We’re all guilty of it, whether we admit it or not; the grass always looks greener on the other side. The last few days the talk of the town, so to speak, has been on Elder Scrolls Online. It’s the next big thing they say, the third great MMO of the decade after SWTOR and Guild Wars 2; what it really is, however, is one great big hype.
It’s amusing really, not a week ago they were singing the praises of Guild Wars 2 like it was mana from heaven, all the more amusing because most of them wouldn’t have given the first Guild Wars the time of day. And of course five months ago it was The Old Republic. Writers like gamers, can sometimes be caught up in the possibilities and be blinded by hope. I suppose it’s not a bad thing, Hope is one of the great things about Mankind; the hope for a brighter tomorrow. It’s funny though for all the good cheer about this announcement, even over the booing from those who feel Bethesda has bitten off more than it can chew, no one is asking the simple questions. How can a studio known for buggy launches, tepid combat, and weak tea story hope to make a good MMO? It’s not an easy question to ask, instinctively people want to believe that good things will happen but this is huge risk for a company that is fiercely independent. This game will likely be fairly good, but it is highly unlikely it will be what everyone wants it to be, for no such consensus exists.
In our rush to jump ship from one game to another, more realistic expectations could go a long way into softening the blow when a game doesn’t become exactly as we envisioned it, a dream it was never going to become anyways.