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Thread: Todays MMO's: the lack of "RPG"

  1. #1
    Shadowlander
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    Default Todays MMO's: the lack of "RPG"

    Now before I start, I'll make it clear that this is not just a matter of Rift, but a more overall observation.

    Anyway, for me, I've tried a lot of different MMORPG's over the years. Starting way back with Ultima Online, and since then WoW, Aion, WAR, AoC, Rift, LotR, SW:G, and so on.
    But for me, the games have changed drastically over the years.

    What used to captivate me about MMORPG's was "living" in that world. Being engaged in that world. It wasn't a matter of maximizing gearscores, rushing to the top level, and talking about PvP balance and end-game raids. It was just fun being there. The focus was on the never-ending journey, and how you felt in that journey. It was about the community, interacting with people.

    But over the years, that has changed. Already a few days after any new MMORPG is released, people have rushed to the top levels. Even at early levels, people talk about "battleground" queues, balance, end-game raiding, and so on. You need to reach the max skill level in everything, and you needed to have reached that 2 weeks ago. And, as they are expected to, MMORPG's cater to this.

    But whatever happened to the journey? Whatever happened to just enjoying the game, enjoying the "life" there? These days, if it doesn't reward an epic, people can't be bothered.
    And of course people can't be bothered, because it's all the same. Every single quest has been done over and over again in all the other games out there, of course they have, there's only so many quests one can invent.
    But sadly, MMORPG's really feel like games these days, not worlds, and questing feels like something you have to do to reach the top level, not something that is equally engaging.

    For me, MMORPG's these days aren't really MMORPG's, they are just "MMO's", with no RPG. The roleplaying aspect of the game is hardly there any more (which is also clearly seen, as tons of time is put in from the developers to make engaging end-game raids, but you can almost never just write a simple book to pass around). And while I'm not a hardcore RP'er, it's that aspect of any MMO that will keep me engaged. I want to feel like I'm apart of this world, and that I am "living" in this world, and that this is my journey through this world. I want to be engaged in the world, what's going on, the people in it. But sadly, all you end up engaged in these days is "how much more +crit does this knife have compared to the other one?".

    With all the money and production time being poured into MMO's these days, it's sad that the original founding concept of them, RPG, have been practically neglected. Sure, there IS quest text, but you don't even need to read it anymore. You just look at your in-game radar. The quest text is a mere formality these days, a relic from an old system that isn't followed anyway.

    That's what kept me engaged in Ultima Online back in the day. There wasn't a big focus on the actual game-concepts, it was just a fun world to be in. It was blatantly simple, but it was great. Houses and towns were built, infamous people ran about, and you were scared like hell when you saw that skeleton because it might woop your butt.
    In the oh so early days of WoW, this still persisted somewhat. In the beginning the leet kiddies weren't there, the world story was engaging, no one cared about the balance of the end-game raids, and no one thought that you should just rush to the end-level. Months into the game, the mid-level zones were still plenty populated, and no one cared to much about pvp imbalances.
    But of course, that changed to. And now, 4 years later, we have a game that is focus on end-game raiding, gear, battleground queues, endless class balancing for "e-sports", and of course, achievements.

    Maybe it's just me. Maybe I'm just the black sheep of the MMORPG community. But at least I find it disappointing that MMO's these days choose to focus more on rushing people through the content to some overdone raids, instead of working on having an engaging and vivid world to be in.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by TokyoZeplin View Post
    Now before I start, I'll make it clear that this is not just a matter of Rift, but a more overall observation.

    Anyway, for me, I've tried a lot of different MMORPG's over the years. Starting way back with Ultima Online, and since then WoW, Aion, WAR, AoC, Rift, LotR, SW:G, and so on.
    But for me, the games have changed drastically over the years.

    What used to captivate me about MMORPG's was "living" in that world. Being engaged in that world. It wasn't a matter of maximizing gearscores, rushing to the top level, and talking about PvP balance and end-game raids. It was just fun being there. The focus was on the never-ending journey, and how you felt in that journey. It was about the community, interacting with people.

    But over the years, that has changed. Already a few days after any new MMORPG is released, people have rushed to the top levels. Even at early levels, people talk about "battleground" queues, balance, end-game raiding, and so on. You need to reach the max skill level in everything, and you needed to have reached that 2 weeks ago. And, as they are expected to, MMORPG's cater to this.

    But whatever happened to the journey? Whatever happened to just enjoying the game, enjoying the "life" there? These days, if it doesn't reward an epic, people can't be bothered.
    And of course people can't be bothered, because it's all the same. Every single quest has been done over and over again in all the other games out there, of course they have, there's only so many quests one can invent.
    But sadly, MMORPG's really feel like games these days, not worlds, and questing feels like something you have to do to reach the top level, not something that is equally engaging.

    For me, MMORPG's these days aren't really MMORPG's, they are just "MMO's", with no RPG. The roleplaying aspect of the game is hardly there any more (which is also clearly seen, as tons of time is put in from the developers to make engaging end-game raids, but you can almost never just write a simple book to pass around). And while I'm not a hardcore RP'er, it's that aspect of any MMO that will keep me engaged. I want to feel like I'm apart of this world, and that I am "living" in this world, and that this is my journey through this world. I want to be engaged in the world, what's going on, the people in it. But sadly, all you end up engaged in these days is "how much more +crit does this knife have compared to the other one?".

    With all the money and production time being poured into MMO's these days, it's sad that the original founding concept of them, RPG, have been practically neglected. Sure, there IS quest text, but you don't even need to read it anymore. You just look at your in-game radar. The quest text is a mere formality these days, a relic from an old system that isn't followed anyway.

    That's what kept me engaged in Ultima Online back in the day. There wasn't a big focus on the actual game-concepts, it was just a fun world to be in. It was blatantly simple, but it was great. Houses and towns were built, infamous people ran about, and you were scared like hell when you saw that skeleton because it might woop your butt.
    In the oh so early days of WoW, this still persisted somewhat. In the beginning the leet kiddies weren't there, the world story was engaging, no one cared about the balance of the end-game raids, and no one thought that you should just rush to the end-level. Months into the game, the mid-level zones were still plenty populated, and no one cared to much about pvp imbalances.
    But of course, that changed to. And now, 4 years later, we have a game that is focus on end-game raiding, gear, battleground queues, endless class balancing for "e-sports", and of course, achievements.

    Maybe it's just me. Maybe I'm just the black sheep of the MMORPG community. But at least I find it disappointing that MMO's these days choose to focus more on rushing people through the content to some overdone raids, instead of working on having an engaging and vivid world to be in.
    Companys just want the money, and since WOW developers are trying to copy it and bring in the same amount of subs. Few games have tried to be different but have all failed due to imo costing to much to start and not having enough return.

  3. #3
    Kug
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    Well, like it or not, you're the minority.

    If you build it, they will come...or so they say. Millions play WoW because by and large, they like it. Sucks, I know. Some think we deserve better, and well most like it the way it is.

    RPG is disappearing from MMORPGs because games that focus heavily on it don't draw the subs they need to recoup costs. This only proves that the market of people wanting that type of game is a small minority of the general market (those that want to play on line with others in a persistent world, and have money to pay a sub).

    We often like to think that everyone feels the way we do when it comes to a "good game." This is evident in the "just because it has 12 million subs doesn't mean it's good," arguments. We don't like it and it's not good, according to us, that is. Marketing 101 - do not try to create a market for your product, create a product to serve the market.

    There are always breakthroughs and exceptions - but they are few and far between.

    I hold out hope that something will pop out soon that changes things in a positive way, but I like the system as it is now, too.
    Last edited by Kug; 03-08-2011 at 10:08 AM.

  4. #4
    Rift Disciple Howl_UK's Avatar
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    MMORPG...

    The RP has been on its way out for years.

    Blizzard did a damn fine job at annihilating the MM bit, to the point where most new gamers don't even know how massively multiplayer these games used to be.

    All that is left is the O and the G.

    They are online games but that's about it. At least Trion have been working on the MM part, with the public raid groups and the rift events.

    I do miss Camelot though. It managed all of the above.

  5. #5
    Telaran Bronzebeard's Avatar
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    I believe you are looking to capture that feeling of wonder and excitment we all felt in UO or EQ. But, like ******, it's only new once.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kug View Post
    RPG is disappearing from MMORPGs because games that focus heavily on it don't draw the subs they need to recoup costs.
    Your assuming that a game cannot be both engaging in its world, and still please the masses.

    Maybe that's the reason why so many new MMO's don't become successful? Because people simply don't feel engaged in the world enough, they have no attachments do the game? I mean sure, WoW keeps growing, but that's mainly because: A, it's a game that has had 6 years to polish up, B, it has a massively rich company backing it up, C, it's already so huge and popular that it's the "go-to" game for new people. Now I'm sidetracking though.

    Point being: doing both is perfectly doable, as shown by previous games.

    I believe you are looking to capture that feeling of wonder and excitment we all felt in UO or EQ. But, like ******, it's only new once.
    Ah, don't we all seek that old feeling! Actually I felt that way much more when I started WoW than in UO, even though I had played several MMO's before WoW.
    But no, that's not what I'm talking about
    Last edited by TokyoZeplin; 03-08-2011 at 10:30 AM.

  7. #7
    Rift Disciple Howl_UK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bronzebeard View Post
    I believe you are looking to capture that feeling of wonder and excitment we all felt in UO or EQ. But, like ******, it's only new once.
    DAoC was 2-3 years in and probably the 3rd or 4th major 3D MMORPG that people played so it's nothing to do with "newness" factor. It's to do with "not-sucking" factor.

    I agree that the first few weeks in your first MMO are something special though.

  8. #8
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    Default GW2- Save us!

    That is why I have high hopes for GW2. Pray it can inject some RPG back into the genre.
    Cataclysm broke WoW, but resilience will fix it!

  9. #9
    Rift Disciple Tzimisce's Avatar
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    Sadly the RPer in an MMO game is in the minority. Most players simply have no imagination these days. It is all technical and numbers. Raiding and endgame are the big thing now. It is actually very sad. With all the people you can interact with in a game you still end up with five or six people to RP with and the rest are just not interested.

    Personally I have never been a raider or a number cruncher and would rather enjoy the game for the game and the people in it. Sadly companies cater to the raider because that is where the majority of their money comes from. EQ2 is an excellent example. SOE always catered to the whiny raiders constantly and so many over there whined endlessly.
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  10. #10
    Plane Touched
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    The developer can only do so much to add RPG. Trion isn't in the game comparing gear scores or +1 to crit. If you want this to be a world in which you live, the first suggestion I would make is to turn off leveling chat and exit the forums. That isn't trying to be mean... its the other players that you are describing as not bringing out the RPG element. Remove them and you have whatever you want in terms of immersion.

    They included story, they included a living, breathing world, they included conflict... they gave all the tools necessary to have the game you describe. If you don't want to compete with the number crunchers, turn them off and submerge yourself into the game you want to enjoy.

    With all that said.. i do agree that many fans do tend to ruin the games long before the games themselves have a chance to. I'll go out on a limb here and give my two cents. Gaming is an addiction. I believe they are not only as addictive as substances like caffeine and tobacco, but they also carry with them the same side effects. I'm not going to even attempt a guess at an actual percentage, but I think MMO players have a much higher tendency to actually be truly addicted to gaming. Without going on and on more than I already have, I think what we are seeing is how people who can't or won't find anything else to do can effect the games we play.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by TokyoZeplin View Post
    Now before I start, I'll make it clear that this is not just a matter of Rift, but a more overall observation.

    Anyway, for me, I've tried a lot of different MMORPG's over the years. Starting way back with Ultima Online, and since then WoW, Aion, WAR, AoC, Rift, LotR, SW:G, and so on.
    But for me, the games have changed drastically over the years.

    What used to captivate me about MMORPG's was "living" in that world. Being engaged in that world. It wasn't a matter of maximizing gearscores, rushing to the top level, and talking about PvP balance and end-game raids. It was just fun being there. The focus was on the never-ending journey, and how you felt in that journey. It was about the community, interacting with people.

    But over the years, that has changed. Already a few days after any new MMORPG is released, people have rushed to the top levels. Even at early levels, people talk about "battleground" queues, balance, end-game raiding, and so on. You need to reach the max skill level in everything, and you needed to have reached that 2 weeks ago. And, as they are expected to, MMORPG's cater to this.

    But whatever happened to the journey? Whatever happened to just enjoying the game, enjoying the "life" there? These days, if it doesn't reward an epic, people can't be bothered.
    And of course people can't be bothered, because it's all the same. Every single quest has been done over and over again in all the other games out there, of course they have, there's only so many quests one can invent.
    But sadly, MMORPG's really feel like games these days, not worlds, and questing feels like something you have to do to reach the top level, not something that is equally engaging.

    For me, MMORPG's these days aren't really MMORPG's, they are just "MMO's", with no RPG. The roleplaying aspect of the game is hardly there any more (which is also clearly seen, as tons of time is put in from the developers to make engaging end-game raids, but you can almost never just write a simple book to pass around). And while I'm not a hardcore RP'er, it's that aspect of any MMO that will keep me engaged. I want to feel like I'm apart of this world, and that I am "living" in this world, and that this is my journey through this world. I want to be engaged in the world, what's going on, the people in it. But sadly, all you end up engaged in these days is "how much more +crit does this knife have compared to the other one?".

    With all the money and production time being poured into MMO's these days, it's sad that the original founding concept of them, RPG, have been practically neglected. Sure, there IS quest text, but you don't even need to read it anymore. You just look at your in-game radar. The quest text is a mere formality these days, a relic from an old system that isn't followed anyway.

    That's what kept me engaged in Ultima Online back in the day. There wasn't a big focus on the actual game-concepts, it was just a fun world to be in. It was blatantly simple, but it was great. Houses and towns were built, infamous people ran about, and you were scared like hell when you saw that skeleton because it might woop your butt.
    In the oh so early days of WoW, this still persisted somewhat. In the beginning the leet kiddies weren't there, the world story was engaging, no one cared about the balance of the end-game raids, and no one thought that you should just rush to the end-level. Months into the game, the mid-level zones were still plenty populated, and no one cared to much about pvp imbalances.
    But of course, that changed to. And now, 4 years later, we have a game that is focus on end-game raiding, gear, battleground queues, endless class balancing for "e-sports", and of course, achievements.

    Maybe it's just me. Maybe I'm just the black sheep of the MMORPG community. But at least I find it disappointing that MMO's these days choose to focus more on rushing people through the content to some overdone raids, instead of working on having an engaging and vivid world to be in.
    It's not just you, most of the group I play with feel the same. MMOs now cater to the fast in, fast out ADHD generation that can only function on instant gratification. If it takes more than 2 weeks to max level the game is labeled a "grind". If there isn't enough frantic PvP action for the "U MAD BRAH?!?!?" playerbase it's labeled a "carebear" game. Etc, etc, etc...

    Gods forbid a game company designs and builds a game based on longevity and not initial box sales. If you can keep a few hundred thousand players paying for years you'll make more money than selling 3 million copies but having 50k subscribers after 3 months.

    As it stands now the genre is fairly dead... every game that comes out tries to cater to EVERYONE and in the end fails at it. "Niche" games need to become the new standard, but investors won't pay up unless games are "WoWbreakers!!!"

  12. #12
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    I'm guessing it has a great deal to do with technology and game design, not player desire.

    Look at the amount of story that is put into the best of the single player video games. People still want story. The challenge comes in trying to get thousands of people involved in story in some significant way.

    A huge percentage of the MMORPG population doesn't like RP, and blasts through the rather thin story that these games try to offer. I think that's more because the story is rather thin, and the mechanics dated, than because most of us aren't interested in story. We need an advance in game design that takes advantage of contemporary state of the art tech that will offer a new level of story to players beyond what they've been getting for the past two decades. When that happens, I expect most people will be excited to find that they are once again playing an interactive story, rather than just a mechanical game about leveling and gearing up.

    It'll happen. It's just that our dreams of "VR" are way beyond the realities of it at the moment. But the dreams are still there, and a significant step toward them will find an audience.
    The Roguepocalypse is upon us!

  13. #13
    Telaran
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moxteth View Post
    Gods forbid a game company designs and builds a game based on longevity and not initial box sales. If you can keep a few hundred thousand players paying for years you'll make more money than selling 3 million copies but having 50k subscribers after 3 months.

    As it stands now the genre is fairly dead... every game that comes out tries to cater to EVERYONE and in the end fails at it. "Niche" games need to become the new standard, but investors won't pay up unless games are "WoWbreakers!!!"


    Just wanted to say that this is pretty much the problem, but it's a common problem in alot of businesses.
    (Look a mom & pop stores vs. Walmart)

    It's one of the basic evils of business, nothing can be done about it.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moxteth View Post
    but investors won't pay up unless games are "WoWbreakers!!!"
    This is sad but true.

    A huge percentage of the MMORPG population doesn't like RP, and blasts through the rather thin story that these games try to offer. I think that's more because the story is rather thin, and the mechanics dated, than because most of us aren't interested in story.
    Also very true.
    WoW did try to fix this a bit with it's phasing technology, but lets face it, it's weird that half the people are seeing something else than you, or in the big cases, that people are invisible to you because they are in a differently phased version of your zone.
    Rift also tries to do this, with their invasions. If you fail to stop the invasion, the world changes. But that doesn't quite cut it either, it's in a very specific area of the game it can happen, and the changes are, in the big picture, rather minor.

    I feel most game companies need to stop being afraid, and I feel that investors need to stop looking for a quick buck (and make a lot more in the long run). It's almost become a standard that games these days come out half-finished. 6 months ago Civilizations V came out for instance, and it's been a standing joke for months after that people that bought the game was paying beta-testers, due to the immensity of bugs and features that needed fixing.
    Or when AoC came out, and one of the big advertised features was "A DX10 MMO!" and it came out without the DX10 because they had to launch it before the feature had been implemented.

    A big company somewhere out there needs to grab it's ballsack and accept that they need to put in some serious cash, for a serious amount of time.

  15. #15
    Plane Touched
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    I'd love an MMORGP where none of the numbers were visible to the player, ever. No levels at all, just skills that you got better at as you used them. Much less emphasis on character progression/development and more on the environment itself.
    Last edited by BurgerLord; 03-08-2011 at 11:56 AM.

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