The Point of MMORPGs
A thought provoking message today, and most of it is in the title. Recently there was a resonable length thread on the PIE SWG forums about what the point of playing SWG was. Although the argument was leveled at SWG inparticular it makes sense to run a similar thread here as it applies equally to any MMORPG.
Traditional MMORPGs involve "leveling" to improve your character, essentially as many games are combat based you get experience from killing a monster/mob/baddie and after so much experience you get to a new level. At certain levels you get to use new weapons or skills and so on, the only real object of play being to become a higher level to bash harder monsters. The problem is you reach a point where you stop wanting to do the same old "leveling" games as with most games it's best done solo and gets very repetative.
From what I've heard EVE has a similar "leveling" system although the leveling of skills is done in the back ground over game play time, so for better skills you need to play longer and longer, rather than just finding a way to speed up your turnaround. Star Wars Galaxies on the other hand uses system where you can learn any skill you want mostly and although it's a similar sounding skills and "leveling" system it allows you to be most anything you want to be, the downside is the skills are fairly fast to aquire with fast gameplay allowing people to master professions in days. Either way it gets boring fast.
The next step people progress to is the aquisition of money, this in most games is harder than leveling, but again is a process that becomes dull after a while as you reach a point where there is nothing to spend the money on.
So what next? You are dumped in a game with an idea of the story but the time line stays static so that people aren't discriminated against because of the amount of time they can or can't play for. The only real plot is in side quests that are achieved rather quickly and leave you feeling that although it was a little interesting at the time, you've not really achieved anything. We have reached a point where many players now leave the games, the majority of people want a game that has a plot to be lead through and a way to complete it. MMORPGs are uncompleteable and apart from small areas do not have a plot to play through.
Here's where you find the heart of an MMORPG, community, unless you want to invest time talking to people and working with people to improve your quality of life in game an MMORPG is not for you. The people you play with and the ideas you share in game dictate how much fun you will have, and that's one of the reasons behind this site, to help build the community spirit and boost friendships out of the game, the closer people are as a group the more fun you can have together. If you find that MMORPGs bore you, examine the way you play, there you'll find your answer, the games are designed for the players to keep the players occupied.
--Till next time
-See You Space Cowboy
Thx for making me realize whats MMORPG is all about, again.
Must have forgotten it, while playing it (too long?)