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MMORPG or just MMOG

Posted by lordaltay1 Monday July 7 2008 at 1:26PM
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MMORPGs today lack any sense of role playing and story. I remember when I first started playing Everquest, I felt as if I was thrown into an actual world, as NPCs actually interacted with you. I remember when I walked down the streets of Qeynos, a town in EverQuest, one day I heard two guards discussing the politics of the town, and I heard another guard arguing with another NPC. If you walked around town long enough you would learn a lot about what was going on in the town, in terms of story which was actually really interesting.

One particular quest I remember doing was trying to eliminate the corrupt guards in Qeynos. The quest was assigned by one of the guard captains who knew there was corruption amongst the ranks of the guards and would reward you for finding and killing the guards that were corrupt. Players could identify corrupt guards by right clicking a random guard and checking your particular standing with that guard’s faction. Corrupt guards would view you “Dubiously” while regular guards would look at you “indifferently or amiably”. Finding low ranking corrupt guards and killing them was easy, but every time you killed a corrupt guard your standing with their faction would decrease. Upon completing the Quest the guards went from looking at my character “Dubiously” to attacking my character on sight. Walking around town with half of the town’s guards attacking you was no fun at all, but it added another sense of game play to EverQuest, as players had to manage their faction standing with everyone. I still remember the name of the leader of the corrupt Guards, Lieutenant Dagarok. If you had low standing with the corrupt guards he would run up to you and one shot you.

EverQuest definitely had the best faction system. Everything you did in the game impacted your standing with one group or another. Whether you killed a monster or completed a quest, odds are it will benefit your standing with one faction and hurt your standing with another. I’ve played World of Warcraft, and that game’s faction system isn’t even comparable to EverQuest’s. Everquest simply felt like an actual world where what you did in the game affected how other NPCs treated you. I’m not claiming that EverQuest was the best game of all time; the game had its fair share of flaws, but definitely has the best reputation system of any pay to play or free MMORPG.

I always wonder what great looking MMORPG games like Sword of the New World and Perfect World would be like if they had a better story / more player interaction with the game world. Games like Archlord and Luminary: Rise of The Goonzu are definitely taking steps in the right direction with an in game political system, but I’d love to see other MMORPG games create similar systems. In Goonzu players can elect players into local town positions and can even elect a leader on the national level who has a great deal of influence over the entire game. These systems aren’t perfect yet, but they definitely add another layer of game play to MMO games.

Source:

http://mmohub.org/2008/mmorpg-or-just-mmog

samuraislyr writes:

Definitly true, especially since MMO's are turning in giant quest grinds...theres a huge problem with that.... they tend to be the same thing over and over again....there is nothing that really impacts what happens to the world or what happens to your character. In my opinion, LOTRO is one of the newer MMO's to get closer to this...you see some interaction between NPC's, quest lines while sometimes mostly just being the typical fetch quests are at least written well enough that it's not confusing and provide an interesting back story. Age of Conan even with all the negativity actually took a step forward for the RPG part...when you talk to the different NPC's, you have different dialogue choices. Unfortunatly, the dialogue choices don't really impact players much or relationships with NPC's. It's a bummer really but it's at least a step for other MMO"s to follow and enhance.

I do hope Bioware's MMO will address the actual RPG in the MMORPG genre.

Mon Jul 07 2008 2:20PM Report
iamloser writes:

I agree 100%. And to samuraislyr: That is why I don't even do quests anymore. Only when I have to and its boring. They've turned quests into a burden more than a fun story. Killing 12 of something and bringing their bones to this one guy is not a quest.... its a task.

Mon Jul 07 2008 4:35PM Report
Foreverebon writes:

Couldn't agree more, there is ABSOLUTELY no role playing in todays mmos. The sorry excuses for "quests" are really just massive grindfests.

Mon Jul 07 2008 7:51PM Report
Nessin writes:

I think you're showing symptoms of a severe case of nostalgia for old online games.  I'd encourage you to actually go back and play Everquest and consider revising your opinion.  Essentially, Everquest is no different than any of the current MMOG offerings.  Sure, there may be (in general) more conversations amoung Everquest NPCs than you see in current MMOGs, but do they actually mean anything?

The answer is no, they don't.  All those "faction" quests are static and have no real meaning beyond changing a few comments here and there.  The comments made by NPCs never change based on the world/environment, they're simply pulled from a list generated a long time ago.  On top of that, most of the current MMOGs have similar systems (both factions wise and conversation wise).  I suspect that you are looking back and remembering only a small subset of Everquest where those factions had any sort of meaning and comparing it to the whole world of a current MMOG, whereas the current games are (like Everquest) limited to specific subsets of the game where those features are meaningful.

Mon Jul 07 2008 8:05PM Report
craynlon writes:

actually i think its the mentality of the players

age of conan is a perfect example of a world with good story quests, true to the book, dense lore, beutifull graphics and livelike npcs moving around the cities.

and yet trying to find a group there that actually roleplays or at least stays in character is very hard. conan attracted a crowd of "typical mmoers" whining abouts dps of their class and critizising that they could grind their char to max level in a few weeks.

to me the rpg aspect is connected to the type/feeling of the game. you have games that want to do nothing else then tell a good story (i considder conan one of these games) and you have games that are closer to an e-sports title setting their fokus on player vs player competition. in my experience the later have the least chances to become a true mmoRPG since the players see their character as a tool/weapon instead of an actor in a story.

Tue Jul 08 2008 12:21AM Report
craynlon writes:

actually i think its the mentality of the players

age of conan is a perfect example of a world with good story quests, true to the book, dense lore, beutifull graphics and livelike npcs moving around the cities.

and yet trying to find a group there that actually roleplays or at least stays in character is very hard. conan attracted a crowd of "typical mmoers" whining abouts dps of their class and critizising that they could grind their char to max level in a few weeks.

to me the rpg aspect is connected to the type/feeling of the game. you have games that want to do nothing else then tell a good story (i considder conan one of these games) and you have games that are closer to an e-sports title setting their fokus on player vs player competition. in my experience the later have the least chances to become a true mmoRPG since the players see their character as a tool/weapon instead of an actor in a story.

Tue Jul 08 2008 12:21AM Report
Guernica writes:

I agree with other commentators - the games are what you make of them. The problem  you descibe is more to do with the changing makeup of game populations than the games themselves. Lots of people play games today that wouldn't have dreamed of doing so even ten years ago. Back then videogames were largely unfashionable and not popular to mainstream folks. Nowadays its a much more accepted pasttime. The result is that there are lots more people playing who just have no interest in roleplaying per se, they just want to play games with other human beings.

You can put content in games, but there's no real way to control how the players use it. Even the rep system you mention can be seen as just that - a system. You can work it without really putting yourself in the characters' shoes. Just do the maths and manage your rep. Or you can roleplay the situation and imagine yourself trying to keep different groups happy.

Tue Jul 08 2008 2:32PM Report

MMORPG.com writes:
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