As far as the 3rd Generation label I believe it’s just a marketing tool being used to promote Vanguard. Folks the spin stops here. Vanguard will need to be much more ambitious then just having the diplomacy feature as something that qualifies it to be in the so-called next generation of MMORPGs. I for one am very concerned that Brad and Co. are just making a new improved version of DikuMUD/EverQuest and nothing more. That’s fine if that’s the limit of their imaginations and people are willing to accept that.
The question remains: What will Sigil do to push fantasy online gaming into a new paradigm? The answer may be that they don’t want to. The online gaming industry seems to be moving backwards as a whole as easier dumbed-down games that appeal to the masses is the order of the day. Strangely enough, just creating a game that emulates the original EverQuest is seen as a bold and daring move in a world where most companies are scrambling to create the next WoW.
When I first started became involved in MMORPGs I found the concept laden with incredible potential and possibilities, the people seemed different then and we all had the feeling that anything was possible in these worlds. Sadly the promise of the genre has fallen by the wayside as online games have been carved up and disassembled by the powergamers, the hardcore raiders, the uberguilds, the casuals, the crafters, the farmers, PVPers and so on. All of them with their own agendas and demands.
Remember when we were just players?
Remember when we were all just trying to make our way in Norrath and we were not part of a demographic or special interest group as described above? We need an online world that can do that once again. We need an online game that can bring all those warring tribes together and create one nation of online gamers with a common, shared purpose. For a time like the mythical Camelot of King Arthur, EverQuest achieved that sense of unity. That is the magic I want to experience once again.