The Daily Grind: If you could eliminate one MMO trope, what would it be?

    
114

You hear a knock at your door, and as you rise to get it, a slip of paper is slid through the crack at the bottom. Upon opening it, the letter informs you that you’ve been granted an exclusive one-use-only power to completely wipe out a trope that plagues MMORPGs. You stand there for a minute, your brow furrowed most adorably, and then you open your mouth to speak…

For me, I’d put the kibosh on dragons as fearsome foes. Just, you know, wipe them out entirely. They’re so overdone that any time they appear, it’s totally hackneyed and unimpressive. Yet as a staple of the fantasy market, dragons are an easy go-to for developers who don’t actually want to spend time thinking of an original and truly frightening foe. I figure, get rid of dragons, force devs to get outside of their comfort zones.

What would you say? What one trope would you banish forever?

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!
newest oldest most liked
Subscribe to:
Reader
Dilly Dolly

Typical elves. I’m so spoiled by GW2 I never want to see them.

And please no Swordmaster or Bowmaster class.

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Ken from Chicago

Also the trope that mmorpgs must be Fantasy while Scifi has to be Shooters. Justin’s dislike of dragons, elves and spiders has nothing of my hatred of YET ANOTHER FANTASY MMORPG.

Scifi is by far the top genre of movies, top 10, 20, 50, 100 in box office yet gamemakers, at least publishers, are still on let’s clone WoW and the fantasy mmo train. Scifi is just waiting, in space, in the future, even superheroes (speaking of movie box office champs) are genres waiting to be explored.

STAR TREK ONLINE is awesome but it can’t be by itself being all things to all players. EVE ONLINE is, well, pvp for cutthroat, duplicitous folk manipulate and exploit people–by design–but not designed for me.

Why do you think so many players turn to independent / crowdfunded games for their scifi fix? There’s a reason STAR CITIZEN and ELITE DANGEROUS launched almost back to back and have done well, each in their own way and each with their own flaws. But there should be way more in the scifi genre.

Reader
Anstalt

Top of the list would be vertical progression.

This is a mechanic that has been copied from single player RPGs and co-op RPGs (where is works well) but it is totally unsuitable for MMOs.

  • It segregates the playerbase – this is the massively multiplayer genre! We’re supposed to be playing together! Vertical progression separates players from one another, making playing together harder. We all know that segregation is a bad thing, it’s been proven time and again, but for some reason that message hasnt reached MMO designers.
  • It kills PvP – Gamers love fighting each other, PvP games are some of the most popular and profitable in the gaming industry but it’s never taken off within MMOs. Thats because vertical progression makes PvP suck for everyone except those at the top.
  • It’s usually false progression – sure, we can watch numbers get bigger, but often they don’t have any effect on the gameplay. Fighting a wolf at level 10 is often exactly the same as fighting a wolf at level 20, only the numbers change. I want real progression, real changes to teh way my character plays and interacts with things in game.
  • It makes all content redundant – as soon as your numbers have gotten big enough, content becomes trivial to the point where there is no enjoyment runnign it, and no reward for completing it. It’s always struck me as the height of stupidity to spend years developing all this amazing content, only to use a progression system that makes it worthless within a few weeks of launch.

Other tropes I’d like to get rid of:

  • Big storylines – I’ve always hated stories in my games because my actions as a character always contradict the story, making it nonsensical. This issue is amplified in MMOs because not only do my own actions contradict the story, so do the actions of 1000s of other players around me. (also, I read a lot and the stories in games always suck by comparison)
  • Stats on gear – armour should have protective stats only. A breast plate shouldn’t be able to give me 1000 power and +5% crit! Sure, the occasional magical item might give you a boost, but the average stuff crafted or dropped in games shouldn’t. It places too much emphasis on gear and not enough on player progression in addition to not making sense
  • Action combat / shallow combat – I find the combat mechanics in most MMOs to be quite shallow and all action combat games have been shallow. Whilst I can see the initial appeal (easy to learn and more direct control), the lack of depth means the combat gets boring very quickly for me. I understand I’m somewhat of an outlier on this issue and that many players enjoy shallow/easy combat but I firmly believe that deeper combat would result in more satisfaction and greater retention rates.
  • The holy trinity – don’t get me wrong, I like tanks, healers and dps as roles, but I find the trinity too limiting. I want more roles in my MMOs! More roles means players are more likely to find their perfect playstyle. It also dramatically improves tactics/gameplay when grouped if there are things like off-tanks, mezzers, buffers etc.
  • Orcs as idiots – Warhammer 40k orks have always been my favourite fantasy race – they’re brutal, cunning, crazy, strong and are basically intelligent fungus. Their magic works because they believe it will work, not because they know what they’re doing! Outside of 40k, I’ve never seen orcs done to my liking. They’re usually just twisted humanoids, cannon fodder for someone else’s army.
Reader
Dilly Dolly

It reminds me the Charr in GW2 when you mentioned the Orcs.
Liked them from being primeval to industrial.

Veldara
Reader
Veldara

I’d second that with dragons. The best villains and most memorable antagonists in the Guild Wars franchise weren’t dragons. It was charismatic villains like Scarlet or Joko. Or imposing and menacing like Shiro and Abaddon.

Reader
Randy Savage

“Stealth”

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
mysecretid

The idea that my character is The Chosen One, destined to save everyone, and universally loved by all thereby.

Look, if I save Pauline Peasant from the jaws of a Six-Headed Odious Gorgomuncher Beast, sure, Pauline’s going to say hi to me every time I walk through her village — but the idea that everybody in the country is going to treat me like I’m the Hero Of Heroes for what I did is goofy.

Look, NPC folks, I’m an adventurer. There are dozens of us tromping through your game world every day. Stop treating me like I’m the greatest thing since baked bread.

Specus
Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Specus

The #1 thing I’d eliminate: Endgame

(MMO) Life is not about the destination, it is about the journey

Reader
Loyal Patron
Patreon Donor
Kickstarter Donor
Bullwraith

MMO Journalists that complain about tropes, like I dunno know, Elves and Dragons in fantasy MMO’s.

:)

Reader
Iridescence

Easy. “endgame” and level caps. Character progression in an RPG should never get replaced with just gear progression. I hate it.

Reader
Castagere Shaikura

Personal story and main story quest. I hate them.