Nils has got a new post up about Skyrim. If you haven’t been checking out Nils’ blog then you should get your butt over there as he’s writing some really good stuff lately. Anyway, his post is about some of the things an MMO could take from Skyrim and be more successful. I haven’t played Skyrim yet, but I can still empathise with most of the points. Syl from Raging Monkeys has a reply to the post, and this is the point for what I am writing here. With both of their permission I will repost that comment:

I’ll tell you why I personally wouldn’t want a “Skyrim MMO” Nils; I think a world like that could work perfectly online, I can see a Skyrim co-op where friends simply meet up to travel together, do a few quests cooperatively, craft a little, decorate their houses etc.

…but I’d never want the beautiful world of Skyrim overrun by hundreds of people – ever. I wouldn’t play it.
even less would I want to share that world with the type of “where are the raids? the achievements? the loots?”-players, asking for auction houses and PvP and whatnot because any online game needs to be like WoW.

I understand Syl’s point here, I really do. But it betrays the hidden bugbear waiting in the gaming community. Namely that you cannot ever successfully play an MMO if you don’t want to share it with other people. Because that is what MMOs are about. That’s what makes them unique. And if we take this attitude a step further it means that you’ll only play an MMO that you don’t really like that much, seeing as you wouldn’t want to share a good one. Which is kind of masochistic when you think about it.

And perhaps the big companies who make these games worked this out a long time ago. And meanwhile we’re all furiously writing diatribes on our blogs about how this game could be better, and how the hell could they make that change what on earth were they thinking?? And they’re just nodding away to themselves and thinking, yeah whatever. They make games that appeal to the lowest common denominator because that’s the only type of game we’d be prepared to share with them. Is this true? I don’t know, but it sure is food for thought.