NOTE: I have to admit that this particular blog entry is for those readers who enjoy roleplay or are interested in roleplay, and is not aimed at the purist game player.
We all know that MMORPG stands for Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game...so why do most modern MMORPG's not offer strong roleplay elements? It's almost like the whole roleplay idea has been eviscerated from the genre. But first, how do we define roleplay? I like to consider immersion to be the key to roleplay.
What particular MMORPG do you consider to be most immersive? By immersive I mean which MMORPG do you presently play that completely engulfs you into it's world and surroundings and you forget that you are sitting in front of a computer and moving your avatar? Which game is so detailed and interactive that it allows you to feel as if you are your character?
Which game has the necessary elements in character creation, character development, and activities that allow your avatar to take on what YOU would do if you were your character?
Is the in-game ability to actually grow and harvest your crops or chop down trees help you with immersion? How about being able to build your own house or even a city? Is a detailed crafting system that requires the gathering/hunting of materials, the making of solvants or sewing of cloth even before you started immersive to you? Is the ability to raise a young hatchling from egg to maturity into a trusted pet immersive? I think you see where I'm going with this.
Most importantly, does this game actually exist? If it doesn't, which MMORPG would you consider to come closest? Also, what do we as roleplayers need to tell the developers of upcoming MMORPG titles in order to secure a nice immersive gameplay style?
I personally think that there are several games out right now, that have elements of good immersion, but not all in one package. There are bits from Vanguard: Saga of Heroes (housing / crafting), Star Wars Galaxies (housing / player cities / mounts) and Face of Mankind (metropolitan setting / jobs) that if thrown together would make an excellent, immersive roleplay experience. But this is just my opinion.
Let's start a list of which existing games or even suggest ideas for new games that might include something for the roleplayers and let's put the RP back into MMORPG.
If you enjoy my ramblings, please visit my new MMORPG forum located here. Thanks for reading!