Stephanie Shaver, Simutronics Designer, talks about putting the "RPG" back into the MMORPG in the upcoming release of Hero's Journey. This is the third in a series of developer journals that we run every other Tuesday.
| Y'see, I believe in the RPG in MMORPG. MMORPGs are not primarily twitch games. They are less about how fast you can aim and fire, and more about advancing a set of tools that you strategically employ. Sure, timing is involved -- when you aggro a creature, when you use a certain spell effect, monitoring your health and so on -- but it's not the same as an FPS or a fighting game like, say, Street Fighter or Dead or Alive 4: Whoa, Those Bosoms Sure Do Bounce a Lot.
Nor, I'd argue, should it be.
Course, that's a broad statement to make, but remember -- I'm still talking MMORPG here, not MMO. There are FPS MMOs, and that's fine and dandy if that's your cup of tea. But RPG entails something else, and much like when you sit down to read a fantasy book you expect to see a certain amount of a) magic b) dragons and c) angst-ridden elves, you don't expect an MMORPG to reward twitch skills. It's the wrong genre.
You can read her whole article here.