Massively Malygris Online Games

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dnadns:
Sad, but true. I think my only true role playing experience that was actually really good was back ago some time when MUDs were still popular. I wonder where all those players went as they were pretty articulate and good fun most of the time.

Maybe it's just one of those forgotten arts that vanished with the use of language (I mean the real thing) in online games.

MUDs for the most part were populated by college kids and even then those precious few that could get an account with internet access (which was rare in those days). Even MUDs had jerks.

I just don't know what sort of glorious roleplaying experience one expects to have in a D2 clone, or how qualified one is to speak about mmos if that's your only experience.

Synthautic:
To be perfectly honest, the only sort of online RPG I've ever seen with good RP has been the text-based ones by Iron Realms entertainment. It's pretty much mandatory. You want to name your character "pwntrocity?" They'll make you change it. You want to talk about something called a modem or computer or monitor? The mods and players alike will call you insane and mute you on all public and local chat channels for a variable length of time.

I still dabble in an oldschool MMO called Darkages which has been going for about ten years now. It's long past its prime but what you've mentioned used to be one of my favorite parts. You were expected to roleplay, or atleast shut up. The two "main" towns both had political systems in place which allowed for players to become guards, judges, demagogues, and so on as well as player run religion. Some of my more fond mmo memories involved players who had "fallen from grace" and had been sentenced to the ingame version of the death penalty, or another time a town had declared martial law in wake of an attempted political takeover.

mikoyan:

MUDs for the most part were populated by college kids and even then those precious few that could get an account with internet access (which was rare in those days). Even MUDs had jerks.

I'm not denying that there is a natural law somewhere around that assures a minimum amount of jerks in groups of any sizes. Evil people also assume that for groups with the size of one.

But my general experience with user friendliness was way better than any MMORPG I tried out later. Most of the time I just kept thinking "ok, the kids around here are idiots, let's try find the adults", but it seems that the "adults" are not a lot better these days. Maybe I just got lucky to log on to the right systems.

John Gabriel's "G.I.F.T" holds true in MMOs more than any other genre. I've met players for whom griefing is an art form that they spend time trying to perfect, from stealing from a guild bank to ninja-ing loot, and disrupting social events with sudden pvp. The sad fact is that most mmos can't enforce their rules with any sort of general program or feature to prevent this sort of behavior, so it's generally tolerated and ignored. The end result is that everyone begins to grief just so they don't get shafted at the end of the day by a long day of victimization. The real crappy part of this is that technically such things like loot-ninjaing and other online crimes are that they aren't really against the rules. But then this is a double edged sword like everything. A game with rules outlined to target griefers would be draconian and just plain sad. Every action reviewed and analyzed for malicious intent, and inevitable errors on the side of caution as innocent players are banned and kicked from the game.

I guess the point of the above rambling article is that while a griefer may be a loathsome asshat who deserves no pity when a level-capped enemy player steamrolls him, the beauty of it is that he plays a dangerous game: whatever he does to someone, someone can do to him. And as we all know, Karma is a bitch.

i think part of the problem is that players bring the fps attitude to mmo's.
it all starts with some dick pulling aggro and ditching you to die, and the seed is planted in your psyche that when you reach a certain level, you are going to be that dick too. especially if you play on a pvp server on wow or something. you get pissed that some douche is camping on your ass while you grind, but sure as the sun, when you get powerful enough, you do the same thing.
that is why i quit the game. besides the grind and race to get the best equipment, i can't stand the dickheads or the potential of my becoming one.

mikoyan:

dnadns:
Sad, but true. I think my only true role playing experience that was actually really good was back ago some time when MUDs were still popular. I wonder where all those players went as they were pretty articulate and good fun most of the time.

Maybe it's just one of those forgotten arts that vanished with the use of language (I mean the real thing) in online games.

MUDs for the most part were populated by college kids and even then those precious few that could get an account with internet access (which was rare in those days). Even MUDs had jerks.

I used to play around on a MUX (more social, less combat MUD) and even without combat, there are still a heck of alot of jerks - and sometimes they aren't even trying to be jerks, they simply achieve it.

Doug:
I used to play around on a MUX (more social, less combat MUD) and even without combat, there are still a heck of alot of jerks - and sometimes they aren't even trying to be jerks, they simply achieve it.

Hah, that just made me envision that little *pling - achievement unlocked* going with it.
Apart from making me smile, that would be truly an inspiration for trophies/achievements..etc. to indeed reflect on the game style a player prefers ;-)

// off to checking if I ever got a "Jerk!" trophy

After giving up on Dungeon Runners I tried Guild Wars, which was good for about three days before I started falling asleep from boredom, and then Runes of Magic. RoM was fantastic, it was far closer to what I was looking for than the other two. Not perfect by any stretch, but good enough.

But after a couple weeks, I got bored. Really bored. As in, so bored I walked away from it and never looked back. I hope I never have to collect ten wolf pelts or 20 bat fangs or five pieces of ash wood ever again. The last time I fired it up, a few days ago, some dude in Varanas was like, get me ten dragonfly wings, and I was like, no, and I disconnected. People find this fun?

I'm starting to think I just don't like MMOGs.

It's the sad truth: little actual role-playing occurs when you're on a server with 2000 other people. The internet, as has been stated before, has no quality control. Few play MMORPGs like a game. One of my best friends annoys the crap out of me because he plays WoW like it's a job rather than a game. He never stops to appreciate the world, never reads quest dialogs, never opens the copious books lying about that detail the interesting backstory--he just wants to get to level 80 so he can join a raid group and get Frostmourne--I guess so that he can do it all over again?
What I've realized about the vast majority of MMO players is that they're there to reach the level cap as quickly as possible, and if that's not your purpose in playing the game, then you might as well just play a single-player RPG for all the help you're going to get. It's what makes D&D or smaller multiplayer games so much better--you play with a smaller group of people who you'll probably get to know over time, if you don't know them already, and eventually you'll actually be able to have fun playing.

Malygris:
After giving up on Dungeon Runners I tried Guild Wars, which was good for about three days before I started falling asleep from boredom, and then Runes of Magic. RoM was fantastic, it was far closer to what I was looking for than the other two. Not perfect by any stretch, but good enough.

But after a couple weeks, I got bored. Really bored. As in, so bored I walked away from it and never looked back. I hope I never have to collect ten wolf pelts or 20 bat fangs or five pieces of ash wood ever again. The last time I fired it up, a few days ago, some dude in Varanas was like, get me ten dragonfly wings, and I was like, no, and I disconnected. People find this fun?

I'm starting to think I just don't like MMOGs.

Similar thing happened to me in Guild wars, think I lasted alittle longer. MMORPGs you might not like, MMOFPS's, you might like ;)

I had envisioned nights of role playing and exploration, spelunking through dim caverns and great abandoned halls, sharing victory and trading stories with like-minded fellows who were interested in living the experience rather than just slaughtering endless hordes of AI thralls in a fast-paced quest for incremental improvements in equipment.

To expect something like that from any game seems a bit misguided. The only time have I ever seen anything like this would be on RP enforced NWN 1/2 servers and the occasional RP dedicated UO shard. Even pay to play servers marked as RP on games like WoW and EQ rarely actually have RP'ng in them.

Even then, they generally have bogus rules that force you to play a character that you may or may not want to play. For example, if you are going to rob, mug, or murder somebody you have to 'let them know' before hand. That's retarded.

Malygris:
After giving up on Dungeon Runners I tried Guild Wars, which was good for about three days before I started falling asleep from boredom, and then Runes of Magic. RoM was fantastic, it was far closer to what I was looking for than the other two. Not perfect by any stretch, but good enough.

But after a couple weeks, I got bored. Really bored. As in, so bored I walked away from it and never looked back. I hope I never have to collect ten wolf pelts or 20 bat fangs or five pieces of ash wood ever again. The last time I fired it up, a few days ago, some dude in Varanas was like, get me ten dragonfly wings, and I was like, no, and I disconnected. People find this fun?

I'm starting to think I just don't like MMOGs.

It's because you're not playing a role playing game. You're labeling these games correctly ~ MMOG's. There is no role playing involved. Why are you looking for role playing in a game that isn't labeled as such? Would you try to find role playing in an RTS, FPS, or flight sim?

MMOG's are multiplayer versions of Spore and The Sims. Nobody who plays those games actually plays the role of the character. They just play them.

Of course, you're playing the MMOG's incorrectly as well. It would be boring to play D&D if all you cared about were your stat sheets. I can specifically say that you played Dungeon Runners incorrectly. That's a Diablo clone but with massive put in the front of it. The aim IS to kill tons of monsters and get phat loot. That's the entire point.

You wouldn't pick up Diablo 2 to sit down and study the lore, would you? Things like that exist as a side thing to do in those games. The primary focus is to kill enemies. Lots of enemies. And then you take the things they drop. And you use them. To kill more things. And harder things.

That's the point of Guild Wars as well. Tons of things to kill. You kill them and advance in level. You gain more skills which allow you to kill bigger things. And then more of those bigger things.

If you're looking for an MMO>RPG< then go for something like UO on an RP server or shard. Going to TF2 so you can have a conversation with a heavy as a medic about why the intelligence is so important for BLU's advancement in the nuclear arms race is kind of... misguided.

The_root_of_all_evil:
I've told you Andy, City Of Heroes is the way to go. Dungeon Runners only has the amusing accents and the silly named items.

A fellow CoH fan! My hat is off to you, and I echo your advice to poor Andy. City of Heroes isn't perfect, but a fair number of the players and designers care and do their best to make the experience enjoyable all around, which is endlessly better than what I've seen in just about every other MMOG.

Credge:

That's the point of Guild Wars as well. Tons of things to kill. You kill them and advance in level. You gain more skills which allow you to kill bigger things. And then more of those bigger things.

Sorry, xD though it isnt important, the little perfectionist in the back of my head wont shut up. Thats not the point of guildwars. Guildwars is a game where you can Indeed, legally, start off at max level with all the gear you need. Its more about either playing the story, or heading into battle with other guilds or folks for PvP.

Anyway, I do love that its free after purchase, I can play and quit whenever I get bored and it wont cost me a cent.

Okay, now to the meat of my post. Agreed, Your kind of playing some wrong...to some extent, as much as I'd hate to use that terminology on what is supposed to be an open-ended experience. In many MMOs, and in many MMO players, the focus is on quickly amassing fortune, and the max level, and the most stuff you can carry. Not all MMOs are like that, but a huge chunk of them are. Some MMOs are Social, some are all about the PvP, some are all about the High level content, and just reaching max level.

As an MMO player that isnt obsessed with achieving so called ultimate success, I'd say the key to finding an MMO for you, is to find one with a unique or interesting system, be it the story, or PvP, tailored character development, a diverse job system, or something special in the fighting system (like Real Time in DDO, or as varied as the Multiple Character Control of Sword of the New World) and then just try and be sociable, look in the right places actively, and you'll find some cool people to talk with, thats the way to really make it worth-while. You come for an aspect of the gameplay, but you stay for the community.

If an MMO has some part of gameplay that you like, but you cant make any connections, you may well be bored of that world in less than a week. If an MMO has a great community, but DOING anything in the game makes you want to feign illness when anyone asks if you want to come along, you've got yourself a serious problem as well.

Both are neccesary.

@[email protected] Just some observations.

megamung:
^^^^
what gloinne said, LOTRO is my first MMO expiriance (i graduated from first person shoot em ups) and it is great, most are realy friendly helpful people and the jerks get weeded out quickly, MMO gold!!

I'll second that!
LOTRO is my first and only MMO experience and I have no intention of trying anything else because of exactly the type of article Andy has written.
There are kinships (guilds)on LOTRO for most types of playstyle, Raiding, Roleplay, PvP, casual etc.
Anyone in a kin will treat you well because they don't want their kin getting a bad rep.
And if you are looking for a good server try Elendilmir, it's the unofficial Oceania server and it pretty much 'never' sleeps.
Oh, and by the way, the game has got a pretty good story line to boot. :-)

WillSimplyBe:
Sorry, xD though it isnt important, the little perfectionist in the back of my head wont shut up. Thats not the point of guildwars. Guildwars is a game where you can Indeed, legally, start off at max level with all the gear you need. Its more about either playing the story, or heading into battle with other guilds or folks for PvP.

I can't say that I agree.

The 'point' of the game is to kill things. Who or what it is is irrelevant. The game comes off no different than Dungeon Runners... because both are action-rpg's. The difference between the two is what you kill monsters for. In GW you kill monsters for quests which either unlock skills or advance you to the next area to unlock more skills. In Dungeon Runners you kill monsters for loot and cash to buy skills. It's fundamentally the exact same thing.

The difference between the two is that the end game is different. In GW the end game consists of you fighting other players. In Dungeon Runners the end game consists of what the rest of the game consists of.

In GW you >can< choose to PVP instantly, but you either have to pay money to unlock every skill and item OR you have to kill things (players) for a long while earning points to spend on the skills and items. All of these things are not unlocked unless you payed specifically for it or you play the 'story' part of the game and unlock those skills.

However, the point of my simplification of the game was rather simple. I was stating that you're not going to find the things that the article writer wants in the game because the game is not built for or around that. You could roleplay, but when everyone in the game is named things like xXxXPokey BearXxXx... you're not going to get that. Ever.

You must understand that there are two kinds of MMOG's. Those where the entire POINT of the game is to kill things (guild wars, dungeon runners, WoW, WAR, EQ2, etc.) and those that are built around you playing as a character and developing him (UO, NWN1/2, etc.).

I have played MMORPGs and found similar findings to the OP. For me it was a matter of finding the one that was the best fit. I could do the huge list of what I've tried and since left, but instead I'll just mention the one that has kept my interest for three years now.

For me it ended up being DDO. Real time combat, instanced quests without long runs to get to the quests, fun outdoor areas, breathtaking artwork and scenery. A great variety of gameplay style with a mostly adult playerbase. Perma-death strategists, roleplayers, elitist power gamers, get drunk with your buddies and talk shit... it may take a little while to find the crew thats right for you, but if you arent shy and use the forums then people come out of the woodwork with offers of gaming friendships. Yet the community is small enough and the developers interact with us enough (one of the Customer Service Reps was actually one of us and got hired out of the player base) that we have a strong sense of community.

Sure, I have some complaints about the game. I play too many hours and love what the game is so much that there just isn't enough of it. Hand crafted dungeons means that the dungeons are static, so once youve run them a couple times, they lose their first time mystique. Of course with over 200 dungeons it takes awhile to run them all and do everything, but it certainly doesnt have the content level of WoW.

There are no real time-sinks. Not much for crafting or armor and character appearance altering. It's pretty much a game all about questing. PvP is in there, but there isnt much to it and it isn't very popular.

But, there are no.. go fetch me 10 lion pelts type of crap. It's real DnD like quests, and if you get into a RP guild and get into character and read the story lines from the NPCs and listen to the DM in quests... well you may find it is exactly what you were looking for. DnD Online.

Of course, there is also the option of Neverwinter Nights, which is exactly what DnD online would be. But for me the turn based combat really took away that touch of realism that DDO offered. And the built in Voice Chat on DDO can make for some great RP times.

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