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The house of the Twinkle'Toes. StillLiving!

Zanthox Twinkle'Toes deals with gaming issues! Critiques and problems dished out! Includes further proof that Jesus(and his followers) play games!

Author: Zanthox

MMO Killed the RPG Star.

Posted by Zanthox Monday January 14 2008 at 3:49AM
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Sorry to be lame, but it is true. Action/adventure games kinda do with their lame lack of choices, FPS surely don’t give you much room to grow (except Mass Effect, which needs to come to PC so I can play it), and RTS have made efforts to add RPG elements, but please. MMORPGs should be MMOAAG, for Massive Multiplayer Online Action Adventure Games. Because that is all they are. Sure you get some character design as far as looks are, sure you can get different kinds of armor and weapons, choose what spells or skills to use… but how often is there any role playing involved?

“Why yes n00bkilzer304, let us unite against these evil monsters in this quest!”

“Ok, which dialogue option should I choose?”

“It doesn’t matter! Both result in the same thing.”

“Great! I was afraid there might be consequences for my choices, and I might not be able to get everything possible in the game for a single character!”

 

These quotes can be used as good points.

1.                          Leet names. They kill any real interaction. While some may be comical, they really serve no purpose and are just plain annoying. Personal feelings aside, a name is a link between people, it gives us something to tag people with for remembrance and future reference. Numbers and statements are not names, and have nothing to do with roleplaying. I may appreciate your skillz at pwning n00bs, but since I'm asking you to help me so something, I hope you don’t turn them on me.

2.                          Imaginary options. Trick choices. No real difference exists. Maybe some MMOs do have some that are real (I am sure I’ll get some listed in comments) but hopefully it will be different beyond “either mob A or B spawns, or you get a slightly different text response from the quest/reward giver with the same reward.” I know that making players think they have more options , choices, and control than they do is a trick of the trade, but the lack of ANY beyond rolling either Alliance or Horde, Luxon/Kurz(only guild/AvA differences) seems rather weak to me.

3.                          Same ends. Mostly covered in last point, there are no pluses or minuses for doing something one way, or another. There might be an option to, but the only difference is the 5 minutes you take to do it. No alignment or reputation changes, no different skills, no lost/gained quest (strings), no new enemies/allies gained, no difference.

4.                          Games like rl? LOL! Touchy subject to some, the existence of consequences. While some “winning doesn’t matter” blah blah blahs try to keep us from “getting hurt” by what is actually the (dreaded) real world, it is a must. What is the point of having monsters if they can’t kill you? Sure, they might keep you under your covers, but it is either all or nothing. Sorry, dying hurts, and sucking does too. Serious (hardxcore?) gamers should not have to cater to people who want to be able to suck at a game and still pass. Getting good takes time, practice and learning. And help for others goes a long way (this  is the part when all the lee7ists agreeing with me bow their heads in shame). When I don’t do well, guess what, I should not be rewarded, why else would it matter when I do good (you bloody communist!), and why should I even try? If nothing else, I want my friggin’ banana sticker!!!

 

I know a lot of people don’t like roleplaying and will mock me, but that is where we get our roots for this genre and they are still called MMORPGs. I am not really calling for “acting out character dialogue” though, but rather the ability to create a character that I can develop over time in ways beyond combat (and perhaps crafting) alone. The only roles I see acted out are those of class, and even that is often rather poorly done (jk?). I’m not even necessarily calling for a “Sir Xodius, please grand Lord Jethor thine ears, for he wishes to parley!” type of gameplay, it would just be nice to be able to interact with people on an in-game created world with a game-made character to work together as a team in this world as if we were in said world, not my living room and your parent’s basement. Or grandparents. Or your own (jk?).

--Thanks for comments on the past post. Since I don't really care myself and blogs aren't exactly about appealing to everyone's cares, I'm cool with that. Thanks for the Shadowbane idea,  I will give it a shot soon.

Currently Playing: Metriod 3 and  Icewind Dale 2. Until I can get my desktop fixed, it is back the the Wii and old school games my piece of crap Acer laptop can handle.

Hrothmund writes:

Much of what you typed, I agree with.

However, the definiton of the 'RPG' abbreviation has shifted from meaning a pen and paper session in a dimly lit room to a pre-teen playing Hellgate London while guzzling down Mountain Dew "game fuel" and a pack a of Cheetos.

People don't identify the term 'RPG' with the same connotations as ten years ago.

Mon Jan 14 2008 4:02AM Report
Spirer writes:

Yeap, just like stated above, for us "old" people RPG means something totaly different, but for 99% of the people nowadays, RPG in a game means you will have a character to play, nothing else... many you don't even get to create your character.

Mon Jan 14 2008 6:16AM Report
DaX.9 writes:

RPG is dead, long live the RPG!

Let's gather and make pen and paper session!!

Mon Jan 14 2008 12:23PM Report
Drolletje writes:

I agree with you on most points. But, how do you expect new gamers who didn't have the p&p experience (like me ...) to know what true rp is like? What game should we play that gives us these choices that learn us to rp? I've friends who think rpg equals to character advancement and who never even heard of a non-computer rpg. You "old" people shouldn't blame the "new" gamers, but the developers that fail to add any meaningful choice to their game.

Mon Jan 14 2008 1:36PM Report
Supermax writes:

Interestingly enough, games with the best actual roleplaying are often among those that aren't even marketed as (MMO)RPGs. Take "Jumpgate" for example - by design a space combat game, yet I had more interesting, funny, touching RP experiences there than in so-called MMORPGs like D&D Online. The very absence of character classes as such ultimately allows a much greater degree of freedom regarding one's own character - provided the player still has the imagination to project a lively image from simple textual descriptions.

Mon Jan 14 2008 3:35PM Report
ycluk writes:

Things usually got changed with new generation working on the similar target.

The older generation MMO was pencil & paper with rich storyline to keep people interested. When the new grown up generation developer who came to MMO development, they make MMO the way they want to make it, and still call them MMO.

That's just the way it is. I agree the old MMOs full of interesting storyline and make players feeling be in a role-play environment. The new ones with much more advanced technology, they can make the game looking so much better and a lot more action which kinda makes the storyline and the role-play not so important. When the new generation players come to play their 1st MMO, it makes them feel that is how MMORPG is.

It is sad to see more and more games involve more action than story, but this will be how the new MMORPG developed because of new game developers and players generation. Unless majority developer come up and make it back the old day style, otherwise it's not going back the old way.

Mon Jan 14 2008 3:44PM Report
hellspit writes:

Miss old days D&D sessions.

Mon Jan 14 2008 4:32PM Report
devacore writes:

I think story line mmorpg are coming (bioware and AoC) but we'll see how well they do it.  Communism is much better then capitalism, unless greed and feeding on the weak is your style... just try not to get too fat, it's bad for your health.

Mon Jan 14 2008 5:27PM Report
majora4 writes:

I really dont play MMOs anymore. I just 'act' out my DnD.

Mon Jan 14 2008 11:03PM Report
openedge1 writes:

I do agree. I try to split my time with my MMO of choice (Currently EQ2 which has proven to be a game inundated with so much to do, that I forget it has those MMO symptoms, as it is at least fun) and The Witcher...which has proven to be what the old school RPG's were like with the added bonus of great looks, cool combat, and realistic choices for how to approach a situation.

The fact the situations in The Witcher are also grey and not black and white...you do not know what will happen...until later...and makes you want to go back and try it again...

But, I also grew up on the old Ultima / Bards Tale / Pool of Radiance games...and I do miss that. But, as you get older, your time gets limited (family and what not)...and I so love my RPG's, that I am willing to accept MMO's as I can usually complete something within an hour and then move on and have family time. I think therein lies the difference...(good thing I don't raid...lol)

Anyways..I will take my fantasy however I can get it...(yes, the honeymoon is over...so no more fantasy there...lol)

Later

Tue Jan 15 2008 2:28PM Report

MMORPG.com writes:
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