The Daily Grind: How much realism is too much in an MMORPG?

    
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If you forget the fact that it was during the day and there were only the two of us and it wasn't outside by a wooden table it was exactly like this.

In yesterday’s comments on the Shroud of the Avatar AMA article, MOP reader squidgod2000 drew everyone’s attention to an overlooked bit in the Q&A that discusses nutrition in the game. I knew that food was intended to be a big deal in SOTA, but I had no concept of how far the game might eventually go — apparently a complicated system of calories, fat, and salt that affects a player’s stats. Richard Garriott says it’s all still a work in progress and only slowly being addressed (that goes for barfing up your food if you eat too much too!).

I love playing cooks in MMORPGs — let’s be honest, games are the only place I’ll ever be a great chef — so I most definitely want to see game mechanics in my sandboxes that make such consumables matter. I didn’t mind the various versions of “stomach capacity” Star Wars Galaxies implemented, for example. But I’m going to have to draw my personal line at counting calories in a freakin’ video game. Sorry, SOTA, but most of us have to do that and worry about our health or our relatives’ health in the real world.

And that leads me to today’s Daily Grind. How much realism is too much in an MMORPG?

Every morning, the Massively Overpowered writers team up with mascot Mo to ask MMORPG players pointed questions about the massively multiplayer online roleplaying genre. Grab a mug of your preferred beverage and take a stab at answering the question posed in today’s Daily Grind!
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Jack Pipsam

When it becomes annoying it’s too far.

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Robert Mann

There’s a line where things are just… too much. Having more realism in some aspects is good, in others is bad.

Of course, which spots those are is going to vary for each person. For me, realism isn’t as important as depth in systems and having more to do in the world than just combat.

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Tobasco da Gama

I draw my personal line at having to poop.

*side-eye at ARK*

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mcsleaz

I get enough realism from Real Life, I like as little as possibles in my games.

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starbuck1771

The minute a day in the MMO seems like a day at Work.

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GumpsGang

How much is too much? Once my character has to take a bio-break in the middle of a raid … or would that get me a buff? I have to think about that some more. :)

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NeoWolf

I do not want to deal with toileting, I do not want to deal with paying rents.

Sleeping/Eating/Drinking not overly fussed about but don’t object to them either.

Beyond that, as real as they want to get is fine.

PurpleCopper
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PurpleCopper

Putting on a headset and waking up in Sword Art Online is when things starts to get too real.

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Doubleplusgood

Eso already has a food timer telling you when your character has to eat. Food buffs are so strong that you’ll be gimped if you don’t eat every hour or so. Its very noticable when the food buff wears off.
It may not be as complicated as counting calories but you have to choose between different foods for a stat increase or drink for recovery buff with varying quality levels that determine how many and what stats are increased.

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Sashaa

I wish I could grow my own food and tobacco plants in ESO like I do in Lotro.
Eating your home grown and cooked food, smoking your own shire tobacco, hmm…

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Toy Clown

MMOs already have lots of tedious gameplay. Even as a RPer, I wouldn’t want to count calories, fat, etc. It’s one thing to choose foods based on how well fed they make a character; it’s entirely another when forced to focus on tedium.

On immersion without tediousness: Give me that bath, sink, stove, and toilet for house decorations! But don’t force my character to use them! That leads to tedium. I enjoy the visual immersion of seeing them in a house, but the tasks characters indulge in using them is something implied, rather than played out. For example, creating bathrooms as places players can AFK to do real world stuff, so they’re not breaking someone else’s immersion by AFKing in the middle of a roleplayed scene.

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Tobasco da Gama

It’s a pretty subtle effect, but EVE ships gather space dust until you have them cleaned off in port. You don’t *have* to do it, because there’s no mechanical effect, but I’ve always thought it was kind of neat to show off how long you’ve had a certain hull. Or you can clean it off if you need to be parade-ready. ;)