After my recent play through of The Last of Us I got to thinking, when was the last time I felt such an emotional roller coaster in an MMO game? The answer came to me very quickly, never. It’s not that I’ve never felt emotions in an MMO game. I’ve felt the pump of adrenaline in a close PvP fight, I’ve screamed in excitement after grabbing a 0.1% drop item, but outside of that I can’t recall any serious levels of my emotional spectrum.
Recalling my earlier years as a gamer I can easily pick out a dozen games that managed to connect with me on an emotional level and the majority of those games are RPGs. With the MMORPG easily the dominating factor in terms of pure numbers and availability, they lack a certain something that their console counter-parts feature year after year.
An emotional response comes from immersion, connecting yourself to a certain character or event in a way that lives with you forever. Whether this is witnessing the death of a favorite character or a catastrophic event that gave birth to a franchise, these events make a mark.
So why are these lacking in the traditional MMO? To be honest, even if they were there I don’t think we would notice. The MMORPG experience isn’t about the journey and in that fact, they are almost the polar opposite to the old school approach toRPG games. It’s all about rushing to end-game, rushing to reach a competitive level in PvP. There’s no time for emotion or attachment and as such, developers don’t seem to bother putting anything in.
I’m sure there are a few games out there that have attempted to do so but it’s in no way mainstream like the typical RPG story lines of yesteryear. Do you think there’s room for more emotionally driven experiences in our MMO games of today or is this something you would rather see reserved for the traditional single player experience? Leave your thoughts below.