# MMORPG's seem boring, so why so many boring games?

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I see many new designers asking to make an MMORPG and I do not get how so many are around. Even top companies like square with Final Fantasy online being out is boring but people like to play for 1 hour to take on around 5 fights. I could beat 2 games within that time and take on over 500 enemies on a simple and fun 2D game. Will the definition of fun games later mean boring games that have 3D visual effects taken over interaction to become more visual like a TV? I get more action from a TV remote control so maybe they should call challenge surfing and TV adjusting a game and you win when you find a good show after surfing so many channels.

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A lot of MMORPG's are popular because of community feel, tradeskilling, questing, grouping, etc.

Sometimes those thrills take the place of the kinetic energy in 2D games, even though yes, I agree, in the majority of MMORPG's, most classes are just bland representations of what we would call heroes.

World of Warcraft was pretty fun during the stress test, though. Of all the MMORPG's I've tried, it's the most "gamey". However, in the most recent discussions I've read on their forums, some of the classes are starting to get blanded down. Hopefully it's still fun at release.

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I don't think it's just MMORPG's, I think it's RPG's in general as well. The guys that sit there making the games go "hmm, we're now able to do all these 1337 graphics, so let's do it...oh and hey Joe, wanna slap a story together real quick?" Either that or they fall into the "let's sit here for hours watching FMV to tell us what the plot is instead of PLAYING something" category. It seems the industry people thought it'd be fun to try, and since that's most of what gets on the market, even the game players are starting to think that way too. I've seen game reviews like "Great plot, great world, it made me cry every 30 minutes...but the graphics looked like something for N64. Don't these guys know how to make a GOOD GAME?" With players like that, it's not surprising that these types of games are going downhill.

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I say play the pen and paper variety RPG's. Unfortunately PnPRPG'ing has the stigma of being uber-nerdy, perhaps somewhere inbetween the strata of comic book fans and Klingon wannabees.

But I tend to think that playing in front of a computer in an MMORPG is at least as nerdy as getting with a bunch of friends and socializing. Playing with an RPG group was just as much about getting pizza and having fun with your friends as anything else (sort of like nerdy poker). I see MMORPG'ing like socializing via IRC as opposed to face-to-face meetings and I don't think MMORPG'ers can claim to be any less geeky than the PnPRPG'ers (of which I've seen some people claim that they draw their nerd-line at playing MMORPG's).

Plus, PnPRPG's have a level of creativity and imagination that computer RPG's simply can't touch. In many ways, PnPRPG'ing is a storytelling process weaved by both the players and the GM. This requires a certain level of practice and talent, but the rewards are well worth it.

I'm not sure what the ballywho is about MMORPG's either. From my limited experience with them, I agree that they are bland, boring and aren't truly roleplaying at all. They are in effect, roll-playing. Rather, they are often little more than graphical chat rooms for people to socialize in (at least from the little I've played....which was a few days worth of Anarchy Online and Everquest as well as watching some of my friends play). The problem I think is multiple.

I believe their most fundamental flaw is that they lack a direction because they are unmoderated. Without a GM or storyteller's guidance, there is no central focus or purpose nor is there someone to "create the stage on the fly" like a theatre director would (which is what GM's do). Many people get excited when they see an advertising tagline that says that they can do whatever they please without any restraints. Personally, I find that extremely boring. As human beings, we like and want direction in our lives as well as closure. Being able to explore is a nice concept, but without an overall frame with which the exploration has a purpose for, it's meaningless. After awhile, inevitably you will wonder as a player..."okay, now what?". One game I haven't played that I probably should have is Neverwinter Nights, since it is supposed to allow for a moderator (though NWN isn't an MMORPG either).

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My personal feeling is that most MMORPGs are boring because any MMORPG is really just a 60 to 80 hour RPG, except that its plagued with both unnessiccarily large zones to create the illusion of a full world and a long time involved between leveling up.

The big worlds are nice, but they're usually full of nothing. Or at the least, people in AFK mode. But this means you spend ALOT of your time WALKING OR RUNNING around to get to your mission.

The long time between levels is made just so you have to invest 200.. 300.. 4000 hours on one character to get it to max level. They do this because otherwise you STOP PAYING TO PLAY.

realistically, alot of the MMORPGS ive played have alot of missions, but all the missions are the same. Whats the difference between killing 200 turtle monsters, and killing 200 orc monsters? NOTHING. Whats the difference between finding 10 Rare drop items from Monster X and 10 rare drop items from Monster Y? NOTHING. The thing is, 99% of all MMORPG missions are part of a set of about 10 different types of missions. go kill boss X. kill X amount of Y monsters. etc etc. this adds to BORING.

MMORPG developers need to decide to make a fun GAME, as opposed to making sure every player sticks aound for 6-12 months to do ruitene boring bullshit (wich happens to be just long enough for the next big MMORPG from that company to come out).

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the whole idea of MMORPGs is flawed. A very important part of RPGs is being a hero, and that is hardly possible when there's hundreds of other "heroes" running around. You can't give a player what he wants without punishing the other 1000 players on the same server. And if everyone can kill a dragon in one strike, well, what's so special about it when everybody else can do it? MMORPG is probably the worst kind of MMO game possible. Companies should make MMO strategy or FPS games instead. A true virtual battlefield would be far more interesting to play, and everyone's equal there, thats IMHO :)

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I've always been intrigued by MMORPG's, althought the only one I've ever seen in action is "Phantasy Star Online." It looked decent from what I saw of it, but that was only about 45 minutes. The thing that keeps me from them is exactly what AP mentioned.

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i believe that most boreness is caused by these factors

1. Over Freedom

maybe grand thief auto have too much influence on everyone, people are now trying to implement freedom in everygame. why is it so bad?

lets look at GTA
how its freedom achieved without boredom.
first, GTA is more of an arcade style game than realism game.
even when you freely move around the virtualy environment in gta, u have many things to do, such as carjacking, and ran over americans (i mean pedestrians).

compare to another freedom game, Morrowind. while u can be free, and "explore the vast continent of the land of morrowind".
now that sounds fun, but exploration can be very boring with no goals, and nothing to interact. just like a new game in development, that u only have a working terrain, and a character walks on it. well u might debate that, i occasionaly ran into monsters that i can fight, and tresure chest to open, or hidden quest to take. well i think thats one of the major design error in morrowind, u do ran into monsters, but they are either too weak to gain you any experience or too strong for you that kill you with one blow because you are not supposed to come to this area at this stage. and howoften you ran to a tresure chest for you to open that is not locked? well my lockpicking skill is sufficient and open the chest, and all i see its a piece of rat meat. same with hidden quest that is very time consuming and often u dont get much in return.
lastly, when u exploring u often find yourself lost in the woods or maze. if u try to navigate your way back to your nearest town, that might take twice the time u first came here. people will just reload their saved game because its not worth it, and after they reload their saved game, they say to theirselves, why the hell did i bother to explore in the first place.(finished ranting with morrowind)

AN LINEAR GAME WITH INTERESTING STORY CAN BE VERY ENJOYABLE

and back to the topic, many mmorpg gives too much freedom and does not give much in return, therefor it creates boredom

2.Repetition/slowness

while people likes long games, and they gets nice reviews at gamespot says that XXXXX game have NNhours of playtime. over repetition is just boring as hell.

many game that tries to limit the player progression speed inorder to achieve "lengthy" playing time, and this is another major design fault. you might say "who wants to play diablo2 when everyone is at level99". true, but diablo2 design is different, even if you reached level99, u still want the best gear u can get, and even if u think u have the best gear, u can still finding good items for your other characters or as collection purpose.
if your game takes 30 minute average to level up from lvl1 to level10, and your next skill is available at level 12, do u feel you have achieved something? no!. u still with your first level 1 skill, and u still does the same animation, boring as hell, and whats more, the people around u are just the same level as you do, and they all use the same skill, same animation, some major dejavu here.
i agree that some game are intended to be realistic, no no game can be "real", if its real, its not a game anymore, and because its a game, it needs to be enjoyable, u cant just sacrifice 50%gameplay to get 5% realism.

others

goals have being talked about in the freedom section. if a game have no goal, its not enjoyable, the most simple goal is "get as much score as posible" and "kill the other guy"
well ofcourse that all game have a goal, it is often not clearly seem or mentioned. ok back to morrowind bashing, the goal isnt clearly stated, u are just another prisoner released and you are free, what you want to do is completly up to you. while that might sounds fun, u can do many things that is not possible in yourlife, such as killing some townfolks. but its not a freeworld as it may sound, u will still facing punishment in game, just like u recieve punishment for crime in real life. gameplayers want to enjoy the game not to get punished. and thus where a freeworld now becomes not so free.(WT, this should belong to the freedom section).

also gamers likes to see achivement and new stuff or random stuff.
for example diablo2, u dont level up quickly in later stages but u get better equipments alone the way, u kill bosses and solve quest quite easily and straightforward. all items are randomly generated, and they looks different when you wear them.

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I am sick of the MMORPG thing myself. For one there is, in my experience, no role playing involved. It's kind of hard to feel immersed in a fantasy world when you are encountering clerics named Foxy_Lady_168 or Warriors named Cartman and people are using street slang. They really are just glorified social gatherings. And a social gathering of 12 yr olds is not a place I want to be.

Not to mention I just can't afford to drop 50 bucks on a game and then proceed to shell out 10 bucks a month so I can play it.

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Only slightly off topic, the argument that a MMORPG is boring because it only gives you 5 fights, compared to a 2D game which gives you 500 is a bit silly. The MMORPG will be far more fun if those 5 fights are challenging, involved, intermixed with story, or with a great bunch of friends and the 2D fights are pixelated tedium. Some designers continue to try to create art rather than entertainment. They've been doing it for more than 2 decades and they'll continue to do it.

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I like the concept of MMORPG's as "nerdy poker". A lot of people complain about the lack of things to do or the lack of guidance, but that never seemed a problem while I played. It was fun to just go with a couple friends and gang up on a golem or something. The problem was that, unless you played exactly as much as your friends, there would soon be a gap in your levels. Now, you still need to team up to take on one golem, while one friend of yours can take on three with his eyes closed, and another friend dies if the golem even glances at him. That's when it becomes boring.

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Quote:
 Original post by DauntlessI say play the pen and paper variety RPG's. Unfortunately PnPRPG'ing[...]

It's really not so bad as all that. Looked on Froogle for Shadowrun (one of my favorites), $25.50 for the 3rd ed rule book. All the rules you need, and even covers much of the material that used to be in supplements. In fact, just to get started, you don't even need that many of the rules. Raid your game shelf for some regular old six sided dice (You do own Yahtzee, right? ;) ) and you're set! Get some friends together, do the story like a ghost story (i.e. taking turns) done. Sure, MMORPG's are still always available, but not necessarily the people you want to group with. EDIT: Oh yeah, and D&D has its place. It's the best I've found if you just want to dive some dungeons and slay some dragons (funny how that works ;P ), but not so much if you want something deeper (but sometimes it's fun to be shallow). #### Share this post ##### Link to post ##### Share on other sites I think what RPG genre need is a system with restrictive freedom rather than complete freedom. For example is a game where the 'virtual dungeon master' tell the player what he have to do from the start of the game. Such as, 'you need to find a weapon before you continue foward' in this way, player are free to use any weapon they can find, maybe even a rusty frying pan (as if a frying pan isn't bad enough lol!) I think, and this goes for everything in life, that too much freedom is often doing more bad than good. A restriction will force the player to think creatively just my 2 cent :P #### Share this post ##### Link to post ##### Share on other sites MMO's are still trying to develop themselves. There's a lot of new technology coming out regarind MMO's and there's still a quite a few hurdles. Give them 5-10 years and they might actually start pumping out the odd decent game. That and the focus is on tech right now too and not content. I'm sure a topdown MMO which a decent sized company behind it whose main goal is content over technology would do well. #### Share this post ##### Link to post ##### Share on other sites Quote:  Original post by TelastynOnly slightly off topic, the argument that a MMORPG is boring because it only gives you 5 fights, compared to a 2D game which gives you 500 is a bit silly. The MMORPG will be far more fun if those 5 fights are challenging, involved, intermixed with story, or with a great bunch of friends and the 2D fights are pixelated tedium. Some designers continue to try to create art rather than entertainment. They've been doing it for more than 2 decades and they'll continue to do it. I think Warsong was suggesting that it would be better for new designers to develop a simple and fun 2D game rather than try and jump head first into a MMORPG. Or at least, that's my take on what he's saying. Otherwise I'd agree with you, making MMORPG's 2D instead of 3D and adding more bad guys to kill wouldn't necessarily make it more interesting. Personally, I think a lot of the fun from multiplayer games is from a combination of teamwork and competition. If the players are encouraged to create and join different factions, and those factions allowed to compete or cooperate with each other however they choose, the game may well be more fun, as the players will feel they are making the story, rather than repeating a bunch of preset quests which basically consist of waiting around for ages for the quest to reset itself, and then killing a bunch of baddies to get some item so you can kill even more baddies in your next quest. Player killing should be allowed, at least in most areas of the game, picking on newbs can be discouraged in other ways. #### Share this post ##### Link to post ##### Share on other sites Extrarius- Quote:  Original post by ExtrariusThe biggest problem with P&P RPG (beyond the stigma) is that it takes TONS of work compared to MMOs and the like: you have to find out about the game, meet some people that do it, find a good GM{definitely not easy}, possibly spend$100s on books, mats, dice, etc, and then actually schedule games and make them.

That's kind of my point though. Nowadays we want our entertainment to be just handed to us without much effort on our own part. We become voyeurs instead of participants.

Quote:
 With an MMO, you buy the game (possibly buying it online and downloading it w/o leaving the house), then play whenever you feel like it. Sure, you have to pay monthly, but paying monthly fees is easier than paying up front (see credit cards).

The cost issue may be a sore point for some people, but usually all that an PnPRPG requires is the core rulebook and maybe the game setting (which nowadays seems to cost around $60 or so). But the ability to never leave the house is something I see as a bad trend. I believe that the internet is starting to erode social skills, especially amongst the group of people who prior to the internet would have been in the "geeky" class. Quote:  If I knew how to find a good GM, I'd play constantly, but as it is the few people I've played with insist on systems I don't like and the only person that didn't suck at GMing that I know(the older brother of a friend) GMs for several other groups(his friends) so he doesn't really have time for us. I've searched all the online databases I could find on such things, and I couldn't find anybody remotely near my area running anything interesting (I don't much like D&D). Unfortunately, it is hard to find a good gaming group. That's why I became the GM myself. GM'ing provides a different kind of entertainment than being a player does, but it's still rewarding. I also think all of my GM'ing back in the day primed me to be able to do world creation much better. In a lot of ways, GM'ing is like being a theatre director, script writer and referee all in one. You have to understand (or create) the world setting, you have to know how to nudge players in the right direction or deal with their choices, and you have to know the rules backwards and forwards. All of this really helps in game design I think. #### Share this post ##### Link to post ##### Share on other sites I agree with that total freedom is the same as no freedom at all. The hobby-shrink inside me strongly feels that too many choices in any given situation generates a whole bunch of stress. Why? Because as a human beeing in order to survive, i want to understand my surroundings as good as possible. I have a better chance at this if I constantly make the best decision when i am presented with a number of choices. If there are too many choices avaliable, and I can't easily get an overview of what decision is best for me, I will as a result feel bad. I then randomly have make a decision, which makes me worrying if it was the right one. :) #### Share this post ##### Link to post ##### Share on other sites It's probably possible to make a MMORPG that actually involves RP, or at least seems more like a single player RPG. However, no matter how many people like RPG's, there's a lot more that like "kill stuff, then kill more stuff" games (most of whom are 14 year old boys who use 1337 speak). Since game companies who make MMORPG's want to make a lot of money (as evidenced by making you buy the game AND pay a monthly fee), they concentrate on the people who wouldn't see a point in anything more involved than killing stuff. These are the same people who make games with great graphics but zero substance. The technology may or may not exist to make something better, but these developers will probably take a long time to bother trying to figure out how to do it. Side note - Take something common like getting quests from NPC's. Say there's a king who commonly gives out quests to PC's. What if some PC's get to talking, and discover the king's quests conflict with each other? (Maybe he tells one guy to save his daughter from the clutches of the evil Fred, and tells someone else to make sure she "accidentally" dies.) What if the PC's decide the king is either evil or crazy, and band together to kill him? Now THAT would be a game that might actually be interesting to play, heh. #### Share this post ##### Link to post ##### Share on other sites First of all, the gaming demographic (especially for MMORPGS) is moving into the 20+ age range. Gamers are no longer all 12 year old brats playing all day because they have nothing else to do, that's why in many existing MMORPGs you see a lot of couples playing together and even fathers and mothers playing. The appeal of an MMORPG takes on many forms, it's a persistent world where you can develop your character, it's a relatively low-stress game (compared to action games) and can be played to relax, and it's extremely social. It seems this discussion is being fueled by a lack of information on MMORPGs, or rather the fact that most who posted here have not spent a significant amount of time investigating. MMORPGs get a lot of attention because they deserve it! Its not like there has never been a "decent game" from the MMORPG genre. Ultimate Online, Everquest, Ragnarok Online, City of Heroes, these are all great games by any standards. #### Share this post ##### Link to post ##### Share on other sites Quote: Original post by Extrarius Quote:  Original post by DauntlessI say play the pen and paper variety RPG's. Unfortunately PnPRPG'ing[...] The biggest problem with P&P RPG (beyond the stigma) is that it takes TONS of work compared to MMOs and the like: you have to find out about the game, meet some people that do it, find a good GM{definitely not easy}, possibly spend$100s on books, mats, dice, etc, and then actually schedule games and make them.

With an MMO, you buy the game (possibly buying it online and downloading it w/o leaving the house), then play whenever you feel like it. Sure, you have to pay monthly, but paying monthly fees is easier than paying up front (see credit cards).

If I knew how to find a good GM, I'd play constantly, but as it is the few people I've played with insist on systems I don't like and the only person that didn't suck at GMing that I know(the older brother of a friend) GMs for several other groups(his friends) so he doesn't really have time for us. I've searched all the online databases I could find on such things, and I couldn't find anybody remotely near my area running anything interesting (I don't much like D&D).

You can probably find an IRC game somewhere...I'm thinking about starting a new one (probably Fallout P&P or GURPS, though a new one would be cool if I could find one).

Get ahold of me if you're interested.

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Quote:
 Original post by PinFX... it's a relatively low-stress game (compared to action games) and can be played to relax, and it's extremely social.

I've always considered blasting demons with a shotgun to be a stress reliever [grin]

I have to agree with the anti-MMORPG opinions. I don't think they totally suck, but they are not as enjoyable for me as a single player RPG. It's easy to get lost in a world that is dynamically changing around you, because of things you are doing. This is, for the most part, removed in MMORPGs. It's almost as if your presence is pointless. Nothing you do is going to make much of a difference to anything other than your own character. And if you can make a difference, it's going to remove everyone else's chance of making that difference.

In my opinion, a great MMORPG, as I would see as great, would take a 20 man designer team about 30 years to develop.

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Personally, I've seen very few MMORPGs that I'd want to play. I have played EverQuest and UO, and I've seen several others played. None of them are worth paying \$10 a month for. For that much, I could buy new books, other games, etc. every couple of months.

I think one of the biggest problems with MMORPGs is, as has been said before, a lack of direction in the game. Anonymous mentioned that it's hard to be a hero in a world with 10000 other heros. It's true, and it's a flaw of MMORPGs to think that players should be heros. If there are 10000 people just like you, doesn't that make you ordinary?

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Have to disagree with almost all points in the thread (except a few). There are 70k subsribers in UO, another 70k in EQ2, another 70k in Lineage II, yet another 70k in FFXI, yet another 70k in SWG, yet another.......

The figure may be abit exaggerated but that's not the point, the point is how you are going to explain it as a phenomenon of human behaviors. AND they pay for bordom doesn't seem to be a good explanation.

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I have to agree that MMORPGs are boring, but that's just my opinion. Like the last post said, there are thousands of people who disagree.

The bottom line is that as long as there is market demand, there are going to be more and more MMORPGs.

As far as indy game programmers, they write MMORPGs because they like them; not because you like them.

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