Game designer Brian Green has been on a writing streak as of late with a whole series of blog posts about roleplaying in MMORPGs. It’s pretty interesting and informative stuff, especially if you’ve been at a loss trying to understand this subset of game activity.
“One issue with RP in MMOs is that there are a lot of different types of RP. As someone what RP they like and you’ll get multiple answers,” Green explained. ‘”Dark’ is another pretty broad category. This includes themes like abuse, slavery, harm, vampirism, [and] even death in some cases. Again, need to talk it over with someone before you gleefully chop off their head. But sometimes people take their darkness a bit too far.”
Once you’re done checking that out, continue on to enjoy a tour of some of the most interesting MMORPG blog essays and rants from the passionate community that writes about these games!
“Quests follow a template: initial stage collecting information, middle stage battling various monsters, final stage concluding with a mini-boss or harder than average fight. Many of them have ethical dilemmas where you can be truthful or lie at the quest conclusion. I’m not sure either choice affects the game world too much, but I enjoy thinking a little and not just clicking the button to move to the next quest ASAP.”
“Probably the biggest promise that I was really excited for in The Burning Crusade were the flying mounts. How awesome would that be? Flying around, saving time and money on travel, seeing the world from above. In theory all of that sounded incredible, in practice some of those things were true, but it came with side effects, such as ganking on PvP servers.”
“Do you know in EverQuest how many times I would have killed for a notepad in game? As for community events, you know what they’ve got? Open mic poetry on Saturday afternoons. I kid you not. *hand slams down on desk* Now THAT’S something I’ve got to see!”
“Vanilla is not about adventure. It’s about endless run without sufficient clues, a long grind with little story. It’s 95% of travel time and 5% of actually doing something. And that’s just not my piece of cake.”
“Even if you own just the base version of ESO, you notice that not all quest bestowals come via the traditional NPC, lounging around and lollygagging in the various towns and ports of Tamriel (although the game certainly has these). You may be riding past a farm, only for an NPC to come running out and declare that Brother Numpsie has been kidnapped by the foul Myrmidons or some such standard fantasy-based reason. This mixture of proactive solicitation, along with voice acting is initially quite compelling.”
“Now, as I stare at the login screen, I can’t help but yearn for launch day. Character name reservation is a brilliant move by Blizzard, by the way: increase player investment by providing early-access character creation, but delay gratification and build hype by slapping their hands away at the last moment.”
“As an MMO reaches a point of playerbase stagnation, it becomes seemingly worthwhile for a developer to consider measures to pull in new players, and the easiest way to do so is to revamp the content those players first interact with.”
“I’ve posted before about how much I love having useful movement abilities in MMORPGs. I’m particularly fond of the ‘warrior charge’ style closer ability to get you into combat quickly: it helps to keep me in pace with a group when playing with friends, especially given my tendency to stop and gawp at things for screenshots.”
“All in all I am having a blast on the hardcore server, but there is one thing about it that bothers me a bit. Part of the idea behind the server is a fresh start and an even playing field. However, the field is not really all that even. If you own 32-point builds, all the classes and all the enhancement trees like I do it’s a pretty big advantage.”