Raph Koster argues MMOs are much more than ‘a series of kill and fetch quest pellets’

My name is might have been.

As many of us know, Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning will be the only leavings we may ever see of 38 Studios’ ambitious MMO Project Copernicus after the studio famously burst into flames so hard that Rhode Island got hurt. And now that the game has released its remaster, it’s back on the minds of many, including one piece on Vice that remarks about the MMO-like whiffs in the otherwise single-player RPG.

“As I played the first few hours of Re-Reckoning, often listening to podcasts at the same time, it dawned on me that I was playing Destiny 2. I was playing Call of Duty Modern Warfare and completing my daily missions. I was playing The Division 2 and helping out the civilians who always seem to need something every few hours. I was performing rote tasks, spread out thinly but constantly in front of me, seemingly stretching out into eternity. I was playing something that was harvesting my attention and energy, only offering back the most generic plot details, with very little of it paying off into broad narrative movement forward.”

It’s this implication of what MMO gameplay is that (finally) brings us to the headlined point of Raph Koster’s opinion, which he shared as a subtweet of the write-up on Twitter, remarking, “To me the most fascinating thing about this article is the way ‘MMO-ness’ has been reduced down to a series of kill and fetch quest pellets. It doesn’t have to be that way, and won’t be if I can help it. Alternate worlds are a bigger dream than that.”

That dream is indeed being chased by Koster, as readers will recall he’s the head of Playable Worlds, a company that’s managed to raise nearly $13M (that we know of) to build an MMO where gameplay is more than ticking off to-do list boxes.

The article from Vice is a fair one and a good read, but its assertions of what constitutes MMO gameplay and Koster’s opinion of what an MMO can or could be are interesting nuggets of conversation. We suspect our commenters will agree.

sources: Vice, Twitter
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