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Merluche

MMO topic: Is MMO still appropriate?

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I know some of you are going to jump in the air at the reading of the very title, but I'd like to give this thought a try nonetheless. Is MMO still accurate? It seems these days that MMOs are not making much effort towards promoting interaction between players, and are resorting to a Massively Played Single Player Experience Online. What I mean is, in order to get interaction, you only have so many possibilities so far, which seem to be: PvP, or in other words, feel cool about wantonly mudering anyone. Crafting, a.k.a. I'll show you mine if you show me yours and Guilds, which seem to be more and more groups of people ready to share their time in order to progress their single-player character faster. Has anyone ever considered the fact that RPGs are supposed to be about questing and groups? I mean, the BASIC RPGs, the ones that are played around a table, with potato chips and sodas all night long, right? Why hasn't any game that I know of offered yet an experience about having to interfere into someone else's online avatar? Why isn't there a quest to go and HELP someone? or Block someone from doing something? I mean someone REAL, who actually plays the same game too? Why aren't there negociation quests? Why aren't there any other way to interact with people than either kill or ask something from them? Specifically when either one or the other are meaningless in terms of interactions, given that PvPing is usually useless and gratuitous, and that buying something from a crafter won't help either the buyer or the producer, save in terms of property or combat efficiency? Why is it that we usually consider the other players in MMOs as reluctant NPCs? Why is it that you sometimes have to wait for long before anyone even considers joining your group of adventurers? I'll grant you that in LotRO, things seem to have moved away a little from what I say, in that quests seem to be aplenty, and therefore, someone always seems to be willing to help you finish that one off, since he needs it too. But those quests don't modify your gameplay much, you can still go on living your wantonly murderous life without caring about the main questline, and not use grouping more than necessary to advance the main questline if you DO give a damn. Why is it that MMOs are mainly made for lone players?

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Original post by Merluche
Has anyone ever considered the fact that RPGs are supposed to be about questing and groups? I mean, the BASIC RPGs, the ones that are played around a table, with potato chips and sodas all night long, right?


No RPGs are about telling a story in which you play a role hence the name role playing game. There are plenty of MMORPGs out there though I don't know of any that take place in 3d. Most are BBMMOs(browser based) like battlemasters or urbandead.

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Because real people are unpredictable. You never know what a player might do, if you give them total freedom. Games need rules, otherwise people will find ways to either exploit things or ruin the experience for others (mostly out of boredom).

This fact is true for real pen and paper RPGs as well (in my experience). I have played RPGs without any rules at all. The GM just make things up as the game goes along. The outcome usually depends on the mood of the players.

I think MMORPGs have been all about character progress from the beginning. I have never played a MMO that does not promote this kind of mechanic (leveling, collecting better equipment etc). I think it works very well for casual gamers that don't want complex game play. And as long as it does, developers will continue milking that formula.

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As a big MMO fan i agree a lot with what you say ... most main MMO titles (in my experiance) have been quite narrow single-player experiances, with the more rewarding group "raids" being reserved for the elite players at the top of the food chain.

The problem is, players hate being Forced into groups to complete objectives .. most experianced players resent newer players in groups for being 'dead weight' and not understanding tactics/abilities correctly ... newer players in turn resent the experianced elite who refuse to take 2 minutes out of their day to help them .. I guess the problem is partly down to human nature and partly down to game design

I guess when designing a game, if you wanted to force player interaction / grouping youd probaby have to rethink how a game works, as the EQ/WOW model of gear+levels=power will always let a player gear/level past a particular challenge. And its normally quicker to do that than wait around to get a group of strangers together

At a human level, the reason when playing tabletop RPGs that i stick with my group and not run off solo is because when interacting face to face with IRL friends you feel obliged to remain loyal to the group ... when sitting safly behind a keyboard its too easy to ninja the epic sword of dragonslaying, and leave the group with a "UFL N00bz".

I think the problem when looking at group interaction is communication .. maybe webcam/VOIP is a potential solution .. i for one would stand by my group if i could chat with them via VOIP ... bringing us a bit closer to the Tabletop D&D mode of play rather than the solo-grind of the current generation of EQ/WOW clones

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I'm a firm believer (and this applies to my designs)in the legal idea of "power" and "authority". In other words, I have the "power" to make people group up, but I have the "authority" to ask/position them in a way that they can or are encouraged to. An MMO should be, in my book, and in the games you seem to be hinting at, a sandbox experience, where social interactions between players should evolve as they would in real life. You're commenting on Western society in general, which is conservative, competitive and relatively self centered (I claim this based on an article in an early 2007 Time magazine titled "What is Society?" - if anyone is interested in the read I'll dig it out and scan it). I think players do well enough as is to approach other players, who are generally total strangers, and ask/invite them to undertake cooperative activities.

Besides, the cynic in me believes that that sense of the unknown, the dog-eat-dog, is necessary in subscription based games as it implements within the player a drive to succeed and therefore keep playing.

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Having played 6 mmos now, my experience has been that there are 2 really obnoxious things mmos can do: try to force people to play together, and allow players to interfere with each others' play experiences. Also 4 minor obnoxious things: make it difficult to stop playing at a moment's notice and resume without having lost anything, restrict travel, restrict item storage, and not automate buying and selling.

I would argue that the purpose of an mmo is definitely not questing and groups, the purpose of an mmo is to create a virtual world in which players can always have something interesting to do when they are bored in the real world, and always have some kind of progress they can make when they are stuck in real life. It should be easy for players to seek out socialization when that's what they lack in their lives, but also easy for players to avoid socialization (and not have their progress within the game crippled by doing so) when they are in an introverted mood. Ideally roleplaying, otherwise known as interactive storytelling (of which quests are only the lowest simplest form) should also always be available for people who want a more narrative experience, and avoidable for people who just want to kill stuff or play minigames.

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The MMO playing experience issues originate in gameplay itself. The mainstream MMO(RPG) concept has actually evolved from single-player game fundaments - basically by removing PC-centered plot and then shoving it online and allowing thousands of players to join in with their own characters.

Of course all that would do is produce a dumbed-down single player RPG experience for each of those thousands of players, while offering a virtual chatroom and item-swapping system in return.

I've always felt somewhat uncomfortable with the concept of "massive" multiplayer myself. While I am aware of its popularity, I really fail to see why would anyone actually want thousands of players in the same virtual environment? What are the objective benefits of that - for the player, that is?

I still feel that small-scale multiplayer (2 to 32 players, depending on genre) has much more potential than it shows. It allows each of the players to assume a fairly important role in the game and not be so easily ignored, as well as making it easier to get familiar with all other players both in social and game terms. It gives game designers more freedom for innovation, and it allows the game itself to be more than just a virtual container. It's easier to maintain and generally cheaper. The list goes on.

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I noticed that all MMOs that turned out to be single player online, I stopped playing, only because it is not fun, there are only two online games that then managed to stay on my games played: OtherSpace (a MUSH) and Footstar (A Brownser game)

What they have? OtherSpace, is a game about true RPG (technically, single-players RPGs does not exist, and the called MMORPGs are just MMO-third-person-action-adventure, or in case of brownser games, turn-based or pseudo-real-time strategy game), that is, in the game, there are spam of NPCs, there are only the players, sometimes even itens does not exist properly on the game, so you NEED to roleplay if you want fun, and even character development in some sense can only be done that way. A new version of OtherSpace is currenly in testing, this version will have automatic combat, with the objective to make the day less boring when there are no players to RP with you, but I really hope that the game does not get turned into a single-player text-adventure, with focus in char development and bragging (and murdering...) instead of evolving the history.

Footstar is a game where you are a football player, in fact the game itself nearly suck, since it is too much simplistic, there are nothing much to do on a day, only repetitive tasks, but this made the game intersting from the point that it demands little time, and the most of the time is consumed in precisely doing the little actions in the best way, something that can only be done working with a team (you ever saw a lone football player? I mean, soccer for those on US), that is: there are a seemly pointlessy section on the game with several radiobuttons, to select your player behaviour during the match, seemly it does not do much and is stupid even to bother with it, but my team was winning matches like crazy while everyone was obeing the couch, that took time to analize the team and tell us how to set that orders, but last match people ignored the couch, the result was that we lost, and we made the team record of goals taken in a single match.

BTW: Do not reply my comment about single-player RPGs not existing (thus meaning the Square-Enix games are not RPGs), since this most likely will lead to a pointless flamewar (I already have my belief, that I can defend withouth flaming, but I know that many people have their beliefs and that they do not have arguments to defend properly)

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I find that more roleplaying takes place in BF2142 than in most MMOs I've tried. You get the voicechat up and running,a nd those guys turn into Navy Seals, they talk about fields of fire, they'll bound from cover to cover and secure buildings and defuse bombs without firing a shot at a bad guy, without scoring a point, just for the pleasure of immersing themselves in the fictional world.

Of course, that's pretty rare. Often as not their hopping around tossing C4 at each other.

MMOs, paradoxically, are bean-counting score-tickers, with about as much stimulus for roleplay as Pac-Man. The constand grind for money, for XP, for lewts, it's all very personal. But BF2142's system of offering bonus points for a kill that takes place in the general area of the beacon you're defending, or for helping a squadmate, or for fixing a friendly vehicle, harnesses that compulsion and turns it into believable behavior.

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Original post by Iron Chef Carnage
I find that more roleplaying takes place in BF2142 than in most MMOs I've tried. You get the voicechat up and running, and those guys turn into Navy Seals, they talk about fields of fire, they'll bound from cover to cover and secure buildings and defuse bombs without firing a shot at a bad guy, without scoring a point, just for the pleasure of immersing themselves in the fictional world.

I've had lots of similar experiences in FoM (a MMOFPS), from being beat up by a police patrol at the mall for mistaken identity in a terrorism case, to attending a pre-battle live-fire training exercise, to organising an illegal death-match using stolen army equipment in a restricted area, some of these FPS players did a hell of a lot more role-playing than most WoW players I've seen...

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Okay. So I can see we're all, more or less, on the same footing, we mostly consider the MMO part to be, at best, a bad description, and at worst, false advertisement. From what I've seen, MMO is simply a description of "many players playing the same single player experience together", instead of a social networking game.

So is there a way to shift that paradigm clearly derived from single player games?

What could a game designer do to make a better use of the clear MMO nature of its game?

Is there a way to FORCE (please bear in mind that what I am trying to do here is get players to play together instead of side by side, and definitely NOT start a flame war...) players to play with one another?

If quest is principal in your game design, is there a way of having quests that rely solely on your interaction? Maybe pushing it further than LotRO's crafting quests, where your sole interaction with players is spamming the craft channel with demands for the desired object? Can your quest be to help or hinder someone doing something? Is there a way to tie quests to the presence or absence of players, and their accomplishment of past quests?

As an exemple, would it be possible to have one player play a thief and ask him to steal something somewhere? If there is a player-played police force in your game, can you have another player take on the case of the heist? Can you get a THIRD person to try and steal back? Or silence the first thief? Or both?

If quest is secondary, then what kind of forced interaction can we have? Can we pretend to allow light death penalty through BREEDING? and therefore having offsprings come in all shapes, sizes and genders? Can romance and relationships be taken a step further from "Lv16WarMale LF Fem 16min" in a dedicated channel? Is there a way of making roleplaying an integral part of a design, and if so, what would be YOUR approach at doing this?

Can the story be ever-evolving through continual events, a la MxO, but taken even further? Matrix Online has this gimmick of making the world evolve as a result of the players actions through bi-monthly events. Can we have month long questlines be prepared in advance and let the players go free through them? Could we have not one, but MANY dedicated authors trying to outdo each others through this mean, each creating questlines for a particular group or faction? Could wars be created and stopped through this means?

Is there a way to recreate the aspect of table-top roleplaying in online sessions? I'll willingly admit that it will NOT be casual-friendly, but, if we ALSO shift from the D&D XP+gear paradigm, what is there to prevent hoarders to come in the first place?

Would such a game have a market anyway?

I am eagerly awaiting your answers...

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Original post by Merluche
Okay. So I can see we're all, more or less, on the same footing, we mostly consider the MMO part to be, at best, a bad description, and at worst, false advertisement. From what I've seen, MMO is simply a description of "many players playing the same single player experience together", instead of a social networking game.

So is there a way to shift that paradigm clearly derived from single player games?

What could a game designer do to make a better use of the clear MMO nature of its game?

Is there a way to FORCE (please bear in mind that what I am trying to do here is get players to play together instead of side by side, and definitely NOT start a flame war...) players to play with one another?


Hope you're not counting me in that consensus, because I _don't_ agree. The single player paradigm works because it is fun. Compared to group play, solo play is more efficient (I dunno how many hours I've spent waiting for other people in mmos), safer because you don't have to worry about trusting other people, you don't have to feel guilty about making other people wait for you or whether you are hogging the drops or whether it was your screw-up that got the group killed. I'm not saying multiplayer play is bad, it can be great too. I'm saying the good philosophy of mmo building should be to build a fun solo play base and then in stead of _forcing_, think offering opportunities to _tempt_ people into multiplay sessions.

One possibility is making specific locations in the game where people can meet each other and form groups to do a specific group activity. The group activity could be anything from a dungeon to a duel to a multiplayer minigame or a type of gathering which can only be done by a team. These locations should be _easy/fast/cheap to get to_ and if your game has levels, it should be clearly marked which activities are appropriate for which levels.

So imagine your game as a cruise ship - everyone needs alone time in their cabin and wants to do restful things like sunbathing sometimes, but by providing locations stocked with toys (pool, racquetball court, craft class, lan room) and scheduled, announced special events (hypnotist performing in the main ballroom) the cruise company provides a great vacation experience by tempting people to do a variety of things and not making anyone feel forced or constrained.

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Matter-of-factly, NO? I wasn't counting you in the consensus, because, for some reason, you just don't seem to get the point I'm trying to make. Single-player games ARE fun, and I just LOVE Oblivion. But I wouldn't care if Oblivion went online, because there is nothing in there that requires me to play with anyone else. Oblivion online just doesn't appeal to me, because oblivion is a single-player game, and with MMOs, I want to have a MULTIPLAYER experience.

Which brings me back to my original question: why is it called Massively MULTIPLAYER if it is, basically, a single-player experience, with many people doing just the same thing as you, but alone too? And what can be achieved to adress the question? What is there, in terms of paradimatic shift, to change a basically Single-player experience into a multiplayer experience, without resorting to forced grouping? How can interaction be brought to change things?

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Original post by Merluche
Can your quest be to help or hinder someone doing something?


Yes, something like that is possible, technically. But I don't see it happening, at least for the "hinder" bit.

Most MMOs are very, very careful when it comes to offering features which involve hostile actions towards another player (in many cases a paying customer), even starting from the very basic point - PvP combat. What you're talking about is taking it a step further and creating an environment where players actively oppose and work against each other in many different ways.

What prevents this from happening in the forseeable future is the "frustration factor". As much as something unpredictable and challenging might be appealing at first thought, it is frustrating when it goes against you. MMOs have to worry about gaining and keeping thousands of players - they're not really going to make players metaphorically suffer at every step.

Quote:

Is there a way to recreate the aspect of table-top roleplaying in online sessions? I'll willingly admit that it will NOT be casual-friendly, but, if we ALSO shift from the D&D XP+gear paradigm, what is there to prevent hoarders to come in the first place?


Seeing as MMOs rely on being casual-friendly, overprotective and having that "must-get-enough-players" attitude to survive, I'd put that down as unlikely. As well as a good many other ideas when it comes to "improving" MMO genre.

MMO genre is just what it is today. Any future changes or improvements are going to follow the same philosophy, not stray from it. If you can't come to terms with that, play proper games instead. :)

As to answer your last question, I'll stick to the point in my previous post. "Massive" and "Multiplayer" simply do not go together. Proper multiplayer experience can ONLY be achieved in a small-scale multiplayer. FPS games are a good example of this (someone already mentioned BF1942), many other genres as well. Although I'd say that FPS games offer the best multiplayer experience currently.

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Lets talk Boardgames...

Most of you will probably know the board game "Risk" (if you don't it is easy enough to google or find on wikipedia). It is a game of armies batteling it out for control, of the world.

I see this as being like the current set of MMOs. In Risk, it is an advantage to form aliances, but there is no real gameplay mechanic that requiers it (other than Bosses being too hard to take down solo).

However, their is a game like Risk that does use gameplay mechanics to encourage team work (oh and stabbing allies in the back :D ) called "Diplomacy" (again use google or wikipedia).

The difference with Diplomacy is that aliances are essential for victory, so there is an essential social aspect of the game. Where as Risk, although aliances can be made, they are not necessary for victory.

In the current MMOs, aliances with specific individuals (guilds) are convenient, but not necesary.

What if making and keeping aliances with specific players was necesary for advancement? What if there was a mechanic that encouraged social networking?

Now individuals forming aliances with individuals may not be necessary or feasable in an MMO, but you could use Guilds as the social networking base entity.

CUrrently the only real interaction between guilds is: who completes the latest raid expansion pack the fastest, or some other meaningless (in terms of the game world) metric (eg: most members, fastest boss kill, loot, etc).

If guilds had more stake in the game world, then the individuals within that guild would feel more of a sense of "belonging" and therfore encourage both role playing and a sense of being in an MMO.

Triba talked about "Power" and "Authority" and this is important. CUrently the only Power that aguild has is within the guild itself and the only authority is the over the members of the guild.


As an example of how this might be included into an MMO (which means building it as part of a new MMO rather than tacking it onto an existing one - and it is completly hypothetical):

Maybe when a guild is large enough (or completed certain raids), they can be given authority over contested piece(s) of the game world (this is to build the guild into the world). Depending on the fortunes of that guild and action they take (maybe helping new players within their area(s) or recruiting new members, paying loot to fund "war" efforts in that area), they can sway that section of the game world more towards their chosen faction's control. This of course would take place over several days or weeks of real time, and control is never absolute and with several degrees of control between the two extremes.

Alliances between guilds can be formed by having a more powerful guild "sponsor" a smaller guild and give it partial (or to full) control over a subsection of the regions the larger guild controls (basically a realy crude feudal system), however, the smaller guild is not the one that determines directly over the faction aliance of the region (it would be indirectly as the larger guild would depend on the performance of the smaller guild).

Nearby allied guilds could also provide aid and requests for assistance, or even just their presence (and curent performance) could have an influence over how easy it is to control that guilds lands.

So essentially what this example is supposed be about is that when you give players a stake in the game world they will naturally be drawn into taking part in the world. By making this stake dependent on interactions between guilds (guilds on the opposing sides, allied subordinate guilds and nearby allied guilds), you create links for social networking. You eliminate the vaccum that currently surounds both players and guilds.

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Talin> I'll agree that most games actually rely on the player-base to get their funding. So far, I only know of Acclaim games who are trying to take a different approach to the pay-per-month standard. They basically let you play for free, but if you want all the fluff, you have to pay for it. Most of what you can buy from the Acclaim store is items that don't REALLY give you an advantage, merely a better look, and sometimes, a timely help too. But that's about it. And, surprisingly, their current market model seems to hold its own. I'll grant you that 9 dragons doesn't attract as many customers as WoW, but the reason of that may be that WoW has been made by Blizzard which created much hype around it, whereas 9 dragbons has almost come out confidentially. But that's beside the point.

As for the BattleField series, they don't exactly fit into what I would call multiplayer games. they would be more team-based games. Teams could even amount to 64 at a time. But, and unless I am not enough versed into those, you can never find 64 real friends to play at once on your side, and usually end up playing 128 teamsor close at once on the same board. Which cancels the interest of having many people on the same board.

What I am trying to see is wether or not there is a way to get interaction at the core of a design for an MMO.

Edtharan> I quite like your description of the facts. And I like the way the guilds can be used to make the games progress.

IF (and that's a big if) a player doesn't feel interested enough to get into a guild, then he remains a casual, and solo player, essentially.

But IF, (and that's another major if) guilds are made to be a major component of the game, then what is there to prevent interaction between the guilds to happen in a semi-pre-scripted form?

Your example is quite interesting with the domination of a patch of land. The very same thing already happens with the infamous "spawn-points" being jealously kept by the guild-members, to a point where the casual solo players cannot get to the same spawn-point, because it is too well kept. NOT casual friendly design, then.

But, if, instead, guilds could not control physically the territory, and had to complete tasks to modify the rules, would it be more interesting? If you could, I don't know, modify the perception of the police force through bribery, would your guild be willing to accomplish it? If you could buy the town guards in order for them to let the other guild's members die before their eyes without raising a finger, would you try?

I suppose those gimmicks would be self balancing, because, although everyone may want to be the king, there is absolutely no interest in being the king on a heap of ashes. You are only the strongest if there is someone you can mesure up to. Beating everyone out of town and driving every opposition out of the game would be meaningless... After all, bragging rights are, as I have read on those boards "just another e-Penis size contest". If you're alone, how can you feel you're tall...

Although this "Guild Wars" situation sounds promising and interesting to dig, I am still unsatisfied with it. Talin's insightful remark about MMO being a market instead of a genre seems to imply that until players are ALL ready to play and accept consequences, no meaningful evolution can be conceivable. Is there no way we can think of to create a game which would make interaction more than grinding monsters and bragging about the loot?

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Yes, the guilds DO have a right to own property and to uphold their own law in EVE. But there isn't much to do in terms of interpersonal actions, nor in terms of out-of-the-box evolution. It's still XP and gear... Even if XP is gained through time instead of through actions, and gear can be definitely lost...

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EvE Online has "End-Game" that starts pretty much right after you install it, and if you're into that sort of thing, it's a very rewarding social experience.

There are solo options and play styles available at all times, but an enormous amount of the content is only accessible via cooperation. There are those who use six accounts concurrently to do that on their own, but that's unavoidable.

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I think the problem with MMOs is that you can play them entirely single player. No player is useless at anything as all you really need to do is kill and other things; All of which can be learned by a single player. If you made a game where you have a very large array of things to do but in a characters lifetime they could only gain a certain amount of skill in all areas put together then character interaction would be essential. If you can easily be a good fighter, farmer and politician then there is no reason for fighters, farmers and politicians to interact. Only when you need something from someone else is player interaction part of the game. Getting characters to play in roll could be a bit trickier.
[I'm working on a game design that uses this idea of characters being any part of a society instead of all of them being fighters.]

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There was a discussion here about a zombie MMO some time ago, and a scenario was described where a mission required a generator to be repaired, but to get it up and running, you needed to break into the room where it was located, repair the hardware, then re-initialize the control software. You'd need a thief-type lock-pick guy and/or a demolitions expert, a mechanic, and a "hacker" type character to complete the objectives, but at the same time you had to contend with the undead.

We noodled it out so that the fewest that could do it was two. You set up some kind of decoy, then blow up the door with a general-use bomb that the mechanic brings, then he and the hacker go in and fix the thing and hope no zombies find them. Then there's the run & gun method, where you get your Navy Seal team to break the entrance and fortify the facility while the techs do their thing, then you shoot your way out. The one I liked best was the thief/hacker/engineer, sneaking in with two buddies with combat gear, doing it as quietly as possible, then when the generator fires up they have about thirty seconds to get the power on and get the hell out before the horde becomes unmanageable and they get devoured.

That sort of gameplay would be very interesting to me, but would never really work out in an MMO, because it transcends the spawn/quest system, and I don't think the technology is there to support a persistent NPC population that can be macro-managed in that way.

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I'm going to have to agree with sunandshadow on this one. Where does socialization become a requirement to be a "true" MMORPG. Lets break this down for a sec k?

M - Massive. So lots of levels and lots of players
M - MultiPlayer. Simply implies that more then one player can interact in some way shape or form with another
R - Role. You take on the role of a character is a plot or story
P - Playing. Your "playing" a role
G - Game.

Quote:

Okay. So I can see we're all, more or less, on the same footing, we mostly consider the MMO part to be, at best, a bad description, and at worst, false advertisement. From what I've seen, MMO is simply a description of "many players playing the same single player experience together", instead of a social networking game.


Are you maybe refering to MMSNG's? LOL. Are you logging in to play the role of someone else or try to score yourself a girlfriend mate?

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PaulCesar> I have to agree...

M - MultiPlayer. Simply implies that more then one player can interact in some way shape or form with another

And precisely what bugs me here is the use of "can", instead of "have to". There is absolutely no requirement for you to play in a Multiplayer environment, since there is nothing that requires you to be in contact with anybody else. There aren't many people who would remark any difference in the way they play if suddendly one of the Major servers of WoW became totally empty except for them. They could very well continue to chain-slaughter their creeps and not care a bit if there was a strike from the players.

What I am basically asking, VERY basically, is: what can be done to bring back some multiplayer play into the Massively Multiplayer Online games?

If you can play on your own, and have no interdependance on one another, then what is the need for you to play online? Why not play a much more interesting game offline? Like Oblivion? If socializing is a chore to you, why comply to such a chore, and go play a lousy game online? If you're only interested in playing with two or three persons at a time in an FPS, then why play BattleField games where you can play with up to 128 persons? Why not stick to your old beloved CS maps? For the sake of diversity? Sure there are some more maps on BF, but what the Hell?

Why does everyone (or close) play Massively MULTIPLAYER online games as if they were single player offline games?

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Iron Chef Carnage made my point better than I did. What you need is to make sure one player can't everything so that players have to work together. Even if a role comes down to doing a job it is still a bit closer to role playing than go and kill X (and everyone being able to do so).
On the subject of making players role play in the conventional sense: You can't just tell players to role play and expect them to do so. Role playing has to be part of how the game plays.

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