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Spouse Aggro!

I blog at www.spouseaggro.com, write for www.ablegamers.com, run www.mmovoices.ning.com and post all over the net. HOWDY!

Author: beauturkey

Try to avoid over-analyzing Free Realms...it's not Stocks and Robbers (tm.)

Posted by beauturkey Monday May 11 2009 at 11:27AM
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In response to so many bloggers, podcasters and friends that are comparing Free Realms to every other MMO out there, I want to post what I think are the core audiences for the game. I could be wrong, so any comments are welcome.

They are listed in order:

1) Young players: I'll let you figure out what "young" means. To me, that means 13 and under. Not only that, but this game might be their very first MMO, thanks to safety guidelines that parents can trust, and the fact that it can be played (yes, it can be played and enjoyed without spending money..all the way to max level in most classes) on older machines. These young players haven't played MMO's for 10 years, do not use the term "meh" to describe magical fantasy worlds, and do not ever, EVER use the term "meaningful pvp." Also, they are male and female in mostly equal measure.

2) Those young players and their parents: I have read of  many parents playing this game with their kids...how fun would that be? (Very!)  I have no children (thank goodness) but if I did, this game would be running in our house all the time. A parent can trust that the game will give solutions to frustrating game-play by offering a huge variety of activities, and the parents will actually find themselves having fun in a "kids game." I volunteer with Big Brothers/Big Sisters, and I desperately want to play this with my Little.

3) The "normal" players: You know, the adults. Bear in mind that we are talking video games here, not politics or life insurance. Games are fun above all, or there is no point. If you play a game and do not have fun, you are clocking in (tm). Free Realms has surprised "normal" players with it's depth and beauty, and yes, even it's lore.

nicecap

I have been enjoying the heck out of Free Realms, but I am finding plenty of examples of players that seem to lack the ability to turn off their dis-belief for this game, while being able to suspend it for games like WoW or EVE. Be aware that when you take a game like Free Realms and compare it to the "norms" of MMO's like raiding, grouping, questing, grinding or crafting, you are ignoring all the things the game has done better than most and some of the things the game has done that no games have at all.

Concentrating on the "grind" in Free Realms is ignoring the fact that you, as a player that has gamed for years, did plenty of that grindy game-play and had a grand time doing it. Again, if did not enjoy it, you were clocking in (tm) (which doesn't count towards this conversation.)

So, why not allow new players to not only possibly enjoy some of that grindy game-play (I use grind to describe lot's of questing or any other repetitive game-play) but to discover all the things that Free Realms has that earlier MMO's do not?

In other words, remember that as you are playing Free Realms (after playing EVE, WoW, EQ2 or any other "regular" MMO) that you are experiencing something with experienced eyes, and not with the eyes of a 13 year old. Just imagine this game as your FIRST MMO! If you are playing Free Realms and only worrying about the basics of MMO's that it has, then you might consider that you are completely over-looking all the standards that it has broken.

That's called innovation, and that is the new.

Of course, I am not saying that it is the best, or a copy-cat, or even totally original. Free Realms is all those things, for different people. So if you are in game worrying about grindy quests, or instanced combat, or the fact that it has RMT  then you might work on your ability to compartmentalize. I would bet that the inclusion of RMT is one of the main reasons nay-sayers have for not liking the game. RMT is in many, many games now like EVE (you can buy entire characters and ships) Vanguard (characters and gold) and in other major games like EQ2 (fluff items and potions.) Yet, you rarely (if ever) see protest posts or discussions about those systems in those games. Somehow, the fact that they are "normal" MMO's does away with the RMT element (EVE players that I have talked to defend their RMT, saying that EVE is so different that it doesn't work the same way...I beg to differ)  and seems to indicate that "pushing" or "forcing" RMT on children is thought by many to be a virtual crime.

Again, if you have issues like those I have described with Free Realms, you should take a step back and look at it for what it is. Not only is it ushering in (in a more major way than most of the F2P games out there) new technologies, but also helping to change the way players game. Soon, hopefully, most MMO's will be streaming from a browser and soon (hopefully) most MMO's will allow you to level up different jobs besides crafting and combat.

Also, RMT will become the norm. And just like the environments within those cash-shop games, the MMORPG environment will go from speaking of RMT as though it is unfair to treating it as the deliverer of choices that it is.

So remember, if you think Free Realms is un-original, grindy, a "kids game," silly, "candy-land easy mode" or unfair to those that "work hard", then you might ask your 12 year old niece what she thinks. And play some Free Realms with her..you will probably have the time of your life.

Just consider Free Realms a vacation from all those games that you clock in to.

Beau Turkey

wolvie3131 writes:

well written and I agree, What is the point of playing a GAME if you do not find fun in it in the end!

Mon May 11 2009 12:49PM Report
beauturkey writes:

 I want to point out (like I always do) that I do believe in having serious fun, as in playing a game and being in a "serious" mood.

 We all have spent stressful evenings, serious evenings, with a game and had a blast. So I mean "fun" in a general sense.

 A 15 year old girl having fun in Free Realms is the same thing as a 29 year old man having fun in EVE. Hope that makes some kind of sense! :)

 

 Beau

 

 

Mon May 11 2009 12:57PM Report
wolvie3131 writes:

of course fun is a subjective term, one persons fun is another persons total agony

Mon May 11 2009 12:59PM Report
beauturkey writes:

 Yes, but we are talking about playing video games. It's safe to say that, in general, the human behind the keyboard is safe.

 So if you are having fun in EVE being a spy for your corp, lying to the other side, maybe blowing up a stranger...it is the same as the fun that a 15 year old has when playing a mini-game. Neither sources are more "adult" (save for adult content, but you know what I mean) or more noble.

 If you get to the point (in any game) that you are feeling more serious than happy, then you might have an issue.

 So, as long as the player is a normal healthy person, fun is fun.

 

 Beau

 

 

Mon May 11 2009 1:09PM Report
wolvie3131 writes:

ah I believe you missunderstood my use of the term agony as in I find sitting in one spot and grinding the same mobs for 5 hours total agony, where as others find it the epitomy of enjoyment.

I was just basically agreeing that if you get to the point where the game is srius bizznuss(TM) then you will probably find its not as enjoyable as it once was

Mon May 11 2009 1:26PM Report
beauturkey writes:

 Ah! You copyrighted that...Ima use it! See ya in court! :)

 Thanks for the comments.

 

 Beau

 

 

Mon May 11 2009 1:40PM Report
dcostello writes:

wolvie=relativist

beau=fundamentalist

When will the war end?  :)

Mon May 11 2009 4:19PM Report
beauturkey writes:

Dude, I misunderstand MYSELF half the time, other people have no chance! lol

 

 Beau

 

 

Mon May 11 2009 10:56PM Report

MMORPG.com writes:
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