The Daily Grind: What moments make you feel powerful in MMOs?

    
35
The Daily Grind: What moments make you feel powerful in MMOs?

Playing MMOs puts you on a certain power trajectory, one that curves forever upward. Over time, you gain more and more power and abilities. That’s the nature of the genre, allowing you to become stronger over time as you continue playing. But even though you might be more powerful than you were when you first started playing, feeling more powerful is rather a different prospect all around.

This, for example, was one of the things that bugged me for a long time in Final Fantasy XI before it received many changes. If I started my career in the game fighting beetles, crabs, and bats, and forty levels later I was fighting beetles, crabs, and bats… well, there’s a word for how that feels, but “powerful” isn’t it.

But there’s a lot of ways to convey that feeling of power. Taking down a big and powerful boss for the first time in World of Warcraft. Taking on superior numbers in Fortnite and winning out against other players. So what moments make you feel powerful in MMOs? What moments make you feel like your time in the game has made you stronger?

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!

No posts to display

35
LEAVE A COMMENT

Please Login to comment
  Subscribe  
newest oldest most liked
Subscribe to:
Reader
Zero_1_Zerum

Well, in ESO…

Pulling off a vampiric assassination of an NPC without being caught, and just walking away like nothing bad happened.

Single handedly taking on bosses and beating them.

Finding a good random team, and working with them to get through dungeons.

Those were good times. I miss playing ESO.

Reader
SmiteDoctor

When I open my mail in ESO and see I’m clearing 50k Gold a day in my auctions.

Reader
Anstalt

I’ve long hated vertical progression in MMORPGs. It causes so many problems for the genre and much of it is what I consider “false progression”: yes, my numbers are getting bigger, but so are the enemy’s so things are actually the same. The only benefit is that it is obvious, a clear carrot for the players to chase.

So, the only time I feel powerful is once I’ve hit endgame and have unlocked all of my skills. That is the only time when it is possible to actually master my class, and once I’ve mastered it I can test myself in raids or PvP, or trying to solo lower-level group content. It is the mastery of the class that makes me feel powerful, knowing that I have achieved 100% of what the class is capable of in terms of gameplay.

Reader
2Ton Gamer

Isn’t this life though? I mean you start out learning a skill, then getting better and better and taking on opponents or goals that are on par with your skill. You start with checkers, then move to chess and then finally on to dodgeball because who doesn’t like planting a rubber ball into someone’s nose?

Reader
Anstalt

The skills part is definitely true of life, the stats part isn’t. Most of us hit our physical peak pretty young, that’s when our personal power, or stats, stops growing. From then, its all about knowledge, or skills, or external forms of power (like wealth).

But, what’s true for me in gaming is true for me in life. I’ve never really enjoyed the learning part, I’ve always found it boring. But, once I have the skills, applying them to problems is a great feeling.

Reader
kjempff

I’ve long hated vertical progression in MMORPGs. It causes so many problems for the genre and much of it is what I consider “false progression”

Turning everything upside down doesn’t make it true.
Horizontal progression is actually “false progression” or since that is a highly value added expression, I will use the term “non-progression” instead. Horizontal means removing progression (progression is the vertical part) and making it about player skill instead.
Progression is tied to the progression of a character, not the player, not the story or completion of content, so removing progression from the character makes it “non-progression”.

Horizontal (non-progression) works really well for some types of games, but is in opposition to (mmo)rpgs. This is why horizontal “progression” mmorpgs all have a lot of vertical progression hidden in various systems instead of as levels or character skill systems.
The reason horizontal works to some degree is that mmorpgs have turned into to stories rather than (mmo)rpgs, and as story has become center of the experience then progression has no longer any meaning – But that also means it is not a mmorpg anymore.

Reader
Anstalt

I don’t think you understand what horizontal progression is.

Horizontal progression is all about unlocking new options or specialisations. By choosing those options you get better in some respects, whilst getting worse in others, thus maintaining overall power.

For example, unlocking an AoE spec that makes you much better at area damage, but worse at single target damage.

It is still progression. Your character has progressed from not having many options to having lots of options. But, it is horizontal because your power level within the game overall has remained consistent.

You do see this sort of progression in plenty of RPGs. Games with limited action bars are the most common: you unlock lots of skills as your progress, but if you can only use 6 of them at any given moment, unlocking the new skill does not make you automatically more powerful (unless the new skill is objectively more powerful than everything you already have of course). You simply have more options for how to build/spec, and those options make you better or worse in specific situations.

Sadly, that sort of horizontal progression is usually undermined by the vertical progression, and your stats (power) are vastly more important than the choices you have to make about what skills to use.

Reader
kjempff

Well I will argue that what you describe is not progression, it is specialization.
The definition of progression is to move forward, to take a step up the stairs leaving the steps you already took as foundation for the next step. Stepping sideways is non-progression.

We could probably argue that going through a story is actual also progression, though in the case of mmorpgs I am going with character progression being the defining factor of progression.

The problem you have with vertical progression mmorpgs is (I am guessing) that the progression is poorly designed. Those games put too much emphasis on level being a singular progression instead of having multiple planes of progression to define the total character progression. This plus the ridiculously level progression speed of modern level games makes that kind of progression feel stupid. But games that manage to split this progression over multiple systems instead of having levels carry 90% of the power curve, are much better. I know you will say “but that is horizontal progression” but you always mix non-progression into the definition (like your example above), and that is where I cannot follow that logic anymore. Progression is a dimension on the graph it is not the graph itself.

creationguru
Reader
creationguru

A few things.

– Walking and mentoring new players in a game and showing them the ropes and usually giving them some cash to make their start easier.

– In XIV soloing old extreme content and also pulling out a fight as a tank when a boss had 60% life and the rest of the party wiped and getting cheered on from outside the barrier.

– Original released Tera (Beta and when it was a sub based game) tackling BAMs solo.

– And in the end my first love in UO when a group of 2+ try to come and gank you in a dungeon and they having the skill to turn the tables and take them all down with victory (loved my old tank mage)

MilitiaMasterV
Reader
MilitiaMasterV

Knowing I helped someone out. True power comes from propping others up, not bending them to your will or crushing them.

Reader
Ironwu

I like this as well. Especially in 2001 era EQ1 where the buffs you cast on folks really meant something. And if you did not try to charge them for the buff, they were really, meaningfully grateful.

MilitiaMasterV
Reader
MilitiaMasterV

I’m just a tad too young to have been able to play that one (Or my life didn’t allow for it.). But yeah, I’ve always enjoyed playing a character that could improve upon others/protect their lives. Probably one of my favorite characters back on GW2 was my banner/warhorn/toughness warrior that could basically stack the crud out of buffs on others, and run over and get em back up into the fight even when they were struggling, even with me taking a beating. Too bad I was effectively useless other-wise on the field of battle because of that build…I found that rather…I don’t know…like a sadness that they felt a person helping team-mates should mostly be useless…

Reader
Oleg Chebeneev

Thats not true power. Thats your way to not feel useless like you described in other comment.

MilitiaMasterV
Reader
MilitiaMasterV

When you’ve crushed everyone around you and have nobody left, what power did you really have?

Reader
Oleg Chebeneev

Its not like those you crushed disappear anywhere. There are always people playing. Feeling of being the best is pretty powerful and rewarding.

MilitiaMasterV
Reader
MilitiaMasterV

That’s an illusion of power, and in reality, they do disappear.

Also, that’s just a serotonin push in your brain giving you the feeling of ‘reward’, which you can also gain from helping others. Also, if you do it too much, you damage the reward centers and you don’t get the same rewards anymore.

Either way, we’re all basically stim addicted junkies who’ve given our supposed ‘power’ over to the real people who walked away with our money laughing at us thinking we’re ‘happy’ and needing our next fix, which gives us that illusion in the first place…

Reader
Oleg Chebeneev

For me your “i help others and this is power” is an illusion.
When you’re at top in the game this gives power inside that game. Just like being influential politician in RL gives power in RL.

Yes, power in game doesnt correlate to RL. But in game you feel the power because you’re better than any other person playing the game when comes to competitive side. And can dominate other players through game mechanics.

“i help” is not power since everyone can help if willing to. including top players. but only top players can do what most “i help” persons cannot.

Reader
2Ton Gamer

That was a whirlwind explanation and now I’m dizzy, lol

MilitiaMasterV
Reader
MilitiaMasterV

can dominate them through game mechanics.

Most of the people ‘dominating’ someone through mechanics are often doing it through a weakness in the mechanics, therefore they aren’t powerful, they are just exploiting weaknesses.

A person helping someone? They point those weaknesses out, and buttress every one of those people against that weakness, which leads to more people who don’t have that weakness, and THAT is power. They also often cover for each-other, and a team is stronger than a solo individual…that’s the whole point in our genre.

Just like being influential politician in RL.

They have no power but that which someone else gives them, it can be taken away at will.

For one, it recently was, and he couldn’t handle it so he’s throwing a tantrum and trying to grasp at the last remaining tendrils of what those people gave him as it’s slipping from his grasp because he never truly had it to begin with…

Reader
Oleg Chebeneev

Why mention exploiters when I obviously was talking about strong players?

Maybe term power is debatable. But for me in games its when you’re stronger than other players. Both in gear and skills.

I wouldnt feel myself powerful having my ass kicked every time in arenas.

Demon of Razgriz
Reader
Demon of Razgriz

Every time I equip Granite on my Tank or go Nova with my Blaster in CoX. But I think I have always gotten a certain rush when I’m on my Emp Defender and got my heals and buffs working and timed just right especially in a boss fight.

Reader
2Ton Gamer

I remember Last Stand for my Capt in LOTRO when it clicked in my mind what I could do with it. Those moments like in Moria doing 16th hall where Capts were must-haves felt EPIC and something out of a battle in Tolkien’s world.

Lately being a mage in Classic WoW and taking out 5+ mobs with my frost mage while the poor schlub next to me is half health after one. (I just hit 30 and I know there’s so much more they can do – can’t wait!)

Reader
Dug From The Earth

Anything that is challenging that I dont have to rely on more than myself and maybe a couple friends to do.

The other one – being recognized for player skill when not using the class meta builds or having the “required” gear score.

Reader
Oleg Chebeneev

Scores like this in BGs leaderboards. Also when several scrubs try to gank me alone and bite the dust.

coily.jpg
Reader
Utakata

Running around in the opposing faction’s capital pretending I am some sorta revolutionary…

…not not really. And that never ends well. Just saying.