buy it or save my money. Regardless, reading a lot of people’s comments about Champions Online got me wondering if we just expect too much from our MMOs now.
Although I primarily play MMORPGs, I still keep an eye on single player PC games and console games (I’ve always had a console ever since I was a kid and now currently own a PS3) and buy several a year. My non-MMO acquisitions within the last 12 months include InFamous, Dead Space, Street Fighter IV, Little Big Planet, Sins of a Solar Empire, BioShock and Mass Effect. I spent between £30 – £50 ($50 – $75) on each of them and enjoyed them all thoroughly, yet when I look back on to how long I actually spent playing them, it wasn’t a huge amount of time compared to any MMO. For example, Dead Space only takes about 12 hours to complete and Mass Effect was completed and finished within a week. This short amount of game time doesn’t seem to bother single player or console gamers in the slightest yet a MMORPG gamer would shudder at the thought of handing over cash for something that would only last them one or two weeks.
Even the “worst” MMOs I’ve played (Tabula Rasa, I’m looking at you) probably lasted me a good month, with several hours play every day. A month in any MMO is considered very short term yet single player games like Final Fantasy or Oblivion are praised for their “lengthy” campaigns which might take up to 80 hours to complete. I could pump 80 hours into a MMORPG without breaking a sweat. To give you some perspective, my “main” in EQ2 has over 888 hours of played time. And that’s just one character of mine out of just one MMO I’ve played.
Does every MMO need to have long term appeal? Does it always need to be the game that we move our entire guild to and play for the next two years? Can’t it just be a bit of fun for a few weeks, just like any console or single player game?
This is my dilemma with Champions Online. I think it’s fun and I bet it could easily last me a month or so before I got bored. Even if that only amounted to 60 hours of play time, it would be considered decent value for money by non-MMO standards. However, compared to MMORPG standards, that’s a pretty poor lifespan.
So what do you think? Do we expect too much from our MMORPGs now? Can’t they just be considered like other games and be a bit of fun on the side? Isn’t that still good value for money? And most importantly, should I buy Champions Online?