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Noods

Where have the RPGs gone?

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I cringe when I hear the term "MMORPG." Sure, there are games that claim to be a MMORPG, but where the hell is the roleplaying??? Lets take 2 of the big ones for example, DAoC and Everquest. Both are massively multiplayer, but the role playing aspects of the games suck ass!!! The only time you play a role is when you are in combat. All the neat little skills you can have, or the features of the game lead back to combat. In my opinion, combat is not roleplaying. A game that would adhere to the traditional rules of chracter classes (ie the thief class finds more innovative ways to get exp than going 1 on 1 with a dragon) would be sooooo much fun. Anyone agree?

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As a non-fan of Everquest and MMORPGs myself, I would have to agree. I tried to like Everquest, but when I played it and then found that it was worth more experience and money to kill two low-level enemies than undertake a 3-hour quest, I gave up.

I was expecting grand levels of actual role-playing in the game, but was stuck with a rather boring combat system, and interacting with some people who took the game a little too seriously for their own good.

I'm not a big fan of character classes (when I played pen-and-paper games, I chose GURPS), but I would appreciate the game relying on more than simple combat skills, and don't think they did a good job at all, being more concerned with cramming as many people as they could into a world than actually making the world fun.

I'm writing an RPG -- if I end up giving it multi-player elements, I want to make it a "small party" type of game -- maybe 4-6 parties of 4-6 members a piece roaming the world (due to this, there could be multiple instances of the "world" running on the same server, with different parties in each, totally separate from each other. The nice thing about this is that it would give a certain camaraderie to the game, since the parties could hear about each other from NPCs... a bartender in a town could tell the party a rumor about a hero group that passed through (of course, it could also end up that the parties go through without ever knowing about the other groups). It would also make for interesting "Mummy-like" situations where groups end up competing for a quest item (for "minor" fetch-and-bring type quests, there will be no spawning -- I'm hoping to make it so that the quests are self-creating -- if not through complex AI, then through cheap "random" techniques)

One thing to note is that I DO like some old-school "brain dead" RPG's (I'm having a GREAT time with Wizardry 8 right now), but I just like to feel like I'm working towards some other goal than "levelling up" and "getting equipment"

-Chris

Edited by - crouilla on December 27, 2001 12:36:57 PM

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quote:
Noods
< SNIP >
Anyone agree?


I agree. More to the point I feel that the wave of MMORPGs that we see coming are going to be just more of the same. In the MMORPG market there has to be a step forward, a next generation RPG that builds on what is currently being played or that is in development.
One of the things that we at Elysian have struggled to keep in the design of our MMORPG is the player. The player in a traditional RPG is the hero - in an MMORPG the player is just another adventurer in the game. Some are more powerful than others by virtue of playing lots of hours and some are less powerful simply because they choose a different style of play. One of the things that we are going to do is to do away with levels; without levels, the player isn''t really chasing that next level and I think this helps to promote a level of role playing.

I have played all of the big four. UO, EQ, AC and DAoC... in each of the games that have a level system I can remember countless times that a player that I was with would yell out "I just leveled!" I was even caught up in the moment on various occasions much to my disgust. How many adventurers IRL would even know that they had leveled? Other than the awards of belts in martial arts there really isn''t any way to determine your real skill level in much of anything. Basically, you determine your skill by compairing yourself to someone else... but I''m on a tangent.

How do you develop a MMORPG that will promote role-playing? I think one way would be to give the players a way in which to create content and player generated quest. That''s two ways. Anything else that I could say would give away too much of our plans. But let it be known that your not the only one that feels the way you do

As for single player games (specifically RPGs), they are following suit - more of the same. There really hasn''t been an RPG released within the last 3-5 years that has broke and ground in terms of game play. I myself love RPGs yet, I feel cheated with each one that I do play for the simple fact that I constantly want more from the game. I think the single player market is in line for a next generation RPG.

Dave "Dak Lozar" Loeser

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I agree.

The objective of Dark Ages, an MMORPG I have played, is to reach level 99. You go on "CR Hunts" and kill giant bugs and stuff. Wow doesn''t that sound fun? MMORPG is an oxymoron. Just because you create a character and equip him or her for combat, doesn''t mean you are actually role playing. In RPG''s, there is big "adventure" with "sub quests" in it. In MMORPGs, while there may be a small story, you don''t have much control over your charecter. All you do is make him or her fight, and they become stronger.

MMORPGs are pointless; compare the role-playingness () of Everquest to Final Fantasy 7, or even FF6 or 9. MMORPGs offer hours of creating a charecter and making him / her as strong as possible, but RPG'' offer the same and a storyline. New gamedev.net poll:

Which do you believe is more enjoyable:

RPGs
MMORPGs

I vote for number one

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Well, Part of RolePlaying is to Play a role. I know it sounds dumb.

I go to ren fairs and I belong to this group (hence the GelfTheElf) name. When I go, i''m Gelf. He''s not as smart as me, naieve, 145 etc

I don''t know if people have the attention span anymore to play a good RPG even if one existed.

For instance, I was sooooooooo disappointed with B&W. I waited like years for that game to come out. And when it did, the action was soooooooo slow. You couldn''t just load up the game, and start playing.

This is why FPS''s do so well. If you die, who cares, just hit a key and you''re back in the action.

My favorite game of all time is probably Ultima IV. Loved that game There was problem solving and such. And I had a book of notes.

Nowadays you play diablo and like a little light appears above someone''s head if you are supposed to talk to them. Everything has been really dumbed down. When I played the Ultima''s you''d have to take notes and stuff.

Just my $.02

-Gelf


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Role Playing - pretending to be someone else in another place / time than in reality, and impersonating that person and acting according to those assumed time and place. A form of theater with loose guidelines instead of a rigid play. The fun of role playing is of an aesthetic nature.

Game - A conflict where more players (human or not) act according to a rigid set of rules in order to achieve a certain set of goals. The fun of a game comes from achieving the goals of the game (in other words winning).

The obvious problem here is that Role Playing and Game are as different as they could be. Their methods are different, their purpose is different and they generally step on each other''s shoes.


An example:

A paladin character walks on a street, and he finds a bag full of money on the street.

If he was Role Playing he''d have to go around the city, find the man who lost the bag and return it as the right thing to do.
If he were Gaming, he''d take the bag and grin at his fortune, just like the lowest thief.

Of course, you can be bold and fix this problem by adding a Game rule: "if a paladin doesn''t return a lost bag full of money, his honor drops". But seriously, such an undertaking is hopeless. You''ll probably have an overbloated Game full of zillions of rules and the players would always find tricks to fool them anyway. In the example, perhaps the paladin would team up with a barbarian (he is allowed to keep the money). Then the barbarian would give the paladin half the money. Time to think about another rule to add.


My point? Role Playing Game is an oxymoron. Worry about the Game part and you''ll be fine.

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Just and off the wall thought... I know we''re discussing the issues with MMORPGs and the limited (if any) role playing that is taking place. I went to see LOTRs last week and I suppose that coupled with this thread have given me an ideal for MMORPGs that could inject some role-play into such games.

How about when the player creates a character they are also given a Life Quest. This Life Quest (LQ from now on) needn''t be told the player at creation... better the player stumble onto the LQ such as Frodo in LOTR. He is given a ring and basically he is the only one that it does not adversely affect - therefore he becomes the ring bearer. SO, you assign the character a LQ- and through interaction with NPCs he is slowly informed of this LQ. I''m not really sure how you could work it into the game, especially in an MMORPG where players are really free to do what they wish... maybe telling the player his LQ at the beggining is the optimal way to do it.

Essentially, the player could play the game as he does now but, he always knows that he has this quest that he must perform... not unlike a single player RPG in some respects.

Would this induce role play into an MMORPG?

Dave "Dak Lozar" Loeser

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Guest Anonymous Poster
>> One of the things that we at Elysian have struggled to keep in the design of our MMORPG is the player. The player in a traditional RPG is the hero - in an MMORPG the player is just another adventurer in the game. >>

I think this problem has its roots in the fact that every player in a MMRPG is a hero. When you have 2000 heroes running around the status of being a hero is devalued to that of ''just another adventurer''. The only real solution to this problem that I can imagine is based on creating a world where people can both win and lose, but the problem then is that it probably sucks to be a loser.

Henry

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quote:

Original poster by Anonymous Poster

I think this problem has its roots in the fact that every player in a MMRPG is a hero. When you have 2000 heroes running around the status of being a hero is devalued to that of ''just another adventurer''. The only real solution to this problem that I can imagine is based on creating a world where people can both win and lose, but the problem then is that it probably sucks to be a loser.



Alas, this is so true. To quote an add for Quake : "Only one out of 7 players is a winner. Chances are you are not one of them"

Maybe the solution to this is making the games much shorter (days / weeks). This way, a player will lose a game or three and still play hoping to win in the next one. Unfortunately, this doesn''t go very well with the tried and tested "kill goblins until you''re level 99" gameplay. Yet who knows, maybe one could make a good RPG that plays like Artifact (www.samugames.com) - many game instances running at the same time and each game lasts a few days : in the offline time, the players character could train or rest or gather magic shrooms or guarding a place, etc.

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First of all, i was a little pissed to see this was a bitch about MMRPG''s instead of single-player rpgs because i think they are, at this time in development, different beasts. Give a new technology a chance. (Yes i said NEW. Incorporating 3d with a lot of players is new compared to mud texted games.)

You cant expect first or second generation MMRPG games to include both such a huge undertaking as massive 3d environments as well as STRONG RPG elements from a single player game.

Go ahead and sit down and just TRY to DESIGN a massively online game which also includes a strong role playing element for all players, it aint that easy.

You also asked where the rpg''s are, well, they are gettin made!!
**Elder Scrolls 3:Morrowind - non-linear role playing**

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