This has little to do with Blizzard’s upcoming MMO, code name Titan, largely because I know nothing about it. I’d like to be enthusiastic about it, but like the late, lamented Project Copernicus, no information means no enthusiasm. Teasing can work if it’s followed fairly soon by something real. In Project Copernicus’ case, I think they wanted to show more. In Blizzard’s case, they don’t want to take anything away from World of Warcraft — and that’s understandable. Even in its decline, it’s the most popular MMO in the world.
Not the most popular video game, though. According to XFire, the most popular game is League of Legends, followed by some shooters and Blizzard’s Diablo III — all free-to-play games. Raptr places WoW at #11, and the top ten games on the list are, every one of them, free-to-play games.
Titan is the second largest moon in the solar system, behind Jupiter’s Ganymede, larger than Mercury, half again larger than our own Moon. That picture above shows Titan _behind_ Saturn’s rings, clear on the other side of them from tiny Epimetheus.
I look at that picture and feel stunned. The bus-sized Cassini probe is diving through and around the Saturn system. We built that. To explore alien worlds. That picture _drips_ with sense of wonder.
If a MMO can’t give that to me, I don’t want to play it. If I am going to spend a hundred hours of my life leveling a character, I want to be confronted by sense of wonder all the time. Transported to alien worlds or fantastical realities, that’s what I want. Games that are spec sheets and class descriptions and 20 man boss battles and stuff, lists of bullet points — meh.
I played that game. I put over a year, 24 hours a day, into EverQuest, then went and was just as hardcore in WoW, DAoC, FFXI, EQ2, Wizard101 and a bunch of other games. Now any game that wants to go there, been there done that.
I’m playing Dungeons & Dragons Online with some friends, and Dungeons & Dragons, 4th Edition, with some other friends. That’s pretty much the sum of my online gaming. I’m eternally hopeful. I pre-ordered Guild Wars 2, but I don’t expect much from it. I’m downloading The Secret World right now, because, at least, it will bring me to a place I have never been in a game — modern day New England, where I live in real life.
Seeing reality warped through the lens of a horror-fantasy MMO? Maybe that will do the trick.