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The Lunch Break Blog

For those of us who would rather be leveling right now.

Author: cmagoun

The ultimate MMO... would take place on a roleplaying server??

Posted by cmagoun Friday June 22 2007 at 9:08AM
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When I mentioned restarting EQ2, FatGamer suggested Lucan De'Lere (did I spell that right?) as a good choice of servers. I went home that night prepared to create a character or two on that server, but stopped when I saw that it was an RP server. See, I have never rolled on an RP server in any MMO... it just seems wrong to me. Not "smack your knuckles with a ruler" wrong, just "a little strange" wrong.


And I am a tabletop gamer. I like pencil and paper roleplaying. Heck, I even wrote a game at one point (anyone out there remember Runebearer?). I like the concept of roleplaying. Still, something about the MMO environment shuts that part of my brain down. I don't want to worry about talking in character, or how the character fits into the world. I am playing a "toon" or an "avatar" not a character.


Part of it is simply the time/effort factor. When I am running a tabletop game, we usually get together once a week, or once every two weeks. There is lots of time in between games to flesh out more of the offscreen stuff. Also, the effort is worth it because it makes the actual gaming sessions seem cooler when you are closely tied to the campaign setting and have a history in mind. Tabletop rpgs are cool because they take active participation and effort on the part of the players/GM to make them good.


I play MMOs because they offer instant gratification for very little effort -- exactly the opposite reason I play PnP games. I can sit down in EQ2, create a new character and be level 10 in the space of a few short hours (same for CoH, though costume creation does take some time). I don't want to think too hard about how I fit into the context of the dry flavor text of a mission briefing. I want to zap stuff with my cool powers.


Even more damning is the fact that I can roleplay all I want in an MMO and all I will get is static NPC quest billboards and static shops where they are always buying everything I have and selling the same lame crap day after day. I can roleplay being an enemy to all orcs, but they'll still pile on the guy with the best taunt skill. I can roleplay being the greatest of heroes solving the ills of the populace, but they'll still send me to fetch pies... and then have the audacity to lose them again in time for the next guy. Roleplaying in the static world of MMOs just isn't worth the effort.


But what if it was worth the effort? What if your character could fit into the context of the game world and make a difference in that game world? What if the guild you joined truly made a difference in how you interacted with the game world and players? What if instead of getting quests from static NPCs, the kings and queens of the world were actual players? What if the bandits you defeated today didn't come back tomorrow in the same spot? What if the GMs of the game actually interacted with the game's guilds and between them constructed events to move the storyline forward every day instead of almost never?


I remember what originally drew me to MUDs and later MMOs -- the ability to live a life of adventure in a fantastic world. I didn't get hooked on these games because of "class balance", or "endgame content", or "itemization". I got hooked because when I first played, I got to be the hero, the traveling wizard, the despised thief. I got hooked because these games represented the potential to immerse myself in another world.


A silly, pathetic, geeky little rant, to be sure. Most of it comes down to "the novelty has worn off and you are older and a more sophisticated (read jaded) gamer."  I accept that and I still love MMOs, but that original potential has never been realized and for that reason, I will go back to reading my character guides and planning my build and I will probably never roll on an RP server.

diarheasauce writes: lol @ table top nerds but a good read Fri Jun 22 2007 10:04AM Report
Celer_Mortis writes: I completely agree sir. I also play table top and there was even a game designed to emulate it. DDO. It sucked. Fri Jun 22 2007 12:17PM Report
FatGamer writes: Well, then I will keep the 20 plat welcome package to myself *grin*. When you are maxed out and bored of raids you will miss the RP events that your server won't have *neener neener*. Lucan has a huge RAID community and lots of Non-RPer's. It's just a dang good community in general. I'm sure there are good people wherever you decide to role your character. Take care. Love. Fat Gamer. Fri Jun 22 2007 8:55PM Report
neschria writes:

I do "RP-lite"  in MMORPGs. I save myself the trouble of trying to remember to talk in character by playing characters that are mostly like me, with fairly simple motivations in their world. For instance, in EQ1, I have played a couple of Dark Elf SKs that were basically Neriak patriots with a mystical (Innoruuk-centered) bent to them. My gnome SK (my only raiding character ever) was just a bloodthirsty, cold-blooded killer, even of her own kind.  It might not have been REAL RP, but it was a lot of fun and easy to do on the fly (while simultaneously parsing my dps, etc. )

Thu Jun 28 2007 9:03PM Report
FireflyFan writes:

Wow, it's been a long time since I played MUDs back in college... I know half a dozen guys that failed out of school because of them, they were that addicting.  But what was it about them that was so addicting without having an endgame like the MMORPGs we have today?  Wish I could remember, but 15 years or so is a long time in video game years. ;)

Wed Aug 08 2007 12:42AM Report
PSoponyai writes:

I for one always prefer RP servers over others. The content is the same (raids, quests, etc), but not the community. When you've done all you can or just simply bored, you can RP with others. And it takes a lot less effort to find partners.

Sat Aug 09 2008 6:32AM Report
cmagoun writes:

soponyai -- Yeah, you may be right. If I ever head back to eq2, I will roll on an RP server.

Mon Aug 11 2008 9:02AM Report
zapyourit writes:

I know that I will probably be lambasted for this, but I really thnk that if you want to get back to something like you described you should really check out Wakfu. It's the sequel to Dofus (also an amazing game). It's still in beta but its shaping up to be a fantastic little Java-based game. Granted it doesn't have all the fancy shiny graphics, it is turn based (which I view as a positive more spamming certain abilities constantly) and it is not 3d, but it does have some things that you will probably love, including:

Challenges: Certain conditions are met within a given area and the players in that area are given a task, such as kill XX monsters. Other players are given the task of saving those same monsters.

Professions and Ecosystem: Harvesting, mushrooming, agriculture and plenty of other professions are available in the game. However, the ecosystem does not thrive without your help: if plants, trees, flowers and the like are not planted by players, said plant wil become extinct. This also occurs with monsters: its possible to wipe out an entire race of animals.

12 Classes: There are 12 diverse classes in the game, including the Pandawa's (think panda-human mix) who derive their powers from beer, and the Xelor who have power over time itself.  All character races, though filling only one role (archer, paladin, mage, etc), have specific back stories that let you really delve into the character. Further character development can be found via

Cross-Media: There will be a comic and TV show for all of you that really want to get into your character. Better than that though, your personal character might wind up in any of the other mediums if you really help out in some way in the game world. You will have a direct effect on the story in almost every way.

Quests: If you like the idea of players ruling the world that you play in, then you will love Wakfu.

I'm sorry I didn't go into detail about much really, but the NDA is still up and functional, so I can't really speak all that freely. However, the website, which is updated fairly frequently, is a good read if you're interested.

The site is at

The beta is still running and I believe they are still taking sign ups, so come in and give it a try.


Wed Aug 13 2008 6:16PM Report
cmagoun writes:

Zap: Strangely enough some of the most advanced MMOs as far as gameplay and player interactivity are the old-style text MUDs that still exists. Some of these games are scary deep... you just have to eschew cool graphics and large server populations. I am hoping that the graphical games will catch up :)

Thu Aug 14 2008 6:15AM Report
apella writes:

Sounds like it's time for us to do what they did when starting Everquest: write a GUI (with 3D) around a mud :)

Thu Aug 14 2008 3:25PM Report
cmagoun writes:

Very funny apella, but I think there is more than a hint of truth in there.

Mon Aug 18 2008 11:16AM Report writes:
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