I love RPGs. Just to give you some idea of my tastes in the genre, I’m a massive fan of japanese RPG epics like Xenogears, Secret of Mana and Final Fantasy VII – as well as PC RPGS such as Planescape: Torment, Fallout and Knights of the Old Republic. But I know virtually nothing about the modern MMORPG. I have friends that are huge fans of MMOs but I just have never given them a try, based on heresay that the experience is excessively grindy, shallow and dull. I shouldn’t say never – I actually very briefly beta-tested the first Everquest. But I had basically no clue what was going on, and no manual or help was available at that time. This combined with the fact I was running a pretty unreliable dial-up connection contributed to the Everquest beta CD (yes, they actually sent out beta disks! Seems insane now doesn’t it?) getting tossed in with all the AOL CDs in the trash.
The truth is that MMOs aren’t going away. Since Everquest, they’ve exploded in popularity all over the world. The most popular example of the genre, Blizzard’s World of Warcraft, boasts about 10 million monthly subscribers! Its hard to really put that number in perspective – that’s 1/3rd the population of Canada! What makes this experience so compelling, that so many gamers feel the need to keep coming back (and paying!) month after month? Is WoW a perfectly engineered addictive substance? Or just a damn fun game that happens to be incredibly deep? Well, my curiosity has gotten the better of me and I’m about to find out.
Read on for the more info on the WoW Me Project!