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T O P I C
MMORPGs does not exactly stand for 'More Pigs'
January 4th 2001, 14:59 CET by tvalley

I used to pay $6.00 an hour to play a text-based network game that looked even less thrilling than this. Yes, I played Island Of Kesmai. I even played the MUD on CompuServe, before I found out that I could play MUDs for free on my college's BITNET connection to ARPANET. Of course, I also went to parties with my collars turned up, the sleeves of my lightweight blazer pulled up above my elbows, and more mousse in my hair than should be legal -- so you can base your judgment of my sanity on that as well.

Back then I was obsessed with the idea that sometime in the near future, services like CompuServe would be ubiquitous. When general access to the Internet became more and more popular, I thought the time had finally come. A couple of friends of mine felt the same, and we tried to start a business charging for access to a MUD of our own creation. Sadly, that aspect of the business fell through, but the resulting ISP went on to succeed quite well.

I hadnít thought of that community for a long time, until I signed up for the beta test of Asheronís Call. When I started playing the game for real, I devoted hours to it. My life became a never-ending quest of finding the right time to sit down and play for a couple of hours without interruption. I stopped playing about six months ago, rather abruptly, and I havenít taken up with a Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game (MMORPG) since.

My AC exodus was caused by a minor epiphany: Except for the flashy graphics, AC wasnít giving me anything more than what I had coded on my MUD nearly a decade earlier. It wasnít giving me any more than the credit card-melting CompuServe account had, and wasnít of any more substance than what I had originally done dirt-cheap with some pencils, paper, and funny-shaped dice.

On the downside, AC also afforded me a glimpse into what the world of online multiplayer experience had really become: a haven for 13 year olds with no conscience.

Insert heavy sigh of the old-geezer gamer here.

So it comes down to this: What am I, and nearly everyone I talk to who has gone through a similar process, looking for in an MMORPG? Well, letís lay it out:


1. An experience that is somehow unique, personalized, and repeatedly engaging.

I donít want 45 minutes of running through no-manís land, only to be killed by some rabid beast that sniffed me 30 of those minutes ago.

I want to jump into a world where I trade a few quips with my friends (who are readily available, and reachable) over some as-yet unexplored region of the world, while we fight furiously and grandly with creatures that no one has ever seen. I want to have meaningful playtime, even if I only have a half-hour to play that day.


2. An experience that immerses me in the world, without the intrusion of the d00d of the day.

I want people to play their characters. If they must interact outside of the context of the world, take the conversation to a private channel. Donít ruin it for the rest of us.


3. Return me to a world with which I was originally enchanted way back when all I had was an imagination and some character sheets.

I want to get hooked on the experience the same way that I got hooked on anything that fell down from Mount TSR. Make the world someplace not too different, but just different enough that it doesnít resemble my day-to-day struggle in the real world.


Yes, I want too much. Yes, some of my requests are unenforceable. Maybe, with some luck, fools like me can band together and create our own little niche in some future online persistent world.

Until then, I look at the boxes cluttered on the top of my desk. Names like Ultima Online, Everquest and Asheron call out to me with promises of fulfilling my dream. Alas, I know better now.

Maybe, if we can bend the ears of the MMORPG developers, we can convince them that a good world need not have the flashy graphics, need not please everyone (even the d00ds of the world), and need not be the bandwidth and video hogs that the offerings of late have brought us.

Look at this link again. I may be one of the few idiots in the world that was willing to pay $6.00 an hour to play that thing -- but hey, I was WILLING TO PAY $6.00 AN HOUR to play that thing. Hello??
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#1 by "Kallisti"
2001-01-04 15:11:27
kallisti@uswest.net
<b>tvalley</b> (#0):
<quote><B>2.</B> An experience that immerses me in the world, without the intrusion of the d00d of the day.
</quote>

I'd pay by the hour (at a fair price) if those hours were guaranteed to be free of people under the age of 18.

Yes, I know there are several people between the ages of 8 to 18 who are not total idiots, who are mature, who are assets to the 'community.' Guess what? I don't care. Go play with your peers, get the hell out of my yard.<i><b></b></i><i></i><i></i>
#2 by "the_reformed_pianist"
2001-01-04 15:22:49
pianist@canada.com
SECOND!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
#3 by "the_reformed_pianist"
2001-01-04 15:30:06
pianist@canada.com
Massively Multiplayer games are in their infancy; they'll get better after the mass exodus that's coming up pretty soon here when approximately thirty five billion massively multiplayer games come out at the same time, eaither spreading players too thin or clumping them into a few and leaving the rest to die horribly.

Eventually, when they allow you to do stuff like cut down a tree, build a shop with the wood, pay people to catch fish for you and sell it to other players, all without built-in restraints, massively multiplayer games will be cool. I think. Maybe. Sorta.

I didn't read past the first 50 words or so of the topic so I don't really know what it's about.
#4 by "the_reformed_pianist"
2001-01-04 15:50:29
pianist@canada.com
Also, and this goes for all RPG's not just MMORPG's, they have to get rid of elves. Elves are not cool. They have pointy ears, and that's stupid.

Also, Dwarves, Barbarians, and Magicians.

It's not very original anymore, so think of something new.
#5 by "Frain"
2001-01-04 15:53:00
frain@bigfoot.com
<b>Kallisti</b> wrote in #1:
<quote>Yes, I know there are several people between the ages of 8 to 18 who are not total idiots, who are mature, who are assets to the 'community.' Guess what? I don't care. Go play with your peers, get the hell out of my yard.</quote>
Guess what? Fuck you! ;) (but don't plonk me - yet :)

I've been playing a MMORPG called Tibia (<a href="http://www.tibia.org">www.tibia.org</a>) for quite some time and even though (sp?) it's free the experience is more or less the same as the one you get with AC, EQ or UO, except for the graphics, which of course aren't that good. There's plenty of immature players and cheaters, but I guess that's just how it goes - if the service is available to everybody, than there's not much you can do to prevent non-RPGers from playing.

Well, personally, I'm interested in how Neverwinter Nights will turn out - it's not massively multiplayer, but do you really need that for RPGing? Get together with some friends and a good gamemaster, and you've got all you need.

Frain<i><b></b></i><i></i><i></i>
#6 by "AshRain"
2001-01-04 15:59:12
ikhier@wish.net
I agree that there are online games which should ban anyone to young/immature. In the early days of online gaming this wasn't really an issue cause everyone had about the same maturity level. There weren't any old_geezer gamers back then. Now there are. I myself are 21 and I think I will be playing games until my body/mind has become so old that I can't play anymore.

Just Mature == 18+ and Mature == 20+ b.t.w. i.m.h.o.

The new batch is very young. One of my nephews of 11 is already playing UT on a regular basis and involved online. Ofcourse this involvement is limited to maintaining a homepage about gamecheats, Pokemon and DragonBallZ but it's a start. And they don't even have acces to cable yet(neither have I, I live next to him :)
What if he decides to start playing UT online? I know his maturity level and trust me, it befits his age. I have a small LAN at my place and he sometimes comes over and plays UT vs me. Ofcourse I kick his ass but each time he does manages to kill me I can expect a sneer even though I'm winning bigtime. Now in this case I don't care about the sneering cause if it gets to bad I can just smack him around a bit :) But you can't smack someone like that online. Sure you can frag them a couple of times which leads to even more insults/sneering/spam. I can understand that the thought of such kiddies hanging out in MMORPG's freaks older players out.
Games like Asherons Call and EverQuest should get Mature ratings. Not to protect the kiddies from mature content but to protect the mature players from the kiddies. The kiddies who drop out of a game for no good reason, spam the chats and all annoyances someone faces in online gaming. I dare to say that most if not all those annoyances are caused by kiddies younger than 16.

I personally find it a bad thing that such a small part of the consumer group can ruin it for everyone.
#7 by "fyrewolf"
2001-01-04 16:14:18
csweitzer@intellution.com
Ah...Island of Kesmai.  6 second for each movement.  It took ten minutes to get from the docks to the dungeon.  I used to play British Legends as well, until I lost a 99k Legend.  Never could bring myself to go back.  Once I found Dikumud, I was happy though.

And remember, $6 an hour was for 300 baud.  It was $12 an hour for 1200 baud.
#8 by "tvalley"
2001-01-04 16:21:36
tvalley@fitlinxx.com
fyrewolf:
And remember, $6 an hour was for 300 baud. It was $12 an hour for 1200 baud.


Oof, you pain me.  I remember buying that 1200 baud USR internal back then, and thinking I'd have a leg up on my dorm-mates with their stinky 300 Hayes externals (now THAT was a doorstop).  Best I could do was download my Qmail faster.

I think the people at Visa are still looking to settle that bill from CS over my 1200 baud upgrade.  Shhhh
#9 by "zorken"
2001-01-04 16:28:12
zorken85@hotmail.com
hmmm i think that the age should be 15... well.. because: im 15 ;) im not childish...
im mature..  im serios when i play games... like planetarion:i protect the other people in my galaxy and i DONT attack newbies!  
i think that most people at my age are mature.. of course there are some people who is STUPID.. that cant play serios, but i dont think that they would play the game for a long time like serios people would!

ehm.. u have probably noticed that my spelling sucks and all that.. thats because english is not my mother tounge ;)
#10 by "BloodKnight"
2001-01-04 16:35:10
bloodknight@somethingawful.com
I will probably suggest Shadowbane for your next MMORPG, no need of phat uber lewt, it depends on your character skills in swords or archery if he/she wants to be good with that weapon.  Magic items will be common also

<b>tvalley</b> (#0):
<quote><B>1.</B> An experience that is somehow unique, personalized, and repeatedly engaging.
</quote>

SB is probably the only game where GUILDS matter.  If you own a guild, you can acquire a town that you own, spend your money on better items for your shops, more guards, or perhaps better teachers.  Of course you can be the low assassin and be hired to kill that other guild leader just before a siege.  They are many combinations of classes you can use, an assassin can either be more rogue or more mage for example.

<b>tvalley</b> (#0):
<quote><B>2.</B> An experience that immerses me in the world, without the intrusion of the d00d of the day.
</quote>

Doubt that this would be possible, there are always idiots both in real and virtual world.  However GMs will be playing 'feature characters' and give quests to players, but only ones that actually roleplay.  These characters could probably be a mage or a greedy merchant.

<b>tvalley</b> (#0):
<quote><B>3.</B> Return me to a world with which I was originally enchanted way back when all I had was an imagination and some character sheets.</quote>

Can't say for this one, I myself haven't played it.  I *might* be playing a beta of Shadowbane but I am not too sure.

Still, I rather take a look at the site ( www.shadowbane.com ) and check out the races and classes, oh and elves are a bit evil, they slaved humans at one point in the story :)
<i><b></b></i><i></i><i></i>
#11 by "circle"
2001-01-04 16:47:34
circle@bellsouth.net
#1:

I'd pay by the hour (at a fair price) if those hours were guaranteed to be free of people under the age of 18.


I fully support this.  Kiddies like the_reformed_pianist just keep proving this point.
All internet forums from PC to Slashdot to OMM/POE are 50-90% trash because of
immature idiots.  I would pay double for internet access/online gaming if somehow kids under the
age of 18 were banned.  Sure, I know there are some of you out there with valid
ideas and opinions, but the bad outweighs the good by about 20-1.
#12 by "BloodKnight"
2001-01-04 16:53:28
bloodknight@somethingawful.com
I am under 18!!<i><b></b></i><i></i><i></i>
#13 by "BloodKnight"
2001-01-04 16:55:51
bloodknight@somethingawful.com
I think parents should have their children taken away from them
I think guns should be banned since they are used for killing and killing only
I think beer should be banned because of drinking and driver from adults and sometimes neglected teenagers from bad parenting
I think ..ah fuck it
<i><b></b></i><i></i><i></i>
#14 by "PainKilleR"
2001-01-04 16:55:57
painkiller@planetfortress.com
<b>BloodKnight</b> (#10):
<quote>Doubt that this would be possible, there are always idiots both in real and virtual world. However GMs will be playing 'feature characters' and give quests to players, but only ones that actually roleplay. These characters could probably be a mage or a greedy merchant.
</quote>

I have distinct problems with things like that, because whether or not you are role-playing *can* be subjective (I was originally thinking it's entirely subjective, but that's not true, people saying d00d in these games are almost definitely NOT role-playing). Some people get a little more into the role-playing side than others.

-PainKilleR-[CE]
#15 by "PainKilleR"
2001-01-04 17:01:39
painkiller@planetfortress.com
<b>BloodKnight</b> (#13):
<quote>I think parents should have their children taken away from them
</quote>

They do, and it sometimes happens to the wrong parents. Foster parents are rarely good people to be bringing up kids, either.

<quote>I think guns should be banned since they are used for killing and killing only</quote>
Banning guns leads to only criminals having guns. You can't stop the criminals from having them, and now the law-abiding citizens can't shoot back. My step-grandfather recently knocked out a man that was trying to mug him by pistol-whipping him. Guy draws knife, victim draws gun, someone's life sucks, but it's their own damned fault.

<quote>I think beer should be banned because of drinking and driver from adults and sometimes neglected teenagers from bad parenting</quote>

I think banning things tends to be the wrong approach.

-PainKilleR-[CE]
#16 by "fyrewolf"
2001-01-04 17:05:32
csweitzer@intellution.com
I think he was being sarcastic.
#17 by "mortis"
2001-01-04 17:12:34
mortis@goddamnindependent.com
"Maybe, if we can bend the ears of the MMORPG developers, we can convince them that a good world need not have the flashy graphics, need not please everyone (even the d00ds of the world), and need not be the bandwidth and video hogs that the offerings of late have brought us."

simple:  i found the solution myself....either a) continue offering your services as a beta-tester to every single MMORPG that comes out (s'what i've done, and i'm playing two now for FREE, not to mention back when i beta tested EQ & AC.), or b) get OFF the computer and try out 3rd Edition D&D.  

Having given many under-18 year olds the benefit of the doubt previously, i sadly now wholeheartedly concur with you, as well.  I'll leave the babysitting to trained professionals, thanks.

^M^
#18 by "BloodKnight"
2001-01-04 17:13:47
bloodknight@somethingawful.com
<b>PainKilleR</b> (#15):
<quote>I think banning things tends to be the wrong approach.</quote>

/me points to circle
<i><b></b></i><i></i><i></i>
#19 by "circle"
2001-01-04 17:13:55
circle@bellsouth.net
BloodKnight (#12):

I am under 18!!

...and I'm sure that you may be a smart guy, but you are the minority.

BloodKnight (#13):

I think parents should have their children taken away from them
...

I don't think anyone is saying that people under 18 should be banned from
online gaming, just that we would pay for a seperate service where they
were not allowed.
#20 by "BloodKnight"
2001-01-04 17:14:54
bloodknight@somethingawful.com
at circle!!
I hate waking up early in the morning
<i><b></b></i><i></i><i></i>
#21 by "mortis"
2001-01-04 17:21:08
mortis@goddamnindependent.com
btw...forgot to mention yet another online game that maybe eveyone hasn't heard about:
Graal Online http://www.graalonline.com

yes, it's FULL of immature kids...yes, it has its fair share of cheating, etc....but it's still kinda fun.  (assuming you just CAN'T get enough old-school Zelda action...)

Having thought about it more, i wonder if the intelligent under-18's in MMORPG's are the minority, or if it's the over 25-ish crowd who gripe about the immaturity of those under 18??

I'm still content to simply say, "Unless you watched Krofft Superstars and owned Micronauts, i don't want to play with you...nyahhh" at which point i stick out my tongue and make one of those faces.

^M^
#22 by "BloodKnight"
2001-01-04 17:21:39
bloodknight@somethingawful.com
<b>PainKilleR</b> (#14):
<quote>Some people get a little more into the role-playing side than others.

</quote>

Depends, I believe roleplay is just that, roleplaying on your characters background, attitude, etc.  Thee or thou are just fucking annoying.  And roleplaying evil doesn't mean pking the same d00d over and over, my halfing thief in EQ is what evil is, killing citizens in his own hometown, hunting humans (ever since that human monk killed a whole lot of halflings in Rivervale) or anything related to them such as erudites, barbarians, and half elves.  Not to much planning to slaughter the miller family :)
<i><b></b></i><i></i><i></i>
#23 by "Frain"
2001-01-04 17:26:58
frain@bigfoot.com
<b>BloodKnight</b> wrote in #22:
<quote><B>PainKilleR</B> (#14):
<quote>Some people get a little more into the role-playing side than others.
</quote>
Depends, I believe roleplay is just that, roleplaying on your characters background, attitude, etc. Thee or thou are just fucking annoying. </quote>
well, that's more or less what he said: You don't do ye olde english, but some dig that kind of stuff...it's probably impossible to find another person with the same expectations.

Fare thee well
Frain<i><b></b></i><i></i><i></i>
#24 by "PainKilleR"
2001-01-04 17:39:11
painkiller@planetfortress.com
<b>BloodKnight</b> (#22):
<quote>Depends, I believe roleplay is just that, roleplaying on your characters background, attitude, etc. Thee or thou are just fucking annoying. </quote>

And what happens when the guy giving out quests is only giving them to the morons walking around saying thee and thou? That's my point, it's subjective.

-PainKilleR-[CE]
#25 by "Tetris"
2001-01-04 17:43:51
tetrisgod@hotmail.com
I used to be one of those thirteen year old boys.  Remember back when AOL still offered their games for free?  I played a MUD called Dragonrealms so much that our AOL bill was over a hundred dollars (Yes, they charged by the hour back then). I did all of the cheap tricks and I didn't even know what role-playing was. I was new to gaming in general at the time. Not that I condone that sort of behavior. I also wish that 13-year olds were banned from playing anything other than Quake. I'm just saying we should remember we were once thirteen, too.

I realize there are thriteen year olds who are perfectly mature, and I know that there are  21-year-olds who still aren't mature enough to play MMORPG's. Forgive my rash (though merited) generalization.

While I'm at it, I figured I throw the address of my (current) favorite MUD: www.Medievia.com Short on roleplaying, but better than most. It is populated by a more intelligent audience, at least.

-Tetris
#26 by "PainKilleR"
2001-01-04 18:04:09
painkiller@planetfortress.com
<b>Tetris</b> (#25):
<quote>I also wish that 13-year olds were banned from playing anything other than Quake.</quote>

Many of us Quake players have been banning the immature ones from our servers for years. The problem is that some days you find yourself spending more time banning children than playing the game.

-PainKilleR-[CE]
#27 by "BloodKnight"
2001-01-04 18:05:43
bloodknight@somethingawful.com
<b>PainKilleR</b> (#24):
<quote>And what happens when the guy giving out quests is only giving them to the morons walking around saying thee and thou? That's my point, it's subjective.</quote>

Well if he did, I wouldn't really care.  I rather be killing people with my poison dagger or get rid of a tyrant then do some quest, and I would doubt they would go after a black mask assassin anyways :)
<i><b></b></i><i></i><i></i>
#28 by "BloodKnight"
2001-01-04 18:09:30
bloodknight@somethingawful.com
<b>PainKilleR</b> (#24):
<quote>And what happens when the guy giving out quests is only giving them to the morons walking around saying thee and thou? That's my point, it's subjective.</quote>

Well if he did, I wouldn't really care.  I rather be killing people with my poison dagger or get rid of a tyrant then do some quest, and I would doubt they would go after a black mask assassin anyways :)
<i><b></b></i><i></i><i></i>
#29 by "Terata"
2001-01-04 18:46:20
jstatz@ravensoft.com
Kallisti -- I flatly disagree.  This is not an issue of age at all in my opinion, it's the simple fact that some people are die-hard believers in the "it's just a game" concept and feel they're free to do whatever they want in the interest of amusing themselves.  These are the same people who troll messageboards and used trainers in Diablo.  They're not young, they're not old, they're just dicks.

If you were to instate an age cutoff, I'd wager quite a bit nothing would appreciably change.
#30 by "PainKilleR"
2001-01-04 19:02:42
painkiller@planetfortress.com
<b>Terata</b> (#29):
<quote>If you were to instate an age cutoff, I'd wager quite a bit nothing would appreciably change.</quote>

The question is:
if you were to initiate an age cutoff, at which age would the highest number of losers be removed?

I think the number is unquestionably somewhere between 15 and 20. Cutting off at 25 might still be effective, but you'd lose a larger ratio of actual players to losers.

 Then again, CE is a clan that was started by a couple of 14 year olds, and for the most part is a group of some of the most mature gamers I've ever dealt with, but then again, the founders are among the youngest members of the clan by far (even now, 4+ years later), and there are always exceptions to every rule.

-PainKilleR-[CE]
#31 by "Rambar"
2001-01-04 19:12:42
rambar@homegettingablowjob.com
Yes, please ban all the little people from MMORPGS.  That's one less argument against me as I 'troll' a goatse.cx link into your favorite game :)

I find it amusing that people think these large developers are going to create a better roleplaying experience than some of the better muds out there.   Look at all the graphical/server/publisher's stripper t-shirt giveaway parties overhead they have to deal with just to get the game out the door.  How many generations of MU* did we go through before we finally got some that dealt resonably with all the problems that are coming up in these MMORPGS, 4 or 5?

I'd wait until at least that many games have been made before you even consider paying for the the damn things.  Don't forget that Beta Test=Demo as far as MMORPGS are concerned.  Is anyone else really hoping to see some of these upcoming 3d MUDS crash and burn horribly and put the developers out of business?  I sure am.

bitter ex-mud playerMODE=off
#32 by "Gunp01nt"
2001-01-04 19:45:41
supersimon33@hotmail.com
<quote>please ban all the little people </quote>
That'll be very hard since most RPG's are set in a fantasy world, and what would a fantasy world be without dwarfs? :-D
Doh. Never mind.
#33 by "circle"
2001-01-04 20:05:07
circle@bellsouth.net
Rambar (#31)

Is anyone else really hoping to see some of these upcoming 3d MUDS crash and burn horribly and put the developers out of business? I sure am.


I don't think that it's really a developer problem as much as it is a people problem.  A delevoper
could create the most beautiful, immersive online RPG, and the fun-factor is still
going to be directly proportionate to the quality of people playing.  If this hypothetical RPG
masterpiece is populated by the same trolls, PKs, and kiddies the ruin the current crop of MMORPGS,
the experience is still going to be the same.   It sucks, but it's a fact of life.

The only real solution right now (besides pen & paper) is to get a group of friends together to play
Baldur's Gate (or equivalent) - and don't rely on 1,000 strangers to ruin your fun.

Obviously this is all IMHO...
#34 by "BloodKnight"
2001-01-04 20:08:44
bloodknight@somethingawful.com
<b>Rambar</b> (#31):
<quote>Don't forget that Beta Test=Demo as far as MMORPGS are concerned. </quote>

LOL you haven't really played the EQ beta at the time now have you?  I played a bit at a friend's house, damn those wizards were Demi-gods, root actually worked, and your spells couldn't get fizzled or interrupted unless hit.  Some companies try to make online rpg as a demo then decides to change stuff in the release (EQ, Diablo 2)

Hopefully this doesn't happen with SB
<i><b></b></i><i></i><i></i>
#35 by "llamasex"
2001-01-04 21:01:54
llamasex@yahoo.com
HEY!! I am 21 and an asshole when I game. I don't think age is the largest factor.

trust me there is always someone older and less mature than you
#36 by "PainKilleR"
2001-01-04 21:09:53
painkiller@planetfortress.com
<b>llamasex</b> (#35):
<quote>HEY!! I am 21 and an asshole when I game. I don't think age is the largest factor.
</quote>

The point, though, is that there is most likely a larger percentage of assholes amongst 16 year old gamers than there is amongst 21 year old gamers.

-PainKilleR-[CE]
#37 by "the_reformed_pianist"
2001-01-04 21:18:48
pianist@canada.com
I played Asheron's Call during the beta. When people role-played Thor-style I couldn't help laughing at them, and I referred to characters with dark skin as "niggaz". People got REALLY mad. I think the real issue is: people need to chill out. It's a game.

CHILL OUT!!!!!!!!!!!

P.S. Obviously nobody was paying to play at that time, so you can't use the argument that I was depriving them of the game experience they paid for, or something. After the beta ended I stopped playing.

Yeah, everyone's got me on ignore anyway so here's a poem by Tennyson:

                  
                   He clasps the crag with crooked hands;

                   Close to the sun in lonely lands,

   Ringed with the azure world, he stands.



   The wrinkled sea beneath him crawls;

   He watches from his mountain walls,

   And like a thunderbolt he falls.
#38 by "PainKilleR"
2001-01-04 21:26:34
painkiller@planetfortress.com
wow, t_r_p actually posted something worthwhile, I'm just about glad that I was bored enough to unignore him to read the post.

-PainKilleR-[CE]
#39 by "the_reformed_pianist"
2001-01-04 21:37:31
pianist@canada.com
Actually, it isn't really that worthwhile, if you really put your mind to it.
#40 by "Ergo"
2001-01-04 21:45:29
stu@dsl-only.net
I quit Playing EQ due to the inability to solo at higher levels. I just can't spend enough time online to forge friendships with other players. I switched to Asheron's call because you CAN solo, but I rarely play it anymore due to one thing:

The really cool stuff happens for high-level characters, and it takes way too much time to get characters to that level. I'm lucky if I can play more than a couple of hours a week.<i><b></b></i><i></i><i></i>
#41 by "PainKilleR"
2001-01-04 21:45:37
painkiller@planetfortress.com
Right again, but then most of the stuff here, or on any other internet site, rarely is.

-PainKilleR-[CE]
#42 by "superion"
2001-01-04 22:17:21
superion@spacemoose.com
hey i used to do that 'niggaz' stuff in eq while refering to the arabian race (i think theyre arabian, i can't remember what they're called off hand).

it actually made the game fun, and thats the only 'role playing' i ever did in eq.
#43 by "the_reformed_pianist"
2001-01-04 22:19:09
pianist@canada.com
Yeah man! I'd be like "Wassup G-slice! Word to your mother!", and they'd be like "huh?"

yeah, P.S. I'm an idiot.
#44 by "BloodKnight"
2001-01-04 23:04:14
bloodknight@somethingawful.com
<b>the_reformed_pianist</b> (#37):
<quote>I played Asheron's Call during the beta. When people role-played Thor-style I couldn't help laughing at them, and I referred to characters with dark skin as "niggaz". People got REALLY mad. I think the real issue is: people need to chill out. It's a game.</quote>

I have to agree with the thor roleplaying, it doesn't make you look like a roleplayer, in fact you are just ripping off someone else's idea.  I think they have to learn that AC is an alternative universe from Lord of the rings (great book!) and doesn't mean they speak the same style, not to mention it's not creative.  The only 'thor style' I use is "ye" such as "Thank ye" and thats it

But as for bitching at black people saying "niggaz", of course they will get pissed, its racism at work
<i><b></b></i><i></i><i></i>
#45 by "the_reformed_pianist"
2001-01-04 23:22:11
pianist@canada.com
Yeah but the point is, they're not actually black, it's just the avatar. And even the avatar isn't black, it's like east-indian.

If you called a female Asheron's Call avatar a "slutbag", you're not being sexist, because it's a 35-year old fat dude with his cock out eating a bag of Chee-tos.
#46 by "ilian"
2001-01-04 23:25:48
chrism@valvesoftware.com
For several years, starting at the age of 13, I was a coder for a small text-based diku MUD.

During its peak, at the peak times, it had about 30-50 players online simultaneously.

This MUD had a VERY heavy roleplaying bent, and everyone online always seemed to be
extremely serious about roleplaying. I can remember extremely rare instances in the several years
i helped run the MUD in which out of character statements were made on public channels.

About 75% of the players were under 18, and i would guess that about 30% were under 15.

I think a large part of the reason this MUD worked so well, was that, because it was free, we could ban
anyone, anytime, for any reason from the game. We would frequently ban people for being idiots, for annoying other players,
or for refusing to play a believable part in the world.  

The majority of the "d00ds" i have met are NOT under 18, but college age, 18-24.    Most of the young kids i have seen play games, seem more quiet and shy online that the older players.

Anyway, i agree with the original post. I played Everquest for a long time, and it the mechanics and enviorment were IDENTICAL to the text based MUD i ran. The only difference was, the text based one was a hell of a lot more fun, and had a hell of a lot more roleplaying.

I think, in addition to the comments that I made above, another reason for this is the amount of anonyminity in Everquest. In my MUD, everyone knew who everyone else was. It was like a big family, there was few enough people for people to be able to build reputations, and fame or infamy, yet had enough people to be fairly dynamic. In everquest, its much harder to interact with the same group every session, and there are a whole lot of people you will see once and never again. Its 1000x more work to build and keep up a good character, and there is much less reward, as most of these peopleyou will never see again or you wont remember eachother when you do.
#47 by "Quicken"
2001-01-05 01:03:18
geoffrey@access.com.au
I think we should kill the whole maturity level debate. We all agree (when we think about it) that you can't label someone mature based purely on age. I've known some very mature 8 year olds and some very imature 25 year olds. What I think would be a good step in bringing back the "days of old" would be to help free services like MUDs catch up to the graphical standards of EQ or AC. I actually have a whole stack of notes stored away on how to design an extensible 3d system run over the net but it would take a pretty big effort to build it. You see MU*s are all running on code that had it's basis written 20 years ago yet still stand as the largest form of online RPG with more players in total than all the pay per month services. And with that free price you can do things you can't do on a pay per month service like refuse admittion to the immature (anyone who tells me this is the minority of the market needs a good slap).

For example a MUSE I was quite fond of once had something I'd not seen before. To get into the game proper you had to pass several tests. First was on history (of the fictional universe) and the other two on piloting and combat skills. This served to scare off most of the "dickheads". But could you imaging someone forking out money and then discovering they have to pass a test? You just can't do it. The moment someone makes an online extensible graphical MUD and releases the source for it is the day MUDs will go through a major evolution.
#48 by "Ergo"
2001-01-05 01:11:57
stu@dsl-only.net
The original Leisure Suit Larry game had a similar test at the start to try and weed out the younger crowd.<i><b></b></i><i></i><i></i>
#49 by "Greenbean"
2001-01-05 03:37:22
john@playerofgames.com
Age is not the factor that destroys mmorpgs.  Inexperienced people play some part, some confused people who don't really want to play the game but hang about play a another small part but the major type of people who destroy mmorpgs are people who want to beat the game, by any means. They will boringly sit around spawn points, wait near newbie areas for a pvp kill or search for bugs in the game. I can't see where the fun is other than the fact that its competitive "me versus the programmers" to become the most popular/powerful guy in the game.

Under this enviornment you will never find it usefull to roleplay. Lets take an example; in a mmorpg 3d space game some players band together and roleplay being pirates. They fly their ships to a space station and blockade it, requesting a fee. Some players pay up and go free, some don't and they get chased or try to run the blockade. Overall its a new element to the story added to the game by players.. wonderful, who could have predicted it. Then another group of pirates see this and decide to do it, but they just kill anyone who comes near.. knowing the kills are worth more than the paltry amounts they recieve from tolling the space station. A typicall scenario might go like: Merchant arrives at blockade; "Pirate: Halt and pay the toll"; the merchant pays the toll; "Pirate: haha die scum"; the pirates proceed to kill the merchant raking up more points. Now no pirates are trusted and the nice piece of roleplaying that we previously had is gone and can't be brought back - pirates are now just roaming groups of un-honourable player-killers; boring.

To expect forced roleplaying (people being honourable when they don't need to be) to take place in games, when its more benefical to not roleplay is untrue. It will be too much effort for what should be a simple roleplaying experience. Instead it is up to the developers to design their game in such a way that roleplaying is an important integral part of their game; i.e. make it such that its easier to roleplay than to not roleplay. To clarify: should some gamer arrive upon this game new his only options in advancing to become the most "l33t" player, to "beat the system" the quickest way, is to inadvertantly roleplay. Whatever necessary actions it is that it takes for that player to advance should be overall a heathly contribution to the roleplaying intriguing aspect of the story. You might not be able to stop people chatting rubbish and shouting profanities but you might find their actions much more ingrained in an enjoyable story.

The idea is to take peoples' lust for self-improvement or advancement and turn it on its head and use it as a force to improve the overall enjoyment of the game. Roleplayers can roleplay and non-roleplayers will inadvertantly roleplay. The requirement is for developers to restructure the mmorpgs from silly stat grinding machines which get exponentially more difficult as you get to the top of a skill set and start thing about self-improvement/advancement in a totally different way - such as player controlled positions as your only way to advancement. This is a social advancement tree which follows on your popularity with real people to advance; rather than ability to rack up stats on innocent newbies. Hows about that for removing shitheads.
#50 by "BabiG"
2001-01-05 05:56:01
yankeebabu@india.com
Sounds like "The Politics game". That might be interesting actually...have a "get elected to various offices" game where you run a campaign, lie cheat steal whatever to get elected and advance. Have to convince the "citizens" that you're a swell guy and your opponents are morons, and you will personally pay for their monthly fee if you vote for them. Plant subliminable messages among the populus...

Or if we're doing popularity contests, it could be a game about Junior High School..."which clic will you join?" "Computer Club requires +1 collared shirt and half-assed goatee" "The Order of Jockdom requires you to equip the most expensive shoes you can find, and to stuff a member of the Computer Club into a locker".
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