Posted on January 7th, 2009 No comments
Listen, I have a variety of gripes about all sorts of things, and when it comes to MMORPG’s sometimes the gripe cup runneth over. If I had to nail down my absolute biggest gripe, though, it would have to be that persistent worlds are sometimes TOO persistent.
Typically, progressing through an MMO world has little to no effect on the future of that world. When Bob the Orc tells you to kill ten rats, it would be nice if you could see the progress of the town as the rat horde is brought under control. Perhaps there would be more cheese laying around. Whatever. Fact is, when most MMORPG’s are faction based, it would be nice to see the effects of your quest completions and PvP victories.
Well, that is beginning to happen. Warhammer Online has certainly tried to revolutionize how PvP can affect the game world. Unfortunately, I’ve never been a PvP aficianado. That’s where World of Warcraft and the Wrath of the Lich King expansion’s phasing technology.
When you go to Argent Vanguard (which is the HQ for the Argent Crusade’s assault on the Lich King’s domain in Icecrown) you start out seeing the outpost completely surrounded by the Lich King’s undead forces. As you progress through the Argent Vanguard quests, the horde of zombies and frost wyrms are eventually pushed back until all that’s left is a field littered with dead dragon corpses and cheering soldiers. Then, you progress further into Icecrown to set up a new outpost. The conclusion of that quest line results in a new town that is accessible. This continues on throughout the Icecrown quests until you’ve unlocked several areas in a region that was originally 100% owned and operated by the Lich King and his minions.
And this is what I’ve always wanted from an MMORPG. The ability to have your quests actually affect the game world that you’re playing in. This is, in my opinion, the very definition of playing in a “persistent world.” Your actions, as they change the game world, persist even after you log off. The bottom line is that I’ve had more fun galavanting around Northrend than any other MMORPG experience, to date.