Remember the old days of vanilla World of Warcraft? Where you got a quest and then you had to find your objective by reading the description of your quest and figuring out where your objective is, you didn’t have any markers on the map that told you where you needed to go. You see, quests back then were really fun to do, and that was mostly because you had to use your own head to finish them, and that gave you a lot of satisfaction, something that rarely any quest gives you today after you finish them. Dungeons were a lot harder, bosses were challenging, you had a lot of freedom when it came to builds, and so on, and that begs the question, are MMORPGs getting oversimplified?
Things different in the past, as the most satisfying part about beating a dungeon in vanilla WoW was the preparations and constant failure that was needed in order to understand how the bosses work, how to pull the mobs, and how to stay alive during all of this. Players today in some instances no longer need to walk to their quest location, as a lot of MMORPGs have auto-movement which requires a press of a button for your character to start walking on his own towards the quest location.
The freedom when it comes to builds has also disappeared from MMORPGs, as now you have only one viable build that you have to use if you want to maximize your damage or healing in several cases, but in a game like RuneScape, where you don’t have traditional leveling, but various skills, like cooking, prayer, combat, these allow you to create a unique character with unique skills. Giving you options so that you can experiment and see what you want isn’t present today, you’re just given some powerful skills, some lesser powerful filler ones, and you have to make due with that, so the option of experimentation is basically non-existent.
Combat was also more interesting, in one part because you had a lot of abilities and mechanics that you had to look out for, and most of the time you had to keep track of what ability is on cooldown, what ability your opponent still hasn’t used, and things like that, but in most modern MMORPGs, you just need to blow every ability on the enemy as soon as they’re in range.
MMORPGs do feel a bit oversimplified these days, but maybe that’s just how it has to be, but it would still be nice to have a MMORPG where you have to use your head, even for a little bit.