Thoughts on MMOs...?
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22 / F / Kings Mountain, NC
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Posted 2/3/14
I got caught up in Skyrim and I beat it and now, I'm just causing mischief. Problem with that is that it takes up so much memory. I used to play games like Jade Dynasty, Mabinogi, etc... anime-type MMOs. There was one I played where you tried to befriend demons and fight evil. One of your very first missions involved befriending a fairy leader or something and deciding whether or not to give it over for experimentation (me, being the huge softy that I am, refused to hand it over). Anyways, I was wondering if anybody has played/is playing those sort of games and if so, what are your thoughts? Jade Dynasty is probably one of those games that I'll get back into and will wind up remembering why I stopped playing it. Those pre-ascension quests, man... they're a deal breaker. I just... I dumped so much money and it's frustrating, so very frustrating. :l
Posted 2/3/14 , edited 2/3/14
I wrote an endlessly long post on the subject and deleted it. What I'll write and my thoughts will still be long, please forgive me.

I once loved mmorpgs. I loved that the developers provided a world for me to experience adventures with others. I liked that most encounters were not controlled by the players. Guilds didn't mark their calendars to say we are doing X raid at Y o'clock. I loved that wiping during a raid encounter meant another guild could get a chance - those that cleared a difficult mob knows of the excitement of knowing upwards of 100 people are watching you and wishing you failed. I loved when ultra rare drops were found. I even loved when no drops occurred -"next time..."-. I loved forming parties and going to various camps to farm XP. I loved the small chats I had with people and I hated watching every single one of them quit except one, the one that watched me quit...

My thoughts on the genre... My current thoughts... I know I would be addicted to my first MMORPG if I were to be offered the same experience right now. I just know what I loved about my time playing them is not a profitable product. People want more streamlined experiences in their MMORPGs and so we have the current state of the genre. I am not saying the new ways, even Vanilla WoW, are bad (clearly numbers indicate they aren't). I just think people missed out. I think the genre appeals to a different kind of person.

*edited out last line on pay to win which had nothing to do with my experience and raids these days being too available because I basically said that previously.
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Posted 2/3/14
When I dropped money on MMOs, it was only for fashion items (because I didn't like the default outfits for whatever reason) and mounts (traveling purposes). I've always had a vendetta against people that have used money as a means to make the game go faster. I took part in the occasional promo that ran out within twenty-four hours but aside from that, I never paid that much attention to the marts.
Posted 2/3/14
There are two kinds of people...

Cluster A: Who does not get envious of others, and instead aspire to do greater.
Cluster B: Who get's envious of others, and does not aspire to do greater.

Cluster A: Who finds prize in receiving Praise. ("Bow down to me, peasants!")
Cluster B: Who finds praise in receiving Prizes. ("Look at my tiara!")

Cluster A: "We understand that nothing is ever fair, and we accept that."
Cluster B: "If nothing is fair, then we should change it so that it's fair for everyone!"

I personally belong to Cluster A in games, and to Cluster B in real life.

The people who has taken over the MMO industry, however, belong to Cluster B in games, and Cluster A in real life. And they promote their games to like-minded people, ignoring people from Cluster A completely, people like me.

How does this affect MMO's?

MMO world's used to be open, and PVE and PVP used to be two sides of the same coin; we PVE'ed to PVP, and we PVP'ed to PVE; we couldn't have one without the other. This system relied on the fact that players are the ones who make the game dynamic, that the players are the ones who create new- and refresh- experiences, that the players are the ones who keep the game alive.

There was one primary goal in the game, and that was to "take over the world".
And all other goals in the game, was auxiliary routes that we took to accomplish that primary goal.

Primary Goal #1: "Take over the world."
Auxiliary Goal #1: Leveling up.
Auxiliary Goal #2: Farming materials.
Auxiliary Goal #3: Killing raid bosses.
Auxiliary Goal #4: Killing epic bosses.

Primary Goal #1 was the foundation on which everything else was built.
Auxiliary Goal #1 was vital to compete.
Auxiliary Goal #2 was vital to compete.
Auxiliary Goal #3 was not vital, but it was an alternative for Auxiliary Goal #2.
Auxiliary Goal #4 was not vital, but it gave us stat boosts that we could not get anywhere else in the game.

And in each of these goals there was a chance that we had to compete each other, because others wanted the same.

In Auxiliary Goal #1, we didn't compete too much, instead we decided to be a bit nicer to each other. If we let them alone, then they would often let us alone, and we could both level up in peace. Unless we really hated the player or the guild, or we were just really bored, because we wanted to interact with other players--- to play with others players. There were, however, numerous of ways and numerous of places that we could level up, so if we were ganked, which didn't happen as often as you would think, we could still move to a different area. We could also retaliate. We could also gather more friends, and retaliate harder. And they could gather more friends, and retaliate harder. So we interacted with each other A LOT, and there became politics, and we recognized players by NAME, we remembered people. I still remember a whole bunch of enemies from back then. They aren't enemies in real life, though. And in many cases, we became friends later on.

In Auxiliary Goal #2, we competed more. Because crafted gear was the best gear. It was the only gear. And the higher the tier of gear, the more competition there were. And the higher up in tiers we came, the more often we had to fight group mobs, so playing in groups became important. We formed groups. We formed friendships. We formed enemies. With people from our guild. With people from guilds that were our allies. With people from guilds that could become allies. With people who didn't have a guild. And in group areas, there were a lot more PVP, because there were only so much room, and only so many mobs, so groups of players fought groups of players for the materials that dropped. In some cases, the most extreme cases, guilds that had formed allies with each other would pile up to block an entire farming area, and "claim it" as their own, having people farm on the inside, while they protected them so that they could farm in peace. So if you couldn't win against them, then you would have to go somewhere else. "Get out!"

In Auxiliary Goal #3, we competed even more. We had people who kept track of when raid bosses was last killed and when they would respawn (sometimes we lost track because somebody killed it at an unknown time), and there were tons of these bosses, but not so many that groups of players, guilds, and allies didn't bump into each other, and thought "Hey, we wanted that!" and fought each other, to claim the raid boss and its loot. I remember this quite well, my group only had 9 players including myself at the time, I was playing tank, so me and one of the healers stayed behind with the raid boss, while the rest of our group moved forward to stop the attacking players (we saw them coming from a distance). So the attack on the boss was put on halt, until we had killed our enemy. It was epic, the number of ways people tried to win. People used to go for the tank, people used to go for the healer, people used to go for the other players who defended, people used to heal the boss back up before they died so that they could return and try again, people tried to pull the raid boss away from us. There were so many ways to go around this. There was so much dynamic, and you never knew what was going to happen. It was always exciting.

In Auxiliary Goal #4, we competed a lot. There weren't as many of these epic bosses as there were raid bosses, and they only spawned once a week, but they dropped items that you couldn't get anywhere else, so everybody wanted them. You could sometimes get away with just being in a group or two, but most often you needed a whole guild or alliance at your side. And here, too, there was many ways to go around the issue. We attacked people before we went in to kill the boss, and we attacked people while they killed the epic boss. Most of these epic bosses had areas that locked down after a certain period of time, so the last guild standing became the victor who could kill the boss and claim the loot. So you had to play it smart, you had to time it right, you had to kill the right people, and ally with the right people. There was a lot of strategy involved to win.

And then, finally...

In Primary Goal #1. Once a week, which sometimes collided with when the epic bosses spawned, so you had to choose which you wanted the most, there was castle sieges, the main goal of the game, to "take over the world". If you won, you got to keep it for two weeks, and regulate the taxes in the nearby city, where other players would travel to and from, and shop from. Yes, the guild got the taxes, so they earned a bit of money from keeping the castles. It was a "free" gold mine. You just had to get your hands on one, and then two weeks later, defend it from other players who signed up to attack you. If you lost, you would be booted out, if you won, you got to keep it for two more weeks until they had to sign up again. A lot of server politics emerged from this. A lot.

So, leveling up was vital, farming was vital, crafting was vital, PVE was vital, PVP was vital, raid bosses was vital, epic bosses was vital, guilds were vital, allies were vital, politics were vital, economics was vital, selling and trading was vital, everything was vital to the game.

And then came the EverQuest / World of Warcraft generation...

Where the MMO world is not supposed to be open, but compartmentalized (instances). Where everyone gets the same amount of materials, and crafting is not very important. Where you can't control the market, and nobody trades. Where guilds have been replaced with factions, so that a guild is basically a guild within a guild, and there are no allies because everyone within the faction is allied. Where PVP is no longer a part of the game, but instead an inconsequential mini-game within the game, like Pazaac is to KoTOR, and LoD is to EverQuest. Where PVP does not influence the game at all, not even when the server is called a PVP server, and they call it WvW (See GW2). Where there is no main goal, like "taking over the world", not even when they advertise that the goal is to "take over the world", because you don't get to keep your territory (for an amount of time, like a week), and you don't receive any guild benefits that is worth competing over, and nobody really cares about you, or your guild, or your faction. You and your guild is but a nameless turd in a vast pile of other nameless turds. And once you reach max level you're practically done, and you're meant to repeat daily quests and group instances, and complete a list of pointless achievements, that you can keep track of, as if it matters. Players don't get to influence anything, or make the game more exciting, by creating new experiences for others and themselves. It's the same experience over and over again.

Furthermore, the MMO mechanics have also become over-simplified (WoW and EQ are not that bad, but still). Specializing your character means nothing today. You don't receive 5 stat points per level, and get to decide if you want to put it in Strength, Dexterity, Stamina, Intelligence, or Wisdom. This is instead predetermined, so that people don't screw up. Advancing your character's abilities also means nothing today. You get smaller trees, fewer options, and your choices barely change the outcome you want. You can't fail. The result is that while you believe that your character is different from everyone else, it's still 99% identical (Because everything has to be fair, like Cluster B wants; everyone is a winner; nobody is a loser; balance, balance, balance; "that guy is smarter than me, boooho, being smarter is the same as cheating!").

So, what do I think?

I think MMORPG's are boring today.
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Posted 2/4/14
It's a social experience. They sacrifice many a mechanic in order to insure it's a group-game for a group-experience.

I could technically argue about the people, gear, bosses, and design. But that's no fun. Each MMO has the core idea "What would be cool for a group of people to experience"

Entering an underground bug city, an Ancient dwarvern super-prison, a massive citadel of ice, and a massive forbidden cave.

As long as it's a cool place to explore with a group of people, it has a place in an MMO. As long as you're looking for that experience, you need look no further than MMO's.
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Posted 2/5/14 , edited 2/5/14
I used to get so engrossed in MMORPGs, but at some point I burned myself out at the height of Final Fantasy 11.

I played 14 when it got better, but I just gave in.

I like to play games I don't have to put so much time into; by that I mean I get in the game, play the game, then do something else. With MMOs it was get in, walk all over the place to accomplish goals, and maybe get some action in.

I do miss playing Ragnarok, though ;3;
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"Year-end cleanup. Closing threads with no activity since 2014."
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