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Mopars Musing

I am an old school gamer in the deepest meaning of the word. I trace my gaming back to before DnD and was online gaming with people before "online" existed.

Author: Mopar63

When did MMO forget RPG?

Posted by Mopar63 Wednesday July 14 2010 at 6:45AM
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You know I do not care what game you play or what world you visit the sure way to be hammered during MMO play is to ask abut RP. I am amazed almost daily by the hatred it seems that so many MMO players to the concept of RP. I have actually seen characters and even been one of them, kicked out of guilds for literally bringing up a discussion of RP. I have watched players happily join a guild and play with it a few days and then run cursing from the guild because he found out it allowed RP.

Where does this hatred come from? Why is it so strong? Do these players not realize that the BASIS of the MMO is RPG? Role playing is what started the genre and is the basis from which all these types of games have spawned.

The only explaniation I can come up with is found by looking at the majority of MMO players. If you took the time to speak with most of the MMO players on your particualr game, how many of them could tell you the back story that was unfolded during thier recent quests? How many of them could name even one of the NPCs and tell you anything about them?

The answer is not many, the reason because that information got in the way of them rushing through. The current crop of players of the most part feel they can "win" the game if they go through fast. They fly for the end of the level like it is some trophy and do not realize that the real prize was the journey.

From their point of view RP slows you down. It keeps you from lett status because you are taking to long, hence you must be losing.

Part of the problem is however also with the RPers. Somewhere along the line RPers have forgotten how to RP. Oh they are great at doing forum RP or even speaking with a strange accent and using bizzare words but their actions seldom reflect the RP.

For this I will fall back to EVE for examples. A lot of so called RP groups are not really about RP at all unless if sounds good. Oh they write mighty forum posts or put up great words in local chat but do their actions reflect this RP? Do they act in a way that is consistent with what thier chat says? Oh some do but the majority use it as a backdrop of BS. They few who do act their character are considered lame and generally pushed off as loons.

I mean seriously where has true RP gone? Where is the Paladin, the paragod of Good when it comes time to steal from a church? Does he stand up to the group and say no, I will not do this? Does he actively work to stop them? Does he even walk away and let them do what they must but not be a part of it? Of course he does'nt becuase he would miss out on XP. After all some extra XP is more important than his righteous stand.

The next time someone talks about RP stop for a minute, do not run in fear or scream in hatred, stop and talk to the person. Find out what they gain and why they do it. Spend some time exploring something other than the next level and loot haul. It may not be for you and you might not enjoy it, but that is okay. Hopefull however you will learn a little respect for those that do. Remember without RPers there would not be MMOs.


rahj83 writes:

Even on RP servers most people don't RP anymore. It's sad really. You are correct though, it's all about "winning" the game these days. I miss the days of sitting in the local tavern enjoying a mug of ale with friends and strangers. Listening to the casual conversation and exciting tales of adventures, past and present.

I've spent much of my game time RPing...the proof is that I've never had a character at max level in any mmorpg that I've played or currently play, going back to "Asheron's Call" to "Star Wars: Galaxies" to "Dark Age of Camelot" to World of Warcraft" to "Warhammer Online" to...well, you get the idea.

I wish there were more of us out there in the world. Perhaps I'm not looking in the correct places...

Wed Jul 14 2010 9:41AM Report
Aelya writes:

I am truly thankfull for the Virtue server on City of Heroes. You can literally roll up a character, and go RP chat at some random person in any zone, and theres a good chance they'll not only stick around, but also RP with you. It's the only MMO space I can think of where RP'ing is normal and generally expected. City of Heroes may not be the best mmo on the market, but for me, RP'ing in that game has kept me there for 3 years, and I don't see myself quitting any time soon, the Virtue community there is incredibly cool.

Thu Jul 15 2010 7:24AM Report
IAmMMO writes: It's not the players, it's the MMO,theme park MMO's and RP is just silly. Sat Jul 17 2010 2:27AM Report
Kilrain writes:

Playing age of conan, I ran into some heavy rp'rs. I was a ranger, I was tracking them and he was cloaked. I called out his name and said "HALT!" then proceeded to RP that he was trespassing. He sent me a tell saying, "how do you know my name?" I told him because I'm tracking you, he proceeded to let me know that I was suppose to RP ignore the ability to know his name even though he was "sneaking" through the middle of a sandbar.


I love the occasional RP really, but that is an example of how RP'rs themselves ruin it.

Sat Jul 17 2010 1:07PM Report
Mopar63 writes:

Kilrain I would agree with you there though he also has a point. In this case he was more serious about the RP but he should have loosened up a bit and let it slide and then discussed it after the encounter.

Sat Jul 17 2010 2:38PM Report
Shinami writes:

I can explain it :)

Roleplaying means "To act out" and professional roleplaying means "Theater Arts" major to become Actors/Actresses. Our idea of RPGs came from how the people "targetted" for roleplaying games were "geeks" and "nerds" who bought into those games and later into consoles. Notice I quoted both words, to not put them down or be condenscending..

Roleplaying became mainstream and when the market changed to the new crowd, it became all about powergaming for singleplayer and MMORPGs.

Roleplaying doesn't really exist in both, singleplayer and MMO roleplaying games. You don't really act out your character...Instead you are given a character with a skill package that spams those skills vs an enemy at each encounter...

People took the stereotype and amplified it..the stereotype of people of different races fighting together like in a cartoon to kill an evil. The comic-book fantasy idea, left out the roleplaying.

Sorry, but a level 99 character with top weapons is not roleplaying. Its powergaming. Its eliminating mortality out of the game and taking yourself out of context with the world.

There is no environment interraction anymore..All you do is Talk to NPCs and do what you are told....You aren't roleplaying, just traveling through a story. If you were roleplaying, it wouldn't be so linear...and limited.

If a game doesnt encourage actual roleplaying, it shouldn't be considered an RPG, and 10 characters fighting a boss together gives literally no real time to roleplay, just spam on keys.

RPGs should be renamed to "Turn Based Adventure" Genre or "Passive Adventure Games"

Sat Jul 17 2010 11:17PM Report
azmundai writes:

RP always meant to me (as far back as the early 80s) : Playing a roll in a group, not speaking in scotish and pretending to drink beer. Most people who hate RP remember trying to get to Lucifron while some raid leader typed out instructions in old english that no one understood and which took so long to type that 3 corehounds respawned on them and ate them.

It could also have to do with the fact that in most games out there, everyone looks EXACTLY the same .. minus some cheesy scar graphic and purple hair color.

I don't hate RP, but I also don't do it. Least not in the way you do.

Sun Jul 18 2010 7:06AM Report
Mopar63 writes:

Shinami I have to respectfully, and I mean that, disagree. Your comment is well thought out and your arguement sound but you see to me and others RP is not so much about what is said than what is done.

Using EVE as an example, a Matar character that will not work for any Agents that are Amarr or for any corporation that has Amarr roots is RPing. If he attacks Amarr and only Amarr on sight then he can be RPing.

There is the opportunity for interaction and choices. I mean look at Dragon Age, the actions do change the story and your decisions do create consequencies. Now this is obvious not traditional or even deep RP but there is an RP element.

BTW in reference to your definition of professional RPers, you left out the biggest of them all, politians.

Sun Jul 18 2010 9:17AM Report
LydarSynn writes: As an old school rolepleyer, here is why current MMOs cannot be RPG games: 1) No one ever loses- This is personified by the no death penalty model. No matter how ridiculous a chatacter behaves, there are no consequences. The possibility of failure and real in game consequences for actions is what makes a real RPG. How do you roleplay after you rush head long into a mob of enemies, die and respawn? 2) Combat centered gameplay and economy- while this model is predominant, there can be no RP. When you kill a wolf and find plate armor on the body, it seems a little silly to try to RP that. 'Hey John, where did you get that nice armor? Oh you got it from the wolves, I forgot about that. 3) Static environment, NPCs and politics- there can be no RP as long as the players cannot change the world either through peaceful or violent means. 4) Time, distance, physical needs are meaningless- without even a remote basis in any type of reality, MMOs remove any need to roleplay because there is no need to talk about the difficulties a character might have because the trials of life are completely removed. I could go on but generally without some basis in reality and real hardships for an individual character, there can be no RP because the story is predetermined and MMOs are designed so that everyone wins if they play long enough. RP in this type of environment does seem a bit silly because there is not even the remote possibility that any 'real world' could operate in this fashion. Sun Jul 18 2010 1:54PM Report
sfly2000 writes:

This is why I still play Neverwinter Nights. There you still have a chance for great roleplaying and also most players at least choose to interact with each other at all....

Mon Jul 19 2010 7:03AM Report
demonic87 writes:

RP went out the window when mmo's started catering to the masses. Now a days you would be called a "loser", "Basement dweller", or f@g for rping in big name mmo's. It's sad really.

Mon Jul 19 2010 7:30AM Report writes:
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