I’m getting a little fed up with the seasonal events that are plaguing (pardon the pun) MMORPGs at the moment. When I first encountered them all those years ago, I thought having an in-game event that tied in with the current real life holiday was quite quaint and fun but I find myself getting bored of them these days, especially after I’m bombarded with emails from dozens of MMO companies telling me about how great their Halloween (or whatever) event is. Seems like they’ve just become another form of marketing and another thing to pull us out of the immersion of our favourite MMO. Nothing like seeing an Ogre wearing a Santa Claus hat to utterly destroy the illusion of a scary opponent.
Sure, sometimes it’s quite fun to get into the Christmas spirit and listen to the tinkly-bell music whilst running around Qeynos in EQ2 in December but please… for the love of all things good and natural… ban the snowballs. By the time Erollisi Love Day has come and gone I’m sick of having snowballs thrown at me. It was fun once. In December. On Christmas Day. Stop stockpiling the sodding snowballs and digging them out in the middle of summer!
Ahem. I digress.
Anyway, as I was saying, do we really need all of these seasonal holidays in game? World of Warcraft seems to continually run one and I think I lost interest in them months ago. I don’t log on so I can experience the wonders of Christmas Day with my cyber brethren or a romantic, candle lit dinner with some loose Night Elf I met on Valentine’s Day. It seems like seasonal events in MMORPGs have just become another by-the-numbers facility that players expect. I can appreciate the odd one, but we really don’t need one every month.
What I’d prefer by far is for new, player driven, storyline events every month (or even every few months) to replace these seasonal ones. I’d much rather log in and partake in a fun event that has something to do with the lore of the game and driving the game world forward than some cheap rip-off of the Chinese New Year. We seem to get promised these a lot but they’re delivered very infrequently. I will, however, say that the Zombie Invasion event which occurred in WoW last year before the release of WotLK is a great example of a fun, albeit slightly flawed, world event.
What do you think? Are seasonal events old-hat or am I just being a sourpuss Scrooge?