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The Roleplayer's Redoubt

Is there a really place for roleplaying in MMOs? What do roleplayers bring to the table? How can developers foster stronger roleplaying communities? How do traditional concepts fit into the realities of contemporary online roleplaying?

Author: OddjobXL

Mixing Console And PC Gamers in MMOs

Posted by OddjobXL Friday March 6 2009 at 11:16AM
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Theoretically we're all just folks.  We all have the same essential needs, wants and desires.  Nobody likes idiots or elitists. 

But, man, I've seen Playstation Home.  I don't think there's likely any neighborhood on any planet, virtual or otherwise, that's so likely to have property values go through the floor.  When I say it's full of drooling morons I'm doing a disservice to both morons, as they can't help it, and drool, which can serve a useful function.   I hear the same thing from X-Box 360 players on Live!  They don't want anything to do with 99% of the mouthbreathers out there and just stick to friends lists for multiplayer games.

I'm not saying the majority of PC MMO players are prizes either but we do seem to get a core group on some servers of mature, helpful, people.  PCs have keyboards so people can, even if most don't chose to, communicate at length and in intelligible ways.   PC MMOs attract articulate roleplayers, more affluent people (that can afford good PCs) and mature gamers who keep PCs around for things besides gaming.  While folks can get a keyboard for a console the fact it doesn't come with one, and one won't be required to play console-friendly MMOs, doesn't exactly fill me with confidence about what to expect.

Case in point, a listing on Cryptic's website for a PS3 programmer.  I should be thrilled.  I have a PS3!  I can RP on the couch like a happy little potato and, I won't lie, I love console gaming.  It's low maintenaince, the games almost always work without a hitch, and there's a big comfy couch and a big old TV involved.  What's not to like?  

Well, like I said, I've seen Playstation Home.  It's a lollerstorm of moronic behavior and broken English (and I'm mocking English as a First Language speakers here who can't be bothered to think about what they're typing).  God help you if you've got a female avatar as well.

Am I really ready to see that gang in Star Fleet uniforms?   Do I have to interact with them?  Can they at least have their own seperate forums to go off on the kinds of things these guys like to go off on?  The nerf wars and PvP obsessions and insistance that "MILF HUNTER" is a perfectly acceptable name for a Federation cruiser?  DOWN WITH CENSORSHIP!1!!11  Petitions and rants and memememememe!

What do you think?  Can roleplayers and the console l33t get along? 

Sargoth writes:

Ever played Falcon 4.0 Allied Assualt?  It's a F16 simulator.  You need at least a keyboard and joystick.  It helps to have the throttle and rudder accesories.  Even then,  you still need the keyboard to do all the things it takes to fly a F16 and that's with a joystick with over 60 buttons. 

Consoles got what, 12 buttons, and two thumbsticks?  If you used the shoulder buttons as shift buttons you could get 32 buttons.  Still not enough to convey what you need. 

Consoles are going to be simpler in gameplay and mechanics because of the limits of controllers.  Accuracy is always better with a mouse anyways. 

We have seen what happens when games are made with consoles in mind.  The pc community always hates the outcome.  So why get along.  Consoles are a bane to the gaming community.  The only reason I own a ps2 if for final fantasy.  The one saving grace of the darned thing.  I own an xbox 360 but it's been sitting over at a buddies house for a year now. 

Why get along?  Consoles are inferior anyways. 

Fri Mar 06 2009 1:46PM Report
OddjobXL writes:

I played Falcon 4.0 a very long time ago.   Still have the binder manual and disks.  That's one of the two games that blew my mind the most when I finally got a PC (as opposed to a Mac) and really started seeing what was out there.  "They can do that?  A whole dynamic war, ground and air, and simulate a fighter jet in this much detail?"

*shakes fist*  Damn you Falcon 4.0 for raising my expectations so high!

Well, the advantage to console gaming I've already mentioned.  It's easy and comfy.  No fuss, no muss.  I seem to recall a great deal of fuss and muss trying to get Falcon to run properly and that's even before there were patches and fan mods to wrassle with.  Then again, story of my life.  Daggerfall's the other game that got my hopes up for the potential of computer games and it too had scads of issues.

I think I'm mostly worried about the psychology of the different kinds of players.   And the more I think about that the less convinced I'm being fair.  PC MMOs already have lots of what I'm talking about already on that account.  So chalk this up as a cranky, generic, "Get Off My Lawn!" post.  :D

Fri Mar 06 2009 11:13PM Report
Sargoth writes:

I think I can understand what you are trying to say.  For some PC players, struggling throught the problems with installing games and runnign them is a badge of honor. 

My two cents is this.  With consoles, if it don't work, it don't work. 

With pc games, if it don't work, you have to run through a thought process and figure out why, whether that be searrching for new drivers or searching through a forum to find the fix.  There is more involement with pc gamers when things go wrong which shows more intellectual involment and attachment to their games. 

Of course, a lot of the argument revoles around the method of communication.  For pc gamers there is the keyboard and headsets.  Both in equal parts due to cost and availability. 

For console gamers its more headsets but not so much on keyboards.  I don't know about most but I favor about 60 40 keyboard to headset.  I appreciate the quickness of voice over keyboard but am still hesitant to talk to random people being a gamer :) 

There's a lot to be said to the social stigmata to pc gamers compared to console gamers.

What say you?

Fri Mar 06 2009 11:49PM Report
OddjobXL writes:

Yeah, I get the badge of courage thing but I'll confess, despite favoring PC games by and large for sheer variety and overall depth, I'm sorely lacking in courage when it comes to troubleshooting.  And, and, I like my comfy couch!  Given the option, for most games, I'll almost always pick up the PS3 version before the PC one.  The big exception will be MMOs as they start migrating.

I'm of three minds on the question of voice communication. 

Like you, not so thrilled with chatting it up with random strangers especially the ones you tend to meet in consoledom.  Not exactly a mighty brain trust out there.

However, in some games you really do need voice as a practical matter to coordinate tactics while leaving your hands free.  Eve Online is the game that finally got me to break down and get a headset/mic combo.  There's really no way around it.  Situations can get very complex, very quickly, and staying on top of everything while still managing your ship requires both hands, both ears and a mouth.

Still, as a roleplayer, I find text is best for most communication.  It's far easier to write like, say, a pirate than talk like one IRL.  There's also the blessing of the time delay between a thought that sounds good in your head and actually seeing it on screen.  Sadly, my headset doesn't come with a backspace button!

I don't know if there's really a social stigma but PC gamers do tend to see console gamers as children and console gamers tend to see PC gamers as old geeks.  The thing is most gamers I run with are both PC and console gamers!

Sat Mar 07 2009 6:25AM Report writes:
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