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MMORPG Talk

Old 12-29-04, 10:58 AM
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MMORPG Talk

MMORPGs have gone from being a niche game played by college students (MUDs) to some of the most popular games in the PC realm…popular enough that the genre has crossed over to consoles and even cellphones. Popular enough that one of the biggest PC games of the year is World of Warcraft, which has been a huge seller and made several top 10 lists, not only for PC, but cross-platform (Gamespot named it the overall “Game of the Year.”)

So, I thought it would be fun to start a thread where we could just have a casual, general discussion about the genre. What does everybody think of MMORPGs? If you play them, which one(s)?

Personally, I’ve been away from the genre for several years. I played Everquest back when it first came out, and while I was enamored at first, I got frustrated with it as I leveled up. It took forever to accomplish anything, and logging in felt more like work (“grind”) than like playing a game. So eventually I quit.

More recently, the Open Beta for World of Warcraft was announced. I signed up on a whim, without high expectations or intent to ever purchase the game. WoW opened my eyes to how much things have improved over the years. Instead of a game that was designed to keep you playing month after month by sucking as much time from you as possible, the genre had evolved so that the game was designed to keep you playing by being as fun as possible. World of difference, I assure you.

At any rate, I ended up purchasing WoW and I play it now. I also look forward to Guild Wars, which is a very different game and very fun in it’s own right. The genre is now much more accessible to casual players, and it no longer takes hours and hours to get things done. You can log in for an hour, or whenever you have a little free time, and feel like you got something accomplished.

So, what does everyone else think? Positive and negative opinons are both welcome.
Old 12-29-04, 11:19 AM
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My first foray into the MMORPG world was with Anarchy Online which i played non-stop for 2 and a half years.It was and still is a great game.

I played Star Wars Galaxies in Beta and that was plenty because that game gets boring very quickly.

I played Dark Age of Camelot for about 20 minutes......'nuff said on that one.

Have been playing World of Warcraft since it went live and will probably play this one for a long time,it is extrememly fun and i like the fact that you can do stuff solo and don't have to play for long periods of time to get something done like Groucho mentioned.
Old 12-29-04, 11:21 AM
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WTF? yer ghey, dude. EQ3 rulez!

really, i had never played a MMORPG til Wow open beta. I thought it was crazy to pay a monthly fee. But i got hooked and between the open beta and xmas all i could do is think of playing WoW and read about it on the net. Ive only been able to play for a couple days but have got up to level 8 or 9 already.
Old 12-29-04, 11:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Maxflier
My first foray into the MMORPG world was with Anarchy Online which i played non-stop for 2 and a half years.It was and still is a great game.
I mentioned this in another thread, but if anybody's interested in Anarchy Online you can play it free for an entire year. Not a bad deal! www.anarchyonline.com
Old 12-29-04, 11:28 AM
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never played an mmorpg before... so i finally decided to try out FFXI and WoW a couple of weeks ago. purchased both and signed in...

let me say that i love WoW... i mean, i really really LOVE it! (not physically) but, to be honest, i like it b/c it's like Dark Alliance, Diablo, Nox, etc. all those games are sort of RPGs w/ quests and items, etc. WoW is just much much bigger and of course, there are other people. and the other people... well, i've found some are pretty cool and some are just jerks. but, that's typical of any social structure.

if WoW was a solo game, i think i would still be totally addicted.

--
FFXI... not liking it very much. interface is so non-friendly b/c it's console oriented. compared to WoW, it feels very dated. i will drop FFXI after the first month.
Old 12-29-04, 11:34 AM
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I used to play MUDs and Rouges back in the day, so I really dig the online hack and slash games like Diablo, Phantasy Star Online and, of course, Maple Story. I guess the online RPG has evolved past this, but all I really want to do is killing monsters and hore treasure. I like the fact that I can play these for 15 minutes or 6 hours.. on the other hand..

Watching my roommate play Final Fantasy XI is pure torture. That has got to be the most boring looking game I've ever seen in my life.

Examples include:
"Hey what are you doing?"
"Waiting for an airship."
"How long does that take?"
"20-30 minutes."
"And all you do is wait?"
"Yup."

One time I came in and he was watching another group kill a monster. That's it.. just watching. It takes almost and sometimes over an hour to start a game, and then all he does is sit in the back and repeatedly cast heal. If we want to go out somewhere it takes anywhere from 30-45 minutes to do everything needed to log out of the game.
Old 12-29-04, 11:38 AM
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That's how the original Everquest was. You spent most of your time putting your group together and finding a "camping" spot. The rest of the time was spent killing the exact same monster over and over again as it respawned. If somebody died, the downtime took forever and corpse retrieval for a full party could turn into a multi-night affair.

I much prefer the "dungeon crawl" where you feel like your on adventure rather than standing in one place.
Old 12-29-04, 12:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Groucho
That's how the original Everquest was. You spent most of your time putting your group together and finding a "camping" spot. The rest of the time was spent killing the exact same monster over and over again as it respawned. If somebody died, the downtime took forever and corpse retrieval for a full party could turn into a multi-night affair.

I much prefer the "dungeon crawl" where you feel like your on adventure rather than standing in one place.
Yes, that's EXACTLY like Final Fantasy.
Old 12-29-04, 01:00 PM
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My first MMO was Asheron's Call. Got it back in '98 when it was released and played it for about 5 months before quitting. It wasn't that I didn't enjoy playing AC, I enjoyed it a little too much. Found myself losing track of time, ignoring my family and playing to the wee hours of the morning. It was an addiction.

The positives I took from MMO's at that time were Character building, crafting --being able to contribute to a virtual economy and of course being able to play with friends who didn't live near me. So, few years passed and I refused to get myself sucked back into the MMO world until Dark Age of Camelot came out. A couple friends convinced me of getting it and I gave in but this time I set rules for myself and that I wouldn't let this game control my life the way AC did. I would only play late at night or when my family was asleep. This worked out well for the first year and then gradually I found myself staying up later and later and would even spend weekends playing. It didn't get out of hand like AC did but it came close. In my opinion DAoC took MMO's to a new level with a Realm vs. Realm system. Not only did you have a great character building system and crafting but you had RvR and Battlegrounds. It seemed like there was always something to do in DAoC when you logged in and it was nice not always having to do PvE but this didn't mean the game didn't have it's share of problems. Mythic had class balance issues and other problems it game play issues it refused to deal with. The Customer service both in game and over the phone was terrible which probably irked me more than anything. I found myself getting bored with it all even though I only had one level 50 character. I played on Hibernia and the big thing when you hit 50 was to go out and RvR because defending your Realm with other players against other players was what this game was all about. After a few weeks of going out with groups only to get steam rolled by groups(zerg) that were 10X the size of your group I quickly lost interest. Leveling and Crafting became monotonous and I started asking myself, is this realy fun? So, I ended my subscription with DAoC, after 3 years, back in February.

Since then I've tried City of Heroes and Final Fantasy XI both of which I played for the 30 day trial period and then cancelled. Didn't care for the interface in FFXI and the leveling system was way too slow and repetitive. CoH was fun for the first couple weeks and then I just got bored of doing missions and missions and more missions. Not enough content in the game to make it worth spending $15 p/mo on, imo.

A common issue I have with most MMO's since it's inception are "time sinks". If I'm going to play a game online and pay to play it then my time spent playing their product should be fun and productive(in game). Too many times I found myself sitting on my chair doing absolutely nothing but stare at the monitor. It could be waiting for my health/energy bar to replenish or trying to craft an item and waiting for the progression bar to make its way across the screen. When I play an MMO for 2-3 hours and after that time I haven't accomplished anything, it sucks. I'd take a toon I made in Dark Age and go out and solo mobs for a couple hours and I'd get 1/2 way to my next level and then die once and have my xp penalty take away 1/2 what I just spent the last couple hours earning, die twice and I'd be right back to where I started. These sort of things make MMO's, for people who have little time like myself...SUCK!

Earlier this year I came to realize that MMO's are just not for gamers like myself. Someone like a student or teenager living at home with a lot of time on their hands would benefit more from playing an MMO than someone like me who works 40+ hours p/week and has a family to attend to. This was until I played WoW. I'm not going to come to any conclusions just yet because I've yet to experience everything this game has to offer but this is probably the best MMO I've ever played. It not only has enough depth for the hard core gamer but it also provides enough fun for the casual gamer like myself. Just the other night I made a Night Elf Hunter and in the 2 hours I played I completed 5 quests, made level 6 and had my guy decked out in equipment. Not once did I have to press the sit button to replenish health or energy. It was awesome. Now as I progress in the game this may change and I may have a different take on it then but from the reviews I've read so far, this is the MMO for me and as long as I'm having fun in the little time I put into it, I don't mind spending the $15 p/mo.

Someone online once asked me why I spend time playing a game I don't have the time for and while it was a good question I told him, "because I get to hang out with friends I normally don't get to see or do things with and have fun." That's the one positive I've taken from all the MMO's I've ever played and its the biggest reason to play an MMO, imo.
Old 12-29-04, 02:13 PM
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Originally Posted by DaveNinja
WTF? yer ghey, dude. EQ3 rulez!

really, i had never played a MMORPG til Wow open beta. I thought it was crazy to pay a monthly fee. But i got hooked and between the open beta and xmas all i could do is think of playing WoW and read about it on the net. Ive only been able to play for a couple days but have got up to level 8 or 9 already.
That's about the same for me as well. I was never interested in any MMORPGs, including EQ, Ultima Online, Asheron's Call, etc., and could never fathom the "pay to play" concept, especially because of other financial concerns. Why pay a monthly fee when i can play Quake for free? However, i've been fortunate enough to be able to play World of Warcarft, and have really grown to enjoy it. I don't have much time to play, outside of an hour or two at night and have fallen behind my friends as far as levels go, but i'm fairly certain i'll continue playing.
Old 12-29-04, 02:46 PM
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Ahhh... The memories of EverCrack. That game was so addicting. I remember having 15 hour marathons on the weekends. It was kinda weird because my friend got me into it, but I ended up playing with his mom most of the time. I had to quit because I was in my second semester of my Senior year at college. I had no time to play, so I eventually quit. I'm afraid to try anything else because I'll fall back into those same ways. I've had a 5 guys up at work trying to get me into EverCrack II. I can't, I'm too afraid. To this day, I have a 1 1/2 binder at home with all my maps and anything to do with a wood elf ranger. I keep saying maybe one day........
Old 12-29-04, 03:24 PM
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I have played FFXI for the last 9 months or so. I really enjoy it as I can decide what to do when I log in, if I want to level, complete quest, craft, participate in a holiday event, or whatever. I will admit getting from one corner of the world to the other can take some time, but if it was always instant wouldn't that kind of kill the feel of vastness in the world? Since I started playing there has been an expansion of locations, and numerous holiday events. I do however take exceptions to some of the things Pixy said...

Originally Posted by PixyJunket
Examples include:
"Hey what are you doing?"
"Waiting for an airship."
"How long does that take?"
"20-30 minutes."
"And all you do is wait?"
"Yup."
The airships run on a schedule, learn it. If you happen to miss an airship departure it's not the games fault.


Originally Posted by PixyJunket
It takes almost and sometimes over an hour to start a game, and then all he does is sit in the back and repeatedly cast heal.
I'm assuming he is a White Mage since he's in the back and repeatedly casting heal? If so it should never take that long to get a party, especially for a WHM unless his sever is overloaded with them. A lot of this can be dealt with by forming a set party for leveling within a linkshell or a group within the game. Then you always level with the same people and never have to look for a group.

Originally Posted by PixyJunket
If we want to go out somewhere it takes anywhere from 30-45 minutes to do everything needed to log out of the game.
Then he is going somewhere special to logout or doing other things before he logs out. If your in your moghouse and type /logout or /shutdown it's instant, you can logout anywhere else in the world and at most it will be a 30 second countdown to logoff.
Old 12-29-04, 03:49 PM
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I've honestly never had an interest in even trying a MMORPG. The gameplay has never sounded like my cup of tea, and I've never been into multiplayer gaming (especially cooperative gaming) or online gaming.

Running around and hack and slash on a bunch of monsters with a bunch of random people online has just never appealed to me. I can see why some people love them, and I'm not saying it's a worthless genre or anything. Just 100% not my cup of tea.
Old 12-29-04, 03:53 PM
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there's a lot of running in WoW.
Old 12-29-04, 04:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Edison
The airships run on a schedule, learn it. If you happen to miss an airship departure it's not the games fault.
Old 12-29-04, 04:22 PM
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Yeah, that airship schedule deal reminds me of why I hated Shenmue on the Dreamcast. Who the hell wants to spend time in video games memorizing schedules and killing time for things to happen? I do enough of that in real life.
Old 12-29-04, 04:29 PM
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Setzer's post is dead-on in the real differences between good MMORPGs and bad MMORPGs. MMORPGs such as EQ are designed to keep the player playing as long as possible, all the while dangling the carrot of the "next level" in front of him. When I played it, it was obvious that the main objective was to create as much down time as possible for the player: from travel, to slow leveling, to corpse runs, to mana regen.

Newer MMORPGs are gathering a much bigger audience because it doesn't take forever to get things done. I have never logged into WoW and logged out hours later knowing I've gone backwards in progress (something that happened frequently in EQ). They are much more accessable to the casual gamer like myself who is lucky to get in one hour of play time a night.
Old 12-29-04, 07:41 PM
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I've never liked these type of games, but I played wow during beta, when a friend was trying to talk me into buying it when it came. I gotta admit it was the most fun I've had in sometime.. and it did seem like you could do a lot solo, which I took would have as requirement for this type of game.

In the end, I enjoyed it for free, but couldn't see paying so much, because it would only take up time, I should put to something else.
Old 12-29-04, 08:11 PM
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WoW is the first MMORPG I've played so I can't really compare it to others. I agree with everyone else in that it seems to offer a lot more things to do than simply questing or grinding xp. I only did one quest last night and spent most of my other time working on my first aid/fishing/cooking skills.

So far I'm enjoying it all quite a bit and the promised improvements sound pretty cool. I played Planetside for 3 months, but when I hit the level cap I pretty much considered the game "won" and I quit. I'm hoping the Battlegrounds and Heroes classes that Blizzard is planning for WoW will keep me interested long after I hit the level cap.
Old 12-29-04, 08:36 PM
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I played Galaxies for a few months. Then there was nothing to do. There wasn't anything fun to do unless you got a group of 10+ people with top specs. Then you could do a few fun things. I was in a group fo friends and we had all been playing for a little while, most of us were masters in certain combat professions. We took a stab at one of the missions, and we all died pretty much instantly. Too hard. So we couldn't do that reguarly. The only other options were things that were all too easy... so once you've explored a few planets, and tried out the various professions, there's not much to do.

Maybe I'll try WoW sometime.
Old 12-30-04, 01:09 PM
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Originally Posted by belboz
WoW... and the promised improvements sound pretty cool.
what promised improvements? any links?
Old 12-30-04, 01:12 PM
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Originally Posted by young
what promised improvements? any links?
http://www.worldofwarcraft.com/info/...velopment.html
Old 12-30-04, 04:13 PM
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I've been playing RPGs for a long time (mostly on the PC, going back to Ultima 6), but WoW is the first MMORPG I've ever tried.

I was afraid to try it, because of the reputation MMORPGs have as being huge time sinks. Not to mention the monthly fee...

But WoW has exceeded my expectations by leaps and bounds. It's easy, rewarding, and most of all, fun to play whether I play for just 1 hour or 8 hours straight. The quests link together well and the storyline is actually very cohesive and immersive (especially if you're already familiar with the warcraft universe from blizzard's other games). It's easy to play by myself as well as play in groups. In many ways I feel like I'm playing a regular single-player RPG with the option of joining a group if I'm in the mood. I love it, and see myself playing WoW for a long time to come.
Old 12-30-04, 04:17 PM
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Another good link about an upcoming feature [b]World of Warcraft[/b feature (Battlegrounds):

http://www.worldofwarcraft.com/pvp/battlegrounds.html

If this is half as good as they describe, the PvP in this game will go from ho-hum to amazing. Sounds pretty incredible.

Last edited by Groucho; 12-30-04 at 04:19 PM.
Old 12-30-04, 08:17 PM
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Originally Posted by PixyJunket
I'll raise you another couple



As if it's your fault that the game developers decided to make the airship interval a half hour, instead of a more frequent interval. I'll never understand why players put up with these artificial time sinks.


I have played two MMORPG's so far. Played DAOC for a while, raised up two different characters and even a buffer. But ultimately I couldn't take the grind. Loved the RVR but the time sink factor eventually just wore on me too much. I enjoyed the game while I played it though.

Played SWG when it was realeased for a few weeks. That has to be the worst excuse for an MMORPG. There was just absolutely no content, combat was boring, and it was buggy as hell. I think the direction they were taking with the game as more a social than a combat oriented game really turned me off. The example of this was the entertainer class, while I have no problem with this class in and of itself, I despised being forced to go to them in the cantinas to heal battle fatigue.

Looking forward to playing WOW, but I don't have the computer to run it yet, yes it is that bad (played SWG on parents comp). But I am concerned because I used to have time (not a ton, but some) during college to play daoc, but now that I work 40+ hours a week, I don't have much time for other activities. That is why I am glad to hear what people are saying about leveling so far.

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