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My 2 Cents Worth of Ideas

Been playing online RPGs for the last 14 years, here i wanted to share some of my ideas about MMOs.

Author: stealth977

Melancholy...

Posted by stealth977 Monday November 17 2008 at 5:23AM
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 Well, the header could be something more attractive, but i decided to choose the best word describing my feelings for the current state of MMOs.

After playing online RPGs for the last 14 years and digging many player posts about all different types of MMORPGs one thing i am sure about is that the players are missing the days they played their first MMOs.

Thats is not only because the New Titles look like polished copies of the old titles, but also because of the title inflation, there are less players to interact in a given title's world.

Maybe it is easier to express this issue giving examples from my own journey of MMO games. I started playing MUDs back in 1994, the text only online RPGs. Despite the lack of any kind of graphics, those games were a lot better in some ways than current MMOs. 

First of all, in any game i play, i (and i think most of you) would like to feel like a real unique hero, and isnt it the reason we play games both online or local? What i mean by this is; i want to feel powerfull, and in a way, much different than the rest of the players. In most of the modern titles, in favor of forcing people to group, they invented some diffent types of mechanisms, which caused us to no longer feel like heroes. Here i want to give an example about that hero concept:

The first game i played, a MUD, had a new very high level area full of traps, very powerfull creatures and of course many rewards. When this area was first introduced, I know of guilds with many powerfull warriors enter the area with their huge armies and those armies shattered even before they reach the final boss. The area was so hard that some guilds even decided to leave the area alone. But, one day we heard the rumors of a one person, conqueering the whole area, slaying each single boss in the area. The key to his success was gathering information (studying the area, weaknesses of the creatures), planning and preperation.

He spent  a lot of time in the area to learn the traps, found solutions, he used many skills which needed rare tems to use and he spent a lot of time gathering all those rare items to prepare for the final battle. But at last he could sweep through the armies of evil, and kill their boss, not with an army, all by himself. A Hero for his guild. Here i have to mention that after his success, the area stayed to be a hard area, not like in most recent games that an area becomes so easy after people learning its secrets and publishing on the net. Thats because no matter you knew all the secrets of the area, you would still need a fair amount of preperation before ou enter the area and you should have a perfect cooperation and planning with your groupies, if you wanted to stay alive. Still it was possible to solo the area like that hero did, but it meant much more preperation and a lot of luck to survive. BUT IT WAS POSSIBLE!!!

Again another example: The first MMO i played was Asheron's Call which had an area feared by most of the players: The Obsidian Plains. Full of very hard creature groups of both melee and casters, if we needed to pass from this area, we always suited our best armor, with all types of beneficial spells on us and still we ran through the creatures like hell using all evasive tactics and lots of healing. At least that was till...we heard rumors of a higher level character (not much higher than most of the players but he/she was the highest in the server) sweeping through the area, using the area as his/her hunting ground. How that could be possible??? Again, It was the result of his/her preperation, knowledge, and using of his/her skills, equipment accordig to the needs of the area. He/she was a hero amongst the people.

What i want to express here is: We need to feel like a hero in the game, not because the developers handfed us, but because we developed skills, tactics and we had a chance to prepare us for a goal. All we need is a chance...A chance to become a hero...

But, in current set of modern MMOs, there are many creatures/quests flagged as group creatures/quests that we can not take without an army, which makes us feel not so special, because there is NO CHANCE of defeating that creature without a group.

I am not saying that everyone must be able to kill everything solo. I am saying that there should be a chance, no matter how small that chance is, to defeat the creatures by ourselves (Of course with preperation, tactics etc.) and feel like a hero.

One other problem with the current MMOs is the ability system. Since there are finite amount of abilities and finite levels of each ability, summing the tested results of the ablities' usefulness, %99 of the people in a given MMO are the exact copies of other people. Meaning they have the same abilities at same levels. Which makes them feel not unique.

And i feel melancholic, because i want to feel like a unique hero, as i felt before, in the new titles also. Some may tell me to play my old games if i wanted to feel like so, but of course because the technology has changed, the old titles do not look as good as they were when they were first realeased, also they lost their player base so not that fun to play anymore.