Why MMOs Are Like Industrial Bands 

Pretend for a moment that MMOs are Bands. You know, the music kind. In this comparison, I’m going to use Industrial genre references because that’s what I like. I don’t care what music you like, because my likes are more relevant to -my- blog.

Here’s where I’m going to make wild links between things, and you’re probably going to disagree. Keep in mind that I’m going to leave lots of games out, I’m going to leave lots of great bands out. This is a simple Saturday project for fun.

First off I’m going to compare EverQuest to Throbbing Gristle. Throbbing Gristle was rough around the edges, it was mean, it was basically the first of it’s kind… but most importantly, it’s the forefather of Industrial music. EverQuest is the basis for today’s MMOs. It had PvP, but it was rough and original to itself. I’d say EverQuest’s popularity brought a lot of people into the world of competitive massive online gaming. It’s PvE was competitive, and it also had PvP. EverQuest is Throbbing Gristle to modern PvP MMOs.

Let’s scoot ahead to Dark Age of Camelot. DAoC as all know it. Let’s compare DAoC to Skinny Puppy. Skinny Puppy picked up where Kraftwerk and Throbbing Gristle left off and they refined it into something way more listen-able. It was still rough, it was still growly, and it wasn’t perfect. This is where a fan-base for Industrial style really started shooting up. Similarly, DAoC is responsible for bringing people into massive, cooperative PvP, called RvR. Neither Skinny Puppy or DAoC are on a strict IP ruleset, they’ll readily change to meet what they feel is best for themselves. They’ve both made mistakes that their fans regret, and they’ve both evolved a long way. Either way, every future PvP MMO or Industrial band can thank DAoC or Skinny Puppy. Both Skinny Puppy and DAoC are still alive today, and their loyal fans still have great memories.

Here’s where I’m going to do something a little more daring: Compare WoW to Marilyn Manson. I’m making this comparison because once, Marilyn Manson was respectably fantastic. WoW used to be a great game, I don’t know many people who would completely disagree with that. Both Manson and WoW quickly forgot about the things that got them where they were, however, and quickly detached from their roots. WoW and Manson are very refined, very clean. Once their following started getting big, however, they pulled heavily away from the way they got there, and appealed to the masses that started following. Many original WoW adopters (the people who got it where it is) wince at the sight of what it’s become, similarly many original Marilyn Manson fans look at the music he puts out today and will get violent about it. What does this have to do with PvP? Well, like it or not, WoW is still a MMO title with a sizeable PvP following… or a memory of a PvP following if anything.

Here comes WAR. I’m going to compare WAR to Nine Inch Nails. Nine Inch Nails started out very closely to Skinny Puppy, and Reznor has stayed very close to his roots, albeit with modern enhancements based on more recent, more popular successes. The same can be said about WAR. Both actually have had very large issues with money. WAR isn’t old enough to see if it will pull it’s self out with a big bang just yet, but when it does, Nine Inch Nails will be by far the best comparison. I think it’s safe to assume that sometime in the nearish future, WAR will be able to pull itself out of this financial hole and be that one Industrial band you actually hear on the radio outside of Hot Topic.

If WAR fails us (and I trust it won’t be Mythic’s fault), maybe we’ll get an MMO that we can compare to KMFDM one day. is a drug against WAR!

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