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Blog Spotlight: We're All Orcs?

Posted Nov 12, 2007 by Jon Wood

Blog Spotlight: We're All Orcs?

In this week's Community Blog Spotlight, Laura Genender takes a look at a blog that asks what ever happened to feeling special and different in an MMORPG?

This week while browsing the blog, user jesad’s newest entry in “In My Understanding” caught my eye. Titled We’re All Orcs, this post immediately aroused my attention. Last I checked, I’m a human cleric, and anyone calling me an orc is in for a bludgeoning!

Luckily, jesad wasn’t really calling me an orc, he was making a point: we’re all the same. The allure of fantasy and RPGs is in character progression – not just levels, but the ability for us to play the part of farm boy-turned-hero. We want to be The One mentioned in prophecy, the undiscovered blood of royalty, the savior of the universe. In online games though, we are confined by level caps, class restrictions, and competition. My cleric is no more a hero than the other 7 clerics in my guild, who all have (or want) the same gear, spells, and abilities. We’re no different than the Orcs we slaughter.

But as much as I’d love to be the hero of Lineage II or EVE Online, I’m just one subscriber out of hundreds of thousands. Giving players special advantages or events is actually somewhat possible in the MMO model: we want to be heroes, not supporting characters, and there can only be one hero. The modern solution to this is instances – developers are letting us affect the world around us and be the hero in our own private little scripted area. But honestly – we’re not stupid. We all know that everyone else is running that same instance and being told the same nonsense about being “the one” the world has been waiting for. We know that our effect on the world ends when we zone back out into shared areas. We don’t want NPCs to tell us how much we matter – we want it to be true.

Read it all here.


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