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MMORPGs - Ruined By Non Role-Players?

simoniker posted more than 11 years ago | from the verily-ye-31337-h7x0r dept.

Role Playing (Games) 100

Thanks to RPGDot for their new editorial discussing why actual in-character roleplaying in MMORPGs is dying out, as more and more 'action fans' are being attracted to RPGs. The article suggests: "When you take an MMORPG apart to analyze what it is, you discover pretty quickly that it's mostly a huge graphical chat room... the role-playing aspect of an MMORPG is nowhere in the [priority] list, which leaves the few poor souls who are willing to do so in the dust, grinding their teeth at the l337 speech they are subjected to." But it seems in-game bugs and glitches make it difficult for even the most hardcore role-player to keep in-character: "It's hard to sustain a willingness to role-play when the mindless android in front of you swallows your shuttle ticket without so much as an apology."

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Not a new problem... (4, Insightful)

TibbonZero (571809) | more than 11 years ago | (#6489967)

This happened with MUDs, The Realm, UO, EQ, and is still happening today. It's nothing new. Perhaps if there was some way that players (of higher levels???) could reward roleplaying, and make it an important part of the game. Even automatic filters/penalities for using leet speak? Use something akin to the grammar checking programs in various work processors to figure out your 'roleplaying level'? At one point I would have said GMs could help in these efforts, but there are too few of them, and they are always just fixing problems in the games for the most part.
The Best solution would be if quests required some degree of roleplaying (thus actually making it a roleplaying game), instead of just having to kill something, find something, or deliver something.

Re:Not a new problem... (5, Insightful)

lafiel (667810) | more than 11 years ago | (#6490028)

The author forgot to mention RO (Ragnarok Online): the perfect example everything he complains about. (http://www.ragnarokonline.com)

A Korean beta game that offers no story, no actual quests. Just dungeons for people to go to and kill, find items, and kill in new dungeons. I cannot stress how little story and quests (aside from "search for three of these different rare items to recieve an even more rare item" quests) there are. It makes Diablo 2 look like a classic book in comparison.

In fact, people are paying to play this game now, it's no longer a free beta. Definitely a bad direction for mmorpg's to go.

Re:Not a new problem... (4, Informative)

suyashs (645036) | more than 11 years ago | (#6490804)

If anyone wants to see how bad this game is, there is a free beta period coming up... Gravity has announced a free three-day trial period for users interested in registering for the popular PC MMORPG (International) Ragnarok Online. The free trial period will begin on July 22nd at 11PM PST. Source: RPGfan www.ragnarokonline.com

Re:Not a new problem... (5, Informative)

Roxton (73137) | more than 11 years ago | (#6491358)

The question is whether the mainstream market is adequately interested in genuine role-playing to make for a worthwhile MMORPG. MMORPGs are not a fad. I believe that the longer they are around, the more diversity we'll see, and the more room there will be for experimentation on the part of the developers.

One problem with role-play focused MMORPGs is that they would be very high-maintainence, most likely requiring more staff than conventional MMORPGs to regulate player behavior and to keep the game interesting.

There are large, persistent, thematic worlds of genuine role-play that exist presently. They're labors of love, and entirely textbased, which is the only thing that makes them affordable. These are termed "RPI"s or Role-Play Intensives.

In these games, there are no experience points. Everything tends to be purely social (although there is a skill element). "But Roxton, what's the fun if there's no room for advancement?" You've been playing conventional RPGs too long, Kemo-Sabe.

The worlds of RPIs are incredibly rich, complete with backstory and detail to rival the best of sourcebooks. Like real life, position and power are not conferred by some universe-implied system. They are conferred by people in positions of power, or by others willing to support you. There are existing power structures in conflict, with checks, balances, and the genuine possibility of one overwhelming another.

There's no formula to it. Perhaps you can sell your skills and become a hired hand. Maybe your heritage entitles you to noble privileges, if the setting is medieval. As a merchant, you'll be involved in city politics and be in a position of influence. Or perhaps you could be deeply involved in one of the world's many variously flavored churches in matters both internal and external.

When you start these games, you spend a lot of time developing a character, complete with backstory set in the rich world upon which the game is based. These games have role-play administrators who are responsible for verifying the quality of these applications, helping new players, and generally policing the in-character nature. While most of the play tends to be wonderfully player-driven, the role-play administrators support the players and also create a few well-made plots of their own, often including a large over-arching story.

In these MUDs, the playerbase drifts away from the immature segment you find on hack n'slash games. You'll find mostly college-aged students and middle-aged history buffs (often SCA types), as well as some bright and responsible younger folk.

One of the ones I've enjoyed is Harshlands [harshlands.net] set in the Harn role-playing universe.

A more popular RPI, though slightly more combat-oriented, is Armageddon, which you can learn about here. [armageddon.org]

Seriously, if text-based gaming is not a serious turn-off for you [And considering the number of CLI-fans in the Linux community, I wouldn't be surprised if that was a great many of you], give it a try. While someday the market will turn its tastes to more sophisticated multiplayer gaming, you can keep on the bleeding edge in the low-tech, non-profit worlds of RPIs.

Re:Not a new problem... (1)

Kirellii (688799) | more than 11 years ago | (#6502384)

You could also try the starshiptraders crossover. Since it has telnet, webmode, and a graphical client - you can play it in the fashion you want. (RPI RPG or somewhat 3rd / 1st person shooter) All these modes can coexist if planned properly. www.starshiptraders.com

Re:Not a new problem... (1)

Low2000 (606536) | more than 11 years ago | (#6494857)

There is a game that started on Mplayer back in the day that is still going today, kind of.
It's called Underlight.

It holds strict to roleplay while remaning inviting to new players. It's very dated though but the concepts would do well to be ported into a newer next gen MMORPG

It's game mechanics and ideas would take me too long to explain here but a google and a check of the forums woulden't be too hard

Quality of Games (2, Interesting)

Vokbain (657712) | more than 11 years ago | (#6489981)

I don't play any MMORPGs, but from what I hear, they are all pretty badly made, with all kinds of bugs, glitches, lag, etc.. That right there would discourage me from remaining in character if I played.

Hopefully Blizzard's World of Warcraft will be of much higher quality and they will take steps to encourage role playing. This will most likely be the first MMORPG I play, and I look forward to some real role playing. I hope they deliver.

Re:Quality of Games (4, Insightful)

Winterblink (575267) | more than 11 years ago | (#6490050)

WOW being better quality than others? It won't, I'll tell you that right now.

The thing with MMORPGs are that they are in a perpetual state of being broken, right from the get-go. Launches are inherently troublesome times with client bugs and play balance issues. Only over time do these things become lessened. They're still doing fixes to Dark Age of Camelot after what, two years of being in operation? They're primarily fixes to balance issues, the odd glitch, no real show-stoppers.

Once you come to terms with that you'll have a pretty fun time with MMORPGs as a whole. I guarantee you though that WoW will suffer the same problems at launch that they all do. Busted registration/logon servers, lag, goofy gameplay balance, etc, etc, etc. It's the nature of the beast, and don't let the Blizzard name fool you. It's their FIRST MMORPG, and it will be at least one thing to them -- a learning experience unlike any they've had before.

Re:Quality of Games (3, Insightful)

BTWR (540147) | more than 11 years ago | (#6490486)

guarantee you though that WoW will suffer the same problems at launch that they all do

You may be right, but I'm not so sure. Blizzard has a pretty good reputation about delaying a game until it is truly ready to ship. I mean, Warcraft3 took years to make, they cancelled that Warcraft Adventures game because it simply wasn't going as well as they wanted (but come on, they coulda released a dried up turd with the name "Warcraft adventures" on it and sold a million copies - see Enter The Matrix).

So Blizzard may finally get it right. They're not Eidos. Blizzrad could have released a new Warcraft every year since 1998 (like Eidos has done with Tomb Raider), but they like to wait until a product is ready...

Re:Quality of Games (4, Informative)

PainKilleR-CE (597083) | more than 11 years ago | (#6490712)

You may be right, but I'm not so sure. Blizzard has a pretty good reputation about delaying a game until it is truly ready to ship.

Blizzard may get the game itself into better shape than some MMO developers, but the servers will be the same old story. The release of a new game from Blizzard has routinely crippled battle.net from it's inception, and Diablo 2 only made it that much worse by hosting the games and character data in addition to the registration/login functions.

When US West became overcrowded because the Asian server(s) went down, Blizzard took action and added more servers in Asia. Unfortunately, it didn't change anything for US West, because all of the Korean players that had been playing on US West didn't want to leave their characters behind, and Blizzard had not supplied any way for them to transfer those characters. Will they have the same types of problems when WoW hits? Who knows for sure until it hits, but even if I were planning on buying WoW, I would wait until at least the first week is over and judge how the servers handled the load.

Beyond that, there're the little things, like bugs in both StarCraft and Diablo 2 when they shipped after much delay that prevented people from continuing with the games until they were patched (or in the case of Diablo 2, if they started over and then didn't duplicate the circumstances that caused the bug). Not to mention the play-balance issues. If WoW gets to 1.03 (assuming a 1.0 release) without an overhaul of some play-balance issue that a large number of people exploited, then I'll be surprised.

Re:Quality of Games (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6496091)

When US West became overcrowded because the Asian server(s) went down, Blizzard took action and added more servers in Asia. Unfortunately, it didn't change anything for US West, because all of the Korean players that had been playing on US West didn't want to leave their characters behind, and Blizzard had not supplied any way for them to transfer those characters. Will they have the same types of problems when WoW hits?

Doubt it...if they try to play on the American servers, nobody will want to play with them if they speak gook. The few who can speak fluent engrish might get along....but most will be ridiculed for pidgeon.

By its very nature as a MMORPG, WoW will require much more player interaction and socialization, and the language barrier will be a big stumbling block for the Koreans who want to play with Americans.

Re:Quality of Games (1)

PainKilleR-CE (597083) | more than 11 years ago | (#6498521)

Doubt it...if they try to play on the American servers, nobody will want to play with them if they speak gook. The few who can speak fluent engrish might get along....but most will be ridiculed for pidgeon.

By its very nature as a MMORPG, WoW will require much more player interaction and socialization, and the language barrier will be a big stumbling block for the Koreans who want to play with Americans.


It didn't stop them in Diablo 2, although admittedly you need much less english to get by in that game. The phrases most of them learned that got them by were 'Korea Only' (in game names), 'Give Item' (which eventually some of us figured out was usually closer to 'show me what you got'), and maybe a handful of other phrases. The rest of the time you just got Korean text across your screen throughout the game as they talked back and forth. It's not like it was a small number of Koreans playing on US West, it was 1/3rd or so of the people on the server. It also had nothing to do with them wanting to play with Americans (as noted by the 'Korean Only' games), but rather wanting either to play the game at all (when the Asia server was down) or wanting to continue playing the game with the character(s) they had built up while the Asia server was down.

Of course, then a few players found a little 'bug' in the game that crashed the Korean client, and you saw that in a lot of games for about a month, until Blizzard squashed it.

Re:Quality of Games (1)

Winterblink (575267) | more than 11 years ago | (#6492271)

Oh I fully agree with you that Blizzard is one of those rare companies that doesn't release games until they're well tested. The problem is with MMORPGs, unless you do a wide open public beta you're never going to see many of the major issues in a game. You HAVE to get the server population up, trying out different areas, crafting items, pushing the envelope a bit. Only then do you get your effective stress test. In house testing and limited beta do NOT cut it in this regard.

Re:Quality of Games (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6496016)

Hopefully Blizzard's World of Warcraft will be of much higher quality and they will take steps to encourage role playing.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA!! You gotta be kidding. Blizzard fans from battle.net are the worst l33t d00dz in gaming. WoW is gonna be full of lewt wh0r3z and all the other worst riff-raff from the MMORPG community because of its sheer size and the Blizzard brand name. Just because they'll be subsribing and not playing for free on bnet will make no difference. It might keep the 12-year olds off--though they will prolly still be there playing on their mum's dime.

Moderated MMO's? (3, Interesting)

thing12 (45050) | more than 11 years ago | (#6490001)

Are there any MMO's out there that have community or operator based moderation? (i.e. a way to tell if people are good role players, or just don't care.) It would seem that you could divide most game universes into two - one for real role players and another for everyone else who just wants to chat. If you step out of character one too many times the system operators could warn you; and if the behavior continues, they'd simply kick you from the 'Real RPG' universe to the 'Big Chat Room' universe. You'd still have fun playing the game the way you want to play it, but you're not interfering with those who want to play it differently.

Re:Moderated MMO's? (1, Troll)

dasunt (249686) | more than 11 years ago | (#6490611)

They are called muds - go to www.mudconnect.com and search through the listings, make sure you check the role-play box.

Oh, wait, you want pretty graphical pictures? Argh!!!! Wait a second, I have an 'Ask Slashdot' question to submit: 'Why Do the Self Described "Role Players" want pretty useless pictures and a graphical world that basically limits what the player can do?'

Re:Moderated MMO's? (1)

analog_line (465182) | more than 11 years ago | (#6493148)

Dark Age of Camelot has servers specifically set aside for those who wish a complete in-character experience. The most populated of them is the single most populous server in the game, and there are two others that are middle and low population respectively, not because they've made it that way, they just are.

The roleplaying servers are watched over in a pretty draconian fasion by the CSRs and a lot of players on those servers will appeal every little thing they find inappropriate in public chat, or name choice, keeping those CSRs quite busy with name changes/etc.

Me, I don't play on them, because I find the whole idea to be pretty ludicrous, but I'm glad there's a place like that for people who enjoy it to do it without butting heads with the rest of us, as happened on the cooperative server (which I play on exclusively now) right after it was launched.

Re:Moderated MMO's? (1)

Mysticalfruit (533341) | more than 11 years ago | (#6514600)

I'm one of those people who play on percevial and find it really annoying when people come up to you and ask questions like "Can you salvage this helm, thx dude!". I make it a point to lay it on thick at that point... However, you generally find as long as you play in character and keep it the language and topic realivent to what's going on inside the realm, people generally aren't going to freak. As for the example above if the person had said "Good sir, I have a broken helm and I am looking for a craftsmen who could render down so that I may make a better one." I'd have no problem helping them.

I wonder if there's a direct corrilation to those of us who play on the roleplaying servers and how many of us in real life attend Ren Faires?

Re:Moderated MMO's? (1)

JourneymanMereel (191114) | more than 11 years ago | (#6524649)

Maybe I don't truely understand what a real role player is, but I think this may be one thing LucasArts did right w/Star Wars Galaxies... they acutally made professions for people how just want to chat. If your biggest goal is to sit around and talk the whole time, become an Entertainer and hang out in the Cantina. And while you're there, you can get music/dance/image design Expierence Points and advance in that skill. Or if you'd rather wander around and kill stuff, you can choose the Brawler/Marksmen type professions.

Either way, I find it fun :) ... But this is also the first RPG type game I've ever tried.

Problem? No Game Master (4, Insightful)

LordYUK (552359) | more than 11 years ago | (#6490024)

The only MMORPG I was ever "serious with" (I had dabbled in the free trial of AO and the AC2 Beta, but neither of those took an hour of my time total) was the SWG Beta. If you've read any of my other comments, you'll know what I think of it (as a "game" it sucks). Thats not the point, however.

The problem with Role Playing in a computer game is that you are artificially limited by the constraints of the game. If the programmers have decided that you have to get past (kill) target A to get object B, then you have to kill target A to get Object B. In a "true" RPG (DnD, or whatever "flavor" you prefer), there is a DM who may *want* (or goad) you into fighting target A, but in the end, you could at least attempt to bluff your way past it or sneak around or whatever. Also, in a PnP RPG you can interact with your environment in ways that a MMORPG cannot currently let you. For instance, I've never quite been able to walk through tables or other party members in DnD, yet in SWG you have a rather incorporealness that, well, breaks immersion. Also, the NPCs can be only so engaging. If I told an NPC to "blow off" in a PnP game, he'd "hear" me, and react accordingly, whereas unless its a specific encounter, if I type "blow off" to a random NPC he'll simply ignore me.

So it all comes down to the Game Master. Without the human interaction, its very difficult to stay in character, IMHO. Of course, one day that might not be the case, and there isnt anything wrong with MMORPGs, other than they are in fact glorified chat rooms most of the time.

Re:Problem? No Game Master (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6490088)

Hear hear!!! Being the current DM of our groups games, this is why I think MMORPGs become simply a treadmill, as the programming can't react to me without some simple set parameters. The designers of these games wrote it out in the most simple method possible, which is react to monster pops, or items being handed around. If they worked on the conversation AI ( no small feat..I've tried dabbling some myself in this) then these games might be even more immersive. The problem with this solution is that it's the most difficult one to do. Creating an intelligent parsing language that doesn't just latch onto keywords and hork up a paragraph isn't simple. Hrmm....maybe I should pull out that old text parser from PROLOG again. There might be a market for these kinds of programmers again.

Dreamshadow

Re:Problem? No Game Master (5, Informative)

deemah (644363) | more than 11 years ago | (#6490196)

Absolutely right. The only game that I've seen that does things differently is Neverwinter Nights. The online gameplay you experience depends on what sort of server you connect to. There are RP heavy servers which encourage DM interaction with players.

This is the only time I've noticed a feeling of true immersion. You don't see the DM rolling dice or looking things up and the only constraints are those imposed by the module/world builders.

When these builders work well with the DMs on a particular server, it's a fantastic experience.

I foresee a future... (3, Interesting)

jefeweiss (628594) | more than 11 years ago | (#6490344)

where someone will be paid minimum wage to play an in game "Non-Player" character. Much cheaper then inventing AI. Give them a script for some events and have them wing it on other occasions. Of course, if you have too many people playing NPCs it could get prohibitively expensive.

Or you could offer someone free in game time or items if they spent a certain amount of time playing a character. It would be kind of funny if teenagers could earn minimum wage sitting behind the counter in a virtual shop, just like they can IRL.

Re:I foresee a future... (3, Interesting)

Zeriel (670422) | more than 11 years ago | (#6491512)

There are live-action roleplaying games (mostly the higher-end fee-based ones) that do this as well. NERO in particular practically required you to play an NPC for a weekend before getting a real character, and volunteering to play NPCs earned you XP and sometimes discounts on the cost of a weekend.

Re:I foresee a future... (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 11 years ago | (#6495594)

It would be kind of funny if teenagers could earn minimum wage sitting behind the counter in a virtual shop, just like they can IRL.

You don't even need to pay them minimum wage, because it's not really a job. You don't need an employment contract, etc. Of course, they do have to be 18 - that way you can treat it like gambling :)

The best thing would be if you could "work" these jobs via mobile device. Then while you were sitting behind the desk at your real job, you could also be working your online job.

Carrot vs Stick (1)

gad_zuki! (70830) | more than 11 years ago | (#6497280)

>where someone will be paid minimum wage to play an in game "Non-Player" character.

I'd much rather see this be worked on in the commercial MMORPG world than having a bunch of people yelling at you to speak "Olde English."

If you want RP it has to start in the design process first. Everything from the instructions, tutorials, etc have to have an RP element to them. Now toss in NPCs that you aren't sure are just AI or real people and you'll begin to build a world that lends itself to RP.

Its the classic carrot vs stick approach. Build it properly. Make a world that isn't just computer vs. player and watch the magic happen.

>It would be kind of funny if teenagers could earn minimum wage sitting behind the counter in a virtual shop, just like they can IRL.

You won't even have to pay them. I'm sure if the game admins asked a seasoned player to play an NPC they would jump at the chance. Offer some kind of incentive to the really good people like a free month or permanent ownership of a NPC. I'm certain there are people out there who will pay to play a NPC, run quests, help new people, etc. Heck, they'd probably pay extra.

Bots, bots, and more bots (1)

coolerthanmilk (312282) | more than 11 years ago | (#6499487)

I like this idea. I can see the money come pouring in when while away at my regular job, my own custom-developed bots are playing away at home for me, all for minimum wage.

Unfortunately, I'm afraid someone would catch on to me once they noticed that my simple bots based on Eliza appeared more intelligent than most of the regular teenaged NPCs. Maybe if I threw in frequent spelling/grammatical errors and a dash of 133t speak...

Re:Problem? No Game Master (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6490567)

"If you've read any of my other comments, you'll know what I think of it (as a "game" it sucks)."

Dude, get the fuck over yourself.

Re:Problem? No Game Master (1)

Sancho (17056) | more than 11 years ago | (#6492352)

Two points to make:

1) Most people treat online RPGs in a similar manner to offline RPGs. That is, they treat it as a quest to go through, an item to get, etc. I have to admit that I did this when I played them, too. With such a steep levelling curve, if you don't borg, you get left behind. Now with games encouraging RP less and less, it's just magnifying the "problem." I quote that word because I'm not sure it /is/ a problem. People are paying money for these games, and unless they begin affecting other players, they should be able to do damn near whatever they want. The people who want to RP (clearly the minority) need to get together and do it, and fight off the barbarians if they try to invade (the non-RPers).

2) It's really hard to RP when everyone else around you doesn't. Even if you want to and try, you just get laughed at, scorned, or mistaken for an NPC and attacked. Situations like this /discourage/ RP in players who might otherwise have been very willing to.

Ogres in EverQuest (1)

Carnivorous Carrot (571280) | more than 11 years ago | (#6495711)

For some reason, Ogres in EverQuest tended to be mostly roleplayed...

Tho' it be 'cause it easy ta talk dum.

Oh oh me hab no bandiges. Kin sum smart guy wave hands 'n gib me sum?

Trolls, rarely, because they were more of a powergamer's thing with the regen. But ogres certainly.

In all my travels of my necro through level 51 and counting, I only once encountered a paladin who was roleplaying and refused to help me. Awesome! My necro gnome-ette was a rather Dr. Doomish character in search of raw power. She fit in well with the power of a necromancer. "I've had more power nerfed than most other classes even have!"

Re:Problem? No Game Master (1)

Jellybob (597204) | more than 11 years ago | (#6497923)

The people who want to RP (clearly the minority) need to get together and do it, and fight off the barbarians if they try to invade (the non-RPers).

Now there's an idea - treat the non-RPers as an element of the RP world. Treat them literally as barbarians who don't speak your language, and kill them on sight - they'd quickly learn not to cross the borders on their own.

Roleplaying Requires Imagination (2, Insightful)

kenp2002 (545495) | more than 11 years ago | (#6490059)

Sadly in America imagination is rather dead. All the online RPGs have been reduced to Diablo-like play and sadly, due to the current cultural trends people in the US have a complete lack of imagination. After DM'ing for over a decade I have see a massive transition in play style. Now all that players do is dig through a manual and "Min-Max" their characters. They have no sense of role-playing, they mearly want to maximize their statistics realative to the game mechanics. I gave up role-playing about 2 years ago due to the fact that I could not find people with any sense of what role-playing is. The richness of teh American imagination has been replaced by spoon fed crap and television. The quality of role-playing can be measured by how much a person reads. It requires imagination to read a book (without pictures) and I see year after year book stores close and literature section sin the big "Chain" book stores fill up year after year with self-help books, technical manuals, and New Age religious crap.

My 2 cents

Re:Roleplaying Requires Imagination (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6490354)

Thanks for the input Dungeon Master! Did it ever occur to you that some people don't "role-play" because they don't want to? As they paid for the game, they don't have to - it's theirs to do what they want with no matter how much they piss in your lemonade.

You say "The quality of role-playing can be measured by how much a person reads." That's nonsense. The quality of role playing is more closely correlated with "how fat a person is" or "how few friends a person has" or inverseley with "how often a person has sex with girls."

If you're reading or making real friends or playing sports, etc you don't have time to sit in front of your PC for hours at a time pretending you are Lord Kenp2002, you've got better things to do.

Quality of role-playing as a social barometer? No fucking way.

Re:Roleplaying Requires Imagination (1)

May Kasahara (606310) | more than 11 years ago | (#6490760)

You should try messageboard-based roleplaying. For a while, I helped run such an RP (I'd link it here, but the site's down right now due to a server transition), and although the world we used was derivative (based on a commercially-released RPG), there was a lot of imagination at work.

In running this RP, we drove the point home that it's story-driven, not battle-driven, which turned off a lot of newbies but also brought us great ideas and characters from others. Needless to say, our strongest players were those who practiced writing as a hobby.

Re:Roleplaying Requires Imagination (1)

Rethcir (680121) | more than 11 years ago | (#6493320)

This is one of the few comments about America that I see on slashdot that I can really agree with as an American! Of course, in Soviet Russia, IMAGINATION REQUIES ROLEPLAYING!

MMORPG or MMOFPS?? (2, Interesting)

Lurch Kimded (582588) | more than 11 years ago | (#6490083)

I have to confess that I am both a a pen-an-paper role player and an avid computer game player. I have noticed this problem is mainly to do with, as people have already said, how you let people go about the tasks they are presented with and also what tasks they have to do. I have been involved with Neocron [neocron.com] since it ending its open beta stage. There are elements in Neocron which could allow for more traditional GM (Games Master) situations as there supposed to be players out there which can effect the world by creating and removing problems. The problem is that the majority of on-lien gamers want a more in-depth UT2003 or even just a simply blaster like Quake.

Not many people are ardent enough gamers that they would be willing to put up with those who didn't want to role-play when they did. It is a lot easier not to role-play than to stay in character. I think that there should be be games which take more traditional role-playing elements such as GM's, open ended situation and missions and the like. Dues Ex 2 is promising to maybe such a game, although this is of course not an MMORPG by any means but it does show that FPS lovers and RPG lovers can find a game which they can both play.

I suppose in the long run it's a bit of a pipe dream to have a proper RPG based MMORPG or is it? I guess as always it should be the case of if see something you want done, do it. I think it'll be cool if proper role-players took even GURPS [sjgames.com] system and using the mod-happy Half Life 2 engine made a free, open ended RPG world. It could work... maybe... ok probably not. I can dream though. ;-)

We don't serve their kind here! (3, Interesting)

Echo5ive (161910) | more than 11 years ago | (#6490109)

I used to play a lot on a MUD where they had both an age requirement (18 or over, or no go), and roleplaying was required. If you didn't roleplay, the other players simply started to ignore you, and sooner or later the admin would give you the "start acting your role or look for another MUD" deal.

It did have a chat channel for out of game-talk, though. I pity the soul who used it for metagaming talk...

I think I'll start playing there again. I miss it.

Re:We don't serve their kind here! (3, Insightful)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 11 years ago | (#6490282)

MUDs could afford to do that, because MUDs are (generally) free, running off the goodwill of the admins or the donations of the players. For-profit MMOGs have a much tougher time enforcing any set of play rules, because the player base is much larger, and the marginal rate of return per player tends to increase (so they want as many as they can get); and any subjective rule set meets up against those two facts, increasing the difficulty in enforcement as well as increasing the monetary costs of enforcement.

Re:We don't serve their kind here! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6504661)

The fourth law of thermodynamics deals with MUD and MUD admins. It basically says that
  1. One cannot administrate a MUD and play it.
  2. MUDs degenerate in quality over time.
The first part causes the second part. If you admin a MUD, but don't play it, then you become out of touch with the game. The most contact you have with actual players will be little suckups who want some sort of advantage, and in the context of their sucking up, when an actual player comes to you with a problem, it looks like he's slamming the game you've worked so hard to build.

The older admins always, always, always get fed up and leave, leaving the MUD's reins in the hands of whoever happened to be standing there. If the ``next guy'' is competant, then the process repeats. If the next guy is running the show now because he was the least-bad choice, then the game suffers.

It's a force of nature that no one who ever crosses with a MUD ends up happy about it.

What's really ruining MMORPGs: (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6490197)

Self-righteous "role players" who feel the need to force other players, who are there just to have fun, into their narrow view of what "fun" is.

Re:What's really ruining MMORPGs: (3, Insightful)

chrismcdirty (677039) | more than 11 years ago | (#6490346)

That's a good point. The people you are referring to act like its a privilege to play a MMORPG and you must abide by the RPG rules to play them. Sure, they'd be much happier that everyone would be playing them like RPGs, but how long would that happiness last before Sony (or whoever else is running the servers) decides that there aren't enough people playing the game and decide to cancel the service, as was recently (or will recently be) done with Motor City Online.

The role-players should realize that without all of the '1337' action-gamers, the producers of the game would not see it as a profitable endeavor.

Re:What's really ruining MMORPGs: (3, Interesting)

ggwood (70369) | more than 11 years ago | (#6494947)

I would love to see more role playing in MMORPG's. However, I would not consider the lack of it "ruining". There are *lots* of reasons I really can't bring myself to log into Everquest these days. (I used to MUD then I Everquested for *cringe* about three years - I have not tried any other MMORPG but I do read the reviews...)

1. Dynamic Content. When I bought Eq, I figured some of my monthly payment would go to create a continuously changing world. The changes don't have to be major, but it's pretty crazy how well nailed down things are in Eq. People know exactly where and how frequently important monsters appear, what they drop, and what level they are. When I started there were things called "GM events" in which the rules changed and actual people ran encounters. Sure there were problems, which have been solved by basically not having such events.

2. The Time Scale - realistically I can play about 2-3 hours per week. Past a certain level, there is really no way for me to advance because no group will accept you for only a couple hours. I don't blame them. These people play for many hours straight and its too difficult to find a replacement - it may literally take hours - so I would be wasting all their time. Further, people won't take you seriously if you can only play for a couple hours per week and, since joining their group may cause them to get killed and thus waste more of their time, they will not accept me. Again, I don't blame them it is not worth the risk to join with someone who is, potentially, going to waste your time.

3. The large death penalty - I can accept my own character's death and loss of experience. However, I cannot leave (potentially) five other people to suffer the penalty just because of me. It can take a great deal of time to get "rezzed" which restores some of the lost experience and getting a "rez" must be done immediately or it is not possible. My character is quite useful at gathering together our corpses after a spate of deaths so sometimes I find myself spending more time online than I can really afford. At lower levels this was not a big deal because the penalty was smaller and people are not as intense - often it is easy to get a rez from a high level just passing through or to call on a higher level friend. However, when you are rather high level, it is very dangerous for another high level to come and help you out. A single death may take hours of time to recover from in terms of getting a rez and regaining lost exp.

4. Camping - the safest and thus most accessable way to advance is to sit in one place and kill the same creatures over and over. I wish there would be some explicit reward for utilizing more of the game. Eq has a huge world, most of it unpopulated and some of it badly crowded. There are quests which access most of the game world, but there is really no benefit from most of these quests. If I spend about 10 hours camping in a certain place I will gain a level. If I run around and do quests for 10 hours, the experience I gain will be minimal and any gear I get will be rather poor - I could spend the time camping certain trivial mosters (called farming) and sell the loot to other players (mostly for tradeskills) and get far more than enough cash to buy better gear. Note: at extreme high levels there are good quests, but I'm not there yet.

5. Training - dungeons in Eq are great! However all those twisty corridors and narrow points become death traps if a single person - usually not in your own group - makes a mistake and leads a monster (or a few...) to you. Why not make a copy of the dungeon for each group which enters? I believe other games do this. It would certainly benefit Eq. This would go great with dynamic content. Why not make random changes in dungeons each time it is created - and why not have the computer judge the strength of the party as it enters to set up challenging battles?

6. Lack of alternative paths - currently there are three paths: gaining experience, money/gear, or tradeskills. I have gone about as far as I can go in gaining exp. Ditto in tradeskills, because high end tradeskills require higher level than I have. I did enjoy making money (actually, mostly through tradeskills - at least indirectly) up to a point, but I really have all the gear I can buy and to get better gear will either require an enormous effort getting money (hundreds of times longer for minimal returns) or gaining more levels. I have taken a few characters up as high as I can and enjoyed each, but it does kind of grow old - particularly because of the limited places to find a group - and now on my server there are very few people starting new characters and most of them are "powerleveled" by friends meaning they don't really need a group.

Summary: There are lots of things I complain about in MMORPGs but I've never really had a problem with role playing. In fact, I like to hear about people's real lives - typically that is more interesting than them pretending to be Llegolas, or somebody, who, if you think about it, isn't given much real personality in the books. Despite these shortcomings, I have enjoyed playing Everquest (Eq) for years, and even though now it is kind of petering out for me I don't regret the time I spent. Far more cooler than watching TV. (I realize this post is quite negative - perhaps I will post what Eq got right in my journal - here it would be off topic - not that this post is really that on topic...)
_______________________________________ _________

Re:What's really ruining MMORPGs: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6495137)

"Far more cooler than watching TV."

Or reading a book, apparently. Sorry, you asked for it...

Re:What's really ruining MMORPGs: (1)

Slurm-V (513189) | more than 11 years ago | (#6496915)

I went through a similar thing myself, so I'm rather interested in some of the ideas behind Mythica [mythica.com] . Largely MM but certain areas create 'Private Realms' for groups for a couple of hours. From the FAQ:
While other games use private instances as a solution to MMORPG overcrowding, Mythica uses Private Realms to significantly enhance the gameplay, providing such depth as cinematics, highly-scripted encounters, and destructible environments.


Of course, it's not actually here, and it's by M$, so you may wish to diss it out of hand. But it seems to answer a number of your issues - except possibly the death downtime.

Linked article (about l33t) (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6490245)

Slightly OT, but related to one of the links in the posted story:

From the BBC article:

As the Internet was coming into its own, during the early 1980s, hackers that didn't want their websites, newsgroups, etc, to be picked up in a simple keyword search began using numbers to replace certain letters (mostly vowels) such as A = 4 or E = 3.


Funny. I don't remember anyone being concerned about their website in the early 80's (or late ones for that matter).

Re:Linked article (about l33t) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6490407)

I also thought it was strange when they mentioned the word "w00t" being derived from "hoot". Huh??? Who yells hoot? Anyway, I always thought it came from "root", as in, getting root access.

Re:Linked article (about l33t) (1)

Lady_Deb (637608) | more than 11 years ago | (#6491202)

I also thought it was strange when they mentioned the word "w00t" being derived from "hoot". Huh??? Who yells hoot? Anyway, I always thought it came from "root", as in, getting root access.

I'd heard "woot" was an abbreviation for "wonderful loot". It still sounds funny.

And I've noticed it creeping into my rl vocabulary. :P

w00t and pwned (1)

Schezar (249629) | more than 11 years ago | (#6494053)

I first heard w00t playing MegaTF (an old CTF mod for Quake 1: has a small but hardcore fanbase to this day) back in the day. We're talking 1997ish. No one there knew where it came from.

"pwned" was another one. I saw it a lot not only in MegaTF, but more recently in Weapons Factory and CounterStrike. This one, however, I know the origins of...

In MegaTF, there were a handful of players who were so good it was sickening. "Owned!" was a common taunt when someone capped the flag or spectacularly fragged someone. One of those really good players made a typo one day in a pretty big clan match: "pwned" instead of "owned."

It spread faster than that GODS-BE-DAMNED All Your Base thing. It's getting "cool" again, though, probably due to its "old-school" nature

Re:w00t and pwned (1)

PainKilleR-CE (597083) | more than 11 years ago | (#6498600)

I first heard w00t playing MegaTF (an old CTF mod for Quake 1: has a small but hardcore fanbase to this day) back in the day. We're talking 1997ish. No one there knew where it came from.

I first heard woot long before I played online games, and w00t is just the obvious 1337 spelling. MegaTF also has a small but hardcore base of players that hate it, myself included ;p

"pwned" was another one. I saw it a lot not only in MegaTF, but more recently in Weapons Factory and CounterStrike. This one, however, I know the origins of...

In MegaTF, there were a handful of players who were so good it was sickening. "Owned!" was a common taunt when someone capped the flag or spectacularly fragged someone. One of those really good players made a typo one day in a pretty big clan match: "pwned" instead of "owned."

It spread faster than that GODS-BE-DAMNED All Your Base thing. It's getting "cool" again, though, probably due to its "old-school" nature


pwned, owned, 0wn3d, and all it's permutations came from either Quake or Doom-era Deathmatch, before TF came around (which by neccessity pre-dates MegaTF). Of course, it always seemed to hold more popularity in the TF scene (or scenes, since it's also popular in MegaTF and TFC, and Q3F, etc), who knows why. The idea that pwned came out of a match is just classic because of the connotations (I'm so cool I need to let you know I just 'owned' you, but I can't type), though it may have happened accidentally from time to time.

um.. role playing? (2, Insightful)

Naikrovek (667) | more than 11 years ago | (#6490426)

if its role playing, and you create your own character, then you can't possibly be out of role, because its your role. I can see this arguement holding water if you were playing an already established role, but for the most part, you don't. To put it in SWG terms, if you were playing Luke, Leia, or Han, I could see someone getting angry with you if you strayed out of line.

If its your own character, then its your own role and you can't escape it or betray it. That, to me, is the beauty of online role playing games. The universe you're in becomes much more than what you've already seen.

To me, those that complain are the ones that are really, really hardcore, those that demand that you talk in your characters native tongue, and not English, for example. Yes you exist, yes I respect your opinion, but there's a bell curve here, and you're on the edge, and that means you ain't ever gonna get your way, so long as the curve stays where it is. The converse of this in in your guys' favor though, because the people that don't even play according to the universe are few and far between also. What lies in between (the middle of the curve) is what exists in Online RPG's.

RPGs are however they are because the majority of people play the game in that way. That means that the majority of the people playing are happy with it that way. You've been outvoted. Take it or leave it.

Re:um.. role playing? (3, Insightful)

Divide By Zero (70303) | more than 11 years ago | (#6490692)

It's not a question of being outvoted so much as it is there not being a product on the market that caters to this niche group.

The reason for this has been touched upon by earlier posters: Enforcing true Role Playing is not conducive to Making Big Buck$.

For purposes of this discussion, "Role Playing" is defined as communicating in-game as one's character would, not using 1337-speak, and leaving one's Real Life self and Real Life concerns "at the door". Looking for help with a quest one just recieved would be considered RP. Discussing Yankees' scores or the new website you created for your guild/clan/PA is not.

The only way to improve RP is to hire in-game GMs or NPCs or both to reward those players that play their roles and punish those who do not. The money you have to pay these GMs and NPCs cuts into your profits, and the players you punish for not playing their roles will get frustrated and leave, creating a ton of bad buzz about your RPG. What few true roleplayers you have will be thrilled at the prospect of the One True RPG, fiercely loyal to it and its creators, and very depressed when the MMORPG goes out of business in less than a year.

Slightly off topic, but bear with me: Did you ever see the Cartmanland episode of South Park? Cartman buys an amusement park for his sole use, denying everybody else entry. But then a ride breaks down, so he has to pay a maintenance man. To offset his salary, he lets two people in. Then he has to hire a ticket seller. Two more people let in. Ride operators, concession sellers, etc etc. By the end of the episode, it's just another amusement park.

I'm all for a Heavy-RP-only MMORPG - it'd get the purists off my back for not speaking in thees and thous. But their RP utopia would almost have to cave to market pressures or be exorbitantly priced in order to stay afloat.

Re:um.. role playing? (1)

PainKilleR-CE (597083) | more than 11 years ago | (#6491143)

I'm all for a Heavy-RP-only MMORPG - it'd get the purists off my back for not speaking in thees and thous. But their RP utopia would almost have to cave to market pressures or be exorbitantly priced in order to stay afloat.

I think what the previous poster was saying is basically that the 'thees' and 'thous' don't really have a place in most of these games, except in the minds of those that keep insisting they be there. Just because it's a fantasy setting doesn't mean that people talk like that in that particular world. They certainly don't talk like that in most fantasy novels, either, yet it doesn't hurt the immersion of the reader.

As for the rest, perhaps, someday, the cost of building and maintaining an MMO with a solid graphics/physics engine will come down significantly and you'll see more niche-market MMO games, much like MUDs. As it stands, though, MUDs tend to have a bit more freedom in what they can do because they're in a niche market in the first place, and because text allows more expression than graphics (besides, if you can parse text for every command, you can also parse text for certain words you don't want people using, or certain words you do want people using; over time your text parser can just become more sophisticated (or over-complicated) to punish/reward people for their speech).

Re:um.. role playing? (2, Insightful)

Chasuk (62477) | more than 11 years ago | (#6491764)

I like role-playing, but what our original poster was complaining about wasn't about thees and thous.

It's about the trying to figure out why the 26 year old guy I'm playing with still thinks that naming his avatar "BoogerSnorter Maximus" is even remotely funny.

It's the lack of imagination implied in the avatars in SWG named Duke SkyClocker and Obie's Frend (both real examples).

It's the player who shouts "Wazzup?!!?!!!?? DUDEZ!?!?!!?" for the 40th time to his friends in half an hour, and they all think it is hysterically funny, and I might have, too, when I was twelve, except that, from reading through the poor spelling and bad grammar that has assaulted you continuously, you know that these gentlemen have children who are at least thirteen.

I know, these complaints make me uptight and anal and a killjoy, and I should get a life.

Maybe. ;-)

But I'd rather wait for the day that I can have my avatar kick your avatars ass. :-)

Re:um.. role playing? (1)

PainKilleR-CE (597083) | more than 11 years ago | (#6492027)

It's about the trying to figure out why the 26 year old guy I'm playing with still thinks that naming his avatar "BoogerSnorter Maximus" is even remotely funny.

Who knows? Some people have a childish sense of humour no matter how old they get. I know people that do this in their normal every-day lives, repeating the same tired old jokes for months, until they find something new ('thats what she said'). I have a good friend that got sick of the whole idea of coming up with character names about 2 years ago and now just names all of his characters after himself, because he sees most of the names people choose as pointless. At the end of the day, that's the character they choose to play. To take the term from the genre, that's their role, it's how they play it.

It's the lack of imagination implied in the avatars in SWG named Duke SkyClocker and Obie's Frend (both real examples).

People with no imagination come up with unimaginative names. Then again, maybe that's just the way their imagination is manifesting itself. At the same time, those two names in that particular game are forbidden by the very terms of the game (which no one reads anyway).

It's the player who shouts "Wazzup?!!?!!!?? DUDEZ!?!?!!?" for the 40th time to his friends in half an hour, and they all think it is hysterically funny, and I might have, too, when I was twelve, except that, from reading through the poor spelling and bad grammar that has assaulted you continuously, you know that these gentlemen have children who are at least thirteen.

My problem is generally that I wouldn't have found that any funnier when I was 12 than the first time I heard it when I was 24 (or was it 23? I don't really remember how old that is). Still, that's the way they choose to play the game, it's the role they play, even if it seems out of character to you.

I know, these complaints make me uptight and anal and a killjoy, and I should get a life.

I don't know about any of that, because really I don't think the players would be having any less fun if they were acting any other way, I just think that forcing someone else's ideas of how the game should be played tends to not only reduce the player base (as others have already mentioned, which a corporation will rarely do), but also limits the possibilities of the world.

But I'd rather wait for the day that I can have my avatar kick your avatars ass. :-)

That's what PvP is for, isn't it? Then again, that introduces a whole new realm of complaints...

Personally, I play games to play, not to chat, but I'm not going to bother stopping other people from paying $50 + $15/month for a glorified graphical chat room. Then again, I don't see the point in paying that anyway.

Re:um.. role playing? (1)

code_nerd (37853) | more than 11 years ago | (#6491245)

I think A Tale in the Desert caters to role-players quite well as you have defined them. If you are not playing it, give it a go.

Re:um.. role playing? (1)

The Evil Couch (621105) | more than 11 years ago | (#6492981)

If its your own character, then its your own role and you can't escape it or betray it.

sure you can. pick up a strategy guide and act upon information that your character should have no idea about, instant out of character action. while you can argue that pumping up your stats and going after cheap and easy XP is in character, it's a weak arguement.

don't get me wrong, there's nothing wrong with getting cheap, dirty, XXXP and powerleveling. I've been known to do it in more than a few games. but it's still not role-playing.

The artificial constraints prevent interaction (2, Insightful)

Rakthar (580956) | more than 11 years ago | (#6490435)

The problem with role playing in MMORPGs is the limited interaction that exists within them, as a post above me touched on. He attributed the problem to Dungeon Masters, but I think it's a bit more prevalent than that.

The richness of a given social experience is directly proportional to it's significance, and the amount of options you have. If you have the option of acting maliciously if you so choose, then a positive interaction is more meaningful. In addition, a reputation or something that imparts a consequence to your choices is necessary so that you have realistic modes of interaction.

In "real life" social settings, there is no way to predict how a person will react. There is plenty of conflict - if a boss or co-worker takes a dislike to you personally, and attempts to ruin your career, they are allowed to act maliciously against you. In MMORPGs, because of the problem of persistence (I can buy a new account or make a new char, and my reputation is gone) the actions themselves lose value. This causes it to be far too easy to perform the negative actions out of dislike, and combined with the polarizing nature of the Internet.. we've all seen the flame wars via e-mail or bulletin board, you end up with people who only interact negatively, ie "Griefers."

As long as people are forced to interact with kiddie gloves such as no attacking, no stealing, no kill stealing, no harassment, no aiding monsters you are fighting, no disrupting a wedding, then you remove a lot of the conflict and interaction between players. When you remove the conflict, things get boring.

In addition, the worlds themselves are very static and unmalleable. Is it really easy to roleplay killing the 50th spawn at a given camp? What exactly are you doing there? Why are you killing these bandits? Why don't they go away? It's a really forced world architecture, meant to be condusive to one thing: Killing and powergaming, not roleplaying. Are there other ways to do it? Sure. Have any current MMORPGs gotten there? Nope.

I can't imagine anyone rolepaying in an environment as antiseptic and conflict free as one of an MMORPG. To blame the playerbase for repeatedly acting in the same way with the same environment and constraints is to ignore history and then complain when it happens to you as well. The choices that are required for meaningful interaction are tricky ones, because they require treating people like adults and policing the player base. These are two things that most MMORPGs seem unable or unwilling to do currently, so I suspect it will be some time before you see a rich roleplaying environment in an online game. But to blame the players for only interacting with the game in one way (powergaming) when that's really all the options that are given to them, is to assign the blame to the wrong party.

The persistent world is a slight problem (4, Interesting)

xyrw (609810) | more than 11 years ago | (#6490469)

It's not just that adventure gamers are `ruining' the experience.

I used to play Dark Age of Camelot. Excellent MMORPG, as well designed as they come. But I've long since stopped playing, because the experience was just too artificial.

In a pen and paper or even a computer RPG, the world changes in epic ways as you advance through the story. But because the world of an MMORPG has to be consistent for players, the world cannot change too much. For example, the king of the fairies will have to always be there, you can't guide empires to ruin, buildings stand forever-- the sense of changeability that is otherwise present in RPGs is lost. So is mortality, because you respawn. You might be penalised, but your character can't be dead and gone. Where then is the comradeship? Can you really feel for an immortal character as you would for a real companion (well, RPG companion)? There's a good reason D&D players become very attached to their characters, and spend a lot of time mourning their deaths, but it is partly that mortality that makes their journey perilous and exciting.

I think some of the MMORPGs out there really are very good, but they lack a certain je ne sais quoi that story- driven RPGs have. And that is a problem with the melding of genres, rather than who's playing them. I recognise that there are many more issues to consider, but i feel that this is one of the major ones.

Just my 2 cents. :)

Re:The persistent world is a slight problem (1)

John M Ford (653329) | more than 11 years ago | (#6491039)

In our PnP group this weekend, the characters we have been playing with for the past year bit it. We made a mistake and ended up with a bunch more than we could handle. We are dead. We're not coming back. There is a real sense of loss associated with that.

Immediately after the incident, the group had a "so-now-what" discussion. While the DM seemed open to the idea of a roll back, the players were concerned with the precedence that would set. How would this safety net affect future play? It looks like we are going to start some new characters and try out the new 3.5 rules. My books are on the way from Amazon now. :)

I played DAoC from launch till ~3 months ago on a RP server. I lost interest/enjoyment when the leet horde invaded. I went from a hard core RP guild player to a quiet soloer as RP became less and less the norm.

I'm curious if a MMORPG (with the emphasis on RPG) would benefit from a very harsh character death policy? If character death was permanent (or at least a HUGE issue) would the leets bother coming? Would the RPG'ers tolerate such a policy?

I'd love to play a MMORPG again, but I just don't see one out there that isn't just a embellished MMOFPS in disguise.

John

Re:The persistent world is a slight problem (1)

xyrw (609810) | more than 11 years ago | (#6492113)

That's an interesting idea. I think it's technically feasible, but there are of course game balance issues. If player killing is allowed on the same server, newer characters will never have a chance to advance.

Harsh death penalties put people off. I can't remember which developer said that, but it was in a developer interview somewhere, not necessarily on DAoC. Maybe what we're thinking of is really the kind of system that has been implemented in games like NWN.

But I wouldn't give up hope. The gaming industry has shown more innovation than most other parts of the computing world in recent years.

MMORPG game genre, dead at 5 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6490494)

I just heard some sad news on talk radio - professional time bandit MMORPG gaming was found dead in a server near CowboyNeal this morning. There weren't any more details. I'm sure everyone in the Slashdot community will miss it - even if you didn't enjoy the game, there's no denying its contributions to the increase of visits to autopr0n.com. Truly an Internet icon.

Joke right? (3, Insightful)

antin (185674) | more than 11 years ago | (#6490549)

You are telling me it is easier to roleplay while making it all up over a coffee table, than it is in front of a computer game where you look like your character, move like your character, get to interact with mobs, explore a true virtual world and basically see what it is you are talking about? Oh and do it in realtime...

Who cares how buggy it is, it has to be a step-up from rolling a dice to see how much damage you do (yeah like that is real...).

In fact having fewer uber-geeks who have memorised the rule book, and look at me funny when I order quiche from the tavern vastly improves my gaming experience.

Re:Joke right? (1)

Creepy Crawler (680178) | more than 11 years ago | (#6492658)

>>>You are telling me it is easier to roleplay while making it all up over a coffee table, than it is in front of a computer game where you look like your character, move like your character, get to interact with mobs, explore a true virtual world and basically see what it is you are talking about? Oh and do it in realtime...

Yes. In a computer, you're restricted by the constraints of the programmer(s). When you're with literally, a party, neat things happen that normally wouldnt.

What matters most is that you have good RPers and a good DM. And if you wanted to compare Paper&pencil rp games, I'd accept something like "The World" on the anime series, .Hack/Sign . Nothing less.

Re:Joke right? (1)

The Evil Couch (621105) | more than 11 years ago | (#6492881)

You are telling me it is easier to roleplay while making it all up over a coffee table, than it is in front of a computer game where you look like your character, move like your character, get to interact with mobs, explore a true virtual world and basically see what it is you are talking about? Oh and do it in realtime...

yes, actually it is. I tell the DM that I want to do something and he tells me the results. no lag. no worrying if the game's engine can handle complex dialogue written on the fly, no wondering if the feature's been implimented, none of that. I say it and the DM tells me if I did it or if I landed on my face or if something that I hadn't even thought of happens?

you're making the common mistake of assuming that stats and figures are part of role playing. they can label diablo an RPG all they like, but it's nothing more than an action game with stats. same goes for most other games that like to wave the RPG banner. the crux of role-playing games is (surprise!) role-playing. anyone can pick up a character with the same stats and skills and play him completely differently in a pen and paper RPG. maybe he's a coward, an asshole, an anti-hero, an apathetic character, an over-the-top comic book-style hero. it's completely open-ended in the true sense of the phrases' meaning, not open-ended, as in there's 3 possible solutions.

Who cares how buggy it is, it has to be a step-up from rolling a dice to see how much damage you do (yeah like that is real...).

how does having a random number generator spit out an integer from 2-12 make a game more realistic than rolling a 2d6?

Re:Joke right? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6492905)

Nice troll. They bought it hook, line and sinker

Re:Joke right? (1)

scot4875 (542869) | more than 11 years ago | (#6493467)

I have always hated the term 'mob.' I mean, how exciting is it to go out and fight movable objects? Oh boy, let me at 'em.

I mean, I can handle non-roleplayers. It doesn't bother me that much (of course, I haven't played an MMORPG in about 3 years now). But the second my party started fighting 'mobs' instead of orcs, gnolls, kobolds, or whatever, it completely ruined any immersion I felt.

--Jeremy

Try DM'd Neverwinter Nights Persistent Worlds (3, Informative)

SnowDog_2112 (23900) | more than 11 years ago | (#6490637)

While it's not quite in the league of MMORPGs, there are numerous Persistent Worlds set up using the NWN engine. Some of these encourage/require active roleplay, usually through the presence of DMs who oversee everything, give NPCs life beyond scripted conversation, and reward roleplayers with experience or other in-game prestige.

The problem, of course, is finding a good PW and integrating yourself with the cliques and whatnot that have surely already formed there. Likewise, since these are usually run out of some guy's bedroom or dorm room on their home machine using an existing connection, you're probably not going to get the stability or scalability of a true MMORPG.

On the other hand, the personal touch can be quite nice. It's worth dabbling in, at the very least.

Re:Try DM'd Neverwinter Nights Persistent Worlds (1)

Winterblink (575267) | more than 11 years ago | (#6492654)

"Likewise, since these are usually run out of some guy's bedroom or dorm room on their home machine using an existing connection, you're probably not going to get the stability or scalability of a true MMORPG"

Heheheh, haven't played too many "true" MMORPGs, have you? :-)

Re:Try DM'd Neverwinter Nights Persistent Worlds (1)

SnowDog_2112 (23900) | more than 11 years ago | (#6493307)

Heheheh, haven't played too many "true" MMORPGs, have you? :-)
Good point. Maybe I should have added: "This may be a good thing" :)

Alternatives Exist (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6490735)

EQ/AC/DAoC/etc aren't the only "RPG's" in town. Neverwinter Nights gives people the tools to run games on their own server with a live DM. No, you won't find 5000 people on an NWN server but really, is that necessary?

I'm one of 50 or so DM's in a NWN collaborative world project that spans several computers (come check out A Land Far Away [alandfaraway.net] if you're interested). All players are screened and the servers are all 100% roleplay oriented. There are numerous projects out for NWN and many of them offer some great alternatives to the pay-to-play big boys.

Re:Alternatives Exist (1)

Necromancyr (602950) | more than 11 years ago | (#6491599)

I would, but they turned me down. Me, with years of PnP experience. Guess I was too good. Sheesh.

Back in the day... (4, Informative)

Omestes (471991) | more than 11 years ago | (#6490755)

when me and one of my freinds ran some MUDs we ran into this problem, left unchecked they would have devolved into a big OOC chat room, with little or no role-play. And some of the larger MUDs REALLY suffered from the OOC Syndrome. (btw, OOC = Out of Character) with almost every message being a global OOC, with some of the Admins even happy with this, running all manner of OOC games/quizes for free exp.

The nonRP thing is partly because of the Admins, of course, if the admin PCs don't set an example, or reinforce nonRP behaviour, then the online enviroment will devolve into an interactive chat. Or if there is not proper incentive to RP, meaning that experience gathering and item farming is 100% from just plain game interaction, and not social interaction, then people will not roleplay, since it is not required.

Our solution was to make higher-advanment contingent on the admins, meaning you had to RP quests socially to advance. Guilds were also good to enforce RP, since most guilds were controlled by people who knew the admins, and had respected status, they enforced RP within the guilds (all of which were storied) and kicked out non-RP players and blatant PKs, and since not being in a guild wasn't advisable in our MUDs since you were fair game without backing, and got no favors from patron gods.

When I was a god on NeoGeno I offered good items to those who RPed their devotion, and did RP quests, with some in game elements and mobs included, but used within an RP framework. Also having good roleplayers causes it to spread, people want to fit in with clans/guilds who have killer rep and resources, and who RP well, and have a damn good story.

One little code snippet we were working on before we lost our server/interest was to have two classes, RP and non-RP characters, like Bad Trip did with PK/non later in its life. People who pick RP auto-ignore OCC and nonRP globals, gain levels faster, can use better EQ, and have PK free areas. Also the admins would favor the RP people in all global quests, and arguements. The nonRP people would have access to a nonRP channel, but not Tells, and could here globals and such, but not Quest channels. They couldn't Pray, and weren't safe from PK at the healers, unlike the RPers, who were safe from PK there, and there were no penalties on nonRP PKs.

As you can see the whole setup has to be indicative to RP, RP has to be a goal during the actual implementation of the code, AND you have to tweak the social enviroment to make RP better for gaining levels and eq (positive reinforcement). But I really don't think the Sony or anyother MMORPG maker cares if the game is RP or Chat, since you still pay for it, and there are more chat people out there than RP people, so it is a better market.

Personally, when I want RP I'll stick with the remaining MUDs out there, or paper&pen RPGs.

Re:Back in the day... (1)

TuringTest (533084) | more than 11 years ago | (#6491077)

I didn't read your message before posting mine. I will use this as advice for the social MUD we are trying to build (see below).

Re:Back in the day... (1)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 11 years ago | (#6494085)

Shameless plug:

Eternal Struggle MUD [esmud.com] . 90% of character advancement is done via an "RP AWARD" system where players can reward those who RP well. The old-fashioned SMAUG combat system has been replaced by a shiny emote-fight system, which basically means that combat is resolved via descriptive actions rather than boring "X hits Y. Y hits X." crap. There are MUDs out there that cater to RPers, and no MMORPG will *ever* get this right, so there's no point to even trying to play them.

No Action players in our game (3, Interesting)

TuringTest (533084) | more than 11 years ago | (#6490960)

We are a group developing from scratch a GPL'ed MUD/MUSH in Spanish based on Tolkien's Middle Earth. Of course it's not intended to be 'massive'. But we expect it to be fairly populated, and in spite of that we think that people in it will remain mainly in character.

We are working hard to achieve that goal, and we have some guidelines and ideas that hopefully will aid us to get rid of l33t people.

First of all, our targeted audience is people in the Spanish Tolkien Society. That give us a strongly motivated public, which will surely enjoy themselves more from a good role-playing than from a killing session.

Second, it will be quite a bad idea to go out there carelessly hunting orcs... because the damage/healing system is intended to be reallistic. It means that if you get hurt it won't be just some Life Points down, you'll have a broken leg or a poisoned injury, and you'll have to be in bed for in-game months to be healthfull again. And only if you don't get killed. No magic potions (remember Frodo?). So, only warrior characters will go to battle, and it will be dangerous.

Third, it will be difficult and dangerous to travel. People will stay at home, and will have social intercourse with their neighbours. Of course there will be adventures, but mostly those that just delay dinner!

Fourth, we will not ban out-of-character speaking... but we will mean it to be rude! 8-D (This is an idea of mine). We hope to introduce a culture in which newcomers, that are not aware of this social rule, will talk about not Middle Earth subjects, and then everyone will get scandalized!

In summary: our game will not be a huge graphical chat room, because it will be socially designed to be a parallel reality not a videogame, and only people in character will enjoy it. Wish me luck!

Re:No Action players in our game (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6491108)

Congratulations, you have designed the most boring game ever.

Roleplaying is good and all, and often compliments gameplay well - but when you get to the point where all you're doing is creating a text-based life simulation with fantasy elements, what is the point? Isn't the point of roleplay to be something you are not, and to fantasize? Why roleplay a good neighbor when it's very simple (and not all that interesting) in real life?

Re:No Action players in our game (1)

TuringTest (533084) | more than 11 years ago | (#6493060)

Haven't you read The Lords Of The Ring? Things can be very exciting when you cross the line of your country and venture in the wild lands...

I didn't say it would be impossible to have adventures. It will be HARD, and that's the amusing part. The whole point of having a "good neighbor" life back in The Shire, is to enjoy the contrast when you leave home and get trapped in a dangerous trip, discovering new wonders and peoples and magic at very each step.

Besides that, there ARE people who really ENJOY playing a text-based life simulation with fantasy elements. And as I said, those will be our main players. But it won't be the only possibility.

When I think of roleplayers... (2, Interesting)

Mantrid (250133) | more than 11 years ago | (#6491007)

Ever since I saw it, when I think of roleplayers, all I can think of is that short internet video that has a bunch of characters sitting around a table (with a monster in the kitchen looking for beer or something), doing their roleplaying thing. It's just hilarious, and I really wish I could remember the link/title etc.!

I don't know about RP'ing, when I play games it's to have fun - occasionally it may involve some RP'ing - but I'm not going to be 'forced' into playing a role all the time. I know the hardcore RP'ers always have to point out that an MMORPG is, in theory a ROLE PLAYING Game (usually typed just like that), but let's face it in computer-land an RPG means you have a character(s) with stats and upgradable weapons, armour, magic/psi powers etc. That is the 'vernacular' I believe for a CRPG.

The majority is out there playing and having fun, and sometimes I can't help but resent the roleplaying types - at least the 'aggressive' ones that feel you should play 'their way'.

Re:When I think of roleplayers... (2, Informative)

Dstrct0 (442821) | more than 11 years ago | (#6491802)

The video you are looking for is Summoner Geeks. Usually found as summonergeeks.avi.

Oh, and the big monster guy is looking for a Mountain Dew.

And I agree, it's one of the funniest things I've ever seen :)

Re:When I think of roleplayers... (1)

Jonsey (593310) | more than 11 years ago | (#6492185)

Also, look up the Dead Alewives audio only version. Part one was used in Summoner Geeks.... Part two... while a bit... odd, is possibly even more funny. Google it. : )

Re:When I think of roleplayers... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6492282)

/rant
That's all fine and dandy, but, please stay the fuck off of servers that are CLEARLY MARKED for ROLE PLAYING Gamers (such as those in DAoC). By going there and not following the rules (as many are wont, not really specifically you the poster obviously) you are doing the same goddamned thing in a 'passive' aggressive manner, ie- being disrepectful, inconsiderate, and generally being the one who feels that everyone else are the ones with a problem just because YOU can't play by the fucking rules. I LIKE those rules. That's why I CHOSE that fucking server instead of the MANY OTHERS that don't have that focus.

But NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO.

"I'm special. The rules don't apply to me. I'm paying for this and will do whatever I fucking feel like. ETCETCETC..." FUCK

I would pay extra money to play on a server that really ENFORCED, at least, I mean jesus fuck, at the very least, the RP character naming rules. That alone would be worth an extra buck or two to pay for someone to periodically check naming petitions and arbitrarily choose new names for people who can't/won't pick something reasonable after, say, two or three warnings. No appeals, no bullshit. You would have already proven that you were either too stupid to understand the rules or were simply chosing to ignore them. Maybe they are doing this now in DAoC or others, but not the last time I looked.

Rant rant rant, argh. That's OK, at least real p&p roleplaying will never die if all the online venues are always going to be predominately populated with min/maxers, kiddiez and outright assholes.

Re:When I think of roleplayers... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6495108)

Sure, mod me down. You know I'm right.

Pure roleplay is not possible in electronic games (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6491067)

Anytime you're playing a game with very concrete game mechanics, you're forced to play inside of those mechanics. Sure, you can try and "flex" your way around the mechanics if those you're interacting with agree to breach the mechanics - but it still doesn't escape the fact that the experienced is flawed in some way.

My simple point is that electronic games with strict mechanics and no "dungeon master" type player is not a good vehicle at all for proper roleplay, at least not compared to pen and paper games where imagination is king.

The only MMORPG-styled game I currently play is an online space sim, Jumpgate [jossh.com] . Its community management is done by the Themis Group [themis-group.com] , who do a pretty good job at maintaining the official event-driven RP of the game. That said, RP outside of the official Themis mold is a bit weak, since they can do things to alter mechanics (economy changes, terrain changes, etc) that we players cannot.

The right inspiration (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6491398)

Perhaps people simply haven't had the right inspiration before? So far, pretty much the only goal has been "Kill stuff, get better, kill bigger stuff, repeat."

If you read the reviews from places like GameSpy [gamespy.com] , you'll find people have finally found more to do in Star Wars Galaxies.

Finally, a game's turned up where you can really be a crafter. Not one that does it during downtime in fights to help with the main goal of battle XP but one who runs a store and that's their life in game. The final post in the article probably sums it up best:

I logged in for a couple of minutes to grab a few more screenshots. The next thing I knew, I had run all the way to Weetzie's Wearables (205 - 5483 on Corellia), a great little clothing shop owned by Wallaby's friend on Ahazi. I was wearing nothing, save the lousy clothes I had managed to scavenge up since switching servers from Bria to Ahazi. Weetzie took me in, looked over my character's clothing, and just said "No." Then she and I (and a few other GameSpy employees who had logged on) just sat for an hour and talked about my goals in the game. I want to become a bounty hunter, and she crafted an entirely unique ensemble just for me.

I don't spend that much time shopping for clothes in real life.


And it's not just crafting. There're architects, store owners, prospectors, droid mechanics. Sure, a lot of people are complaining that they don't get to be UberJediTwinkie99 but more people are finding they get to enjoy being just another guy hanging out in the universe of their childhood dreams before popping down to the Mos Eisley cantina for a drink. In a game like that, people are finally getting inspired to enjoy their roles, rather than twink. Once you're actually enjoying your role, the roleplaying comes automatically.

The problem's been, so far, that for all they pretend games are about roleplaying, they're not, they're about getting numbers and being tougher than everyone else. Finally, a game's come out where simply being in the world is what's fun.

Playing to Win (2, Insightful)

ThePyro (645161) | more than 11 years ago | (#6491552)

The problem with modern online role-playing games is that the vast majority of players are simply playing to win. "Win" is defined, in their opinions, as increasing experience, beating quests using any means necessary, and aquiring gobs of "phat l3wt".

Why? Because the game engine is spewing tons of this kind of information at them: stat points, hitpoints, experience, weapons which do Xd6 damage and have Y enchantments, etc... Numbers, numbers, and more numbers - none of which have anything to do with true role-playing. If nobody had told you that you were supposed to "role-play" in one of these games, how would you even know to do that? The game doesn't tell you. And it certainly doesn't encourage that kind of behavior.

If the social aspects of a game aren't directly included as part of the gameplay itself then the vast majority of players will ignore it. If the developers spend 95% of their time coding game math and 5% on features that encourage social interaction, you shouldn't be surprised when 95% of the players don't role-play their characters.

Well... (2, Insightful)

ae0nflx (679000) | more than 11 years ago | (#6492006)

This is a tough topic, for me at least. I love Role Playing Games. I started with D&D back in the day and I have continued ever since, switching to computer/console based RPGs after my 'friends' ditched me.

I really do enjoy people who Role Play, ya know, assume a role and stick with it. This does not mean the l337 h4x0r posing as a level 5 mage. I want the game to keep the concept of role playing. However, not everyone sits behind their computer with a Jolt Cola in one hand and a direct copy of Sting in the other (the guy even told me it changes color when orcs are around, but I haven't had the chance to try that feature out yet) like I do.

But this poses a problem. There are not many of our kind out there (which is probably for the best), but those of us who are out there are prone to just a tensy wensy bit of elitism. We become less tolerant of people in the community who are not as extreme as we are. We want a different game than they do, but when we subscribe to an MMORPG, we are subscribing to a Mass Multiplayer Online Community. Let me say that again, Mass Multiplayer. That does not mean just those of us who are really really into RPGs, but everyone else too.

So what's the solution? Good question, thanks for asking. Maybe different servers, based on your extremism, ranging from the l337 folk, to the SCA folk. We cannot let our elitism scare others away from our community. Be kind welcoming, don't punish people, give helpful suggestions, they work better and establish a lot more good blood in the community.

DISCLAIMER: I am a big SCA fan.

Well, that's my two cents

Guilds often can make a difference... (1)

Kyriani (105052) | more than 11 years ago | (#6499982)

I am a huge RPer, and even though I like other types of games, RPGs are my favorite. I have been playing MMORPGs for over 6 years now, and I have to say that your guild can make all the difference. I have been in a bunch of "roleplay" guilds (always seems kindof sad to have to differentiate roleplay and non-roleplay in a RolePlaying Game) and they have kept my faith in the game I was playing. When they went to a new game, I went with them. Having a community that does the same activity that you do (in this case roleplaying) makes all the difference, it allows you to at least mostly shut out all the 1337 d3wdz and interact with people the way you want the game to be played.
I recently went back to DAoC just to join Shadowclan [shadowclan.org] , a guild that roleplays a kobold horde, complete with their own language (based off of Tolkien's Black Speech). Its a blast!
If you like to roleplay, make your own guild and gather like minds. Or do some research and work toward getting into one of the existing roleplay guilds. Theres a ton out there.

No way around this (1)

Zed2K (313037) | more than 11 years ago | (#6492738)

There is no way around this. The developers cannot kick people out who don't speak 'ye olde english' or something like that. People will play games the way they want to play them and you can't force them to act how you want them to act. Its the same way with other types of games.

And whose to say the people that aren't 'acting' like some people want them to act aren't roleplaying in their own way?

Re:No way around this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6492808)

Time to invent 'y3 0ld3 l33t'!

Have no fear... Arcadia is here! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6492765)

telnet mud.arcadia.net 4000

64.90.160.100:4000

Have fun!

http://arcadia.net/MUD/

Swallows? (-1, Offtopic)

Homology (639438) | more than 11 years ago | (#6493139)

It's hard to sustain a willingness to role-play when the mindless android in front of you swallows your shuttle ticket without so much as an apology

My wife is pretty willing to swallow, and it's not hard at all for me sustain my will for this. And no apology is offered either, but I guess I can live with that.

yeah yeah yeah (1)

skinnedmink (637713) | more than 11 years ago | (#6493238)

Ok, I play SWG, and people are not role-playing then you bring up current events or a current song and they act "well, I'm in a galaxy far far away and I have never heard of that" STOP KIDDING YOURSELVES! Come on, can't keep pretending that your role-playing and not doing it then complaining about non-roleplayers. What SWG needs is a role-playing server so everyone will know what to expect.

If you want enforced RP (1)

Lord_Dweomer (648696) | more than 11 years ago | (#6493270)

You should check out some of the player run Shard for UO. Many of them require an application to be filled out and you are either accepted or denied. They also strictly enforce RPing on the server and you will simply be banned if you don't. What the MMORPG world needs is more options in terms of game engines that let people craft their own games. Neverwinter Nights was an excellent start, but we need to keep em coming.

Re:If you want enforced RP (1)

I. M. Bur (460890) | more than 11 years ago | (#6498216)

You may want to check out this [worldforge.org] . Not quite there yet, but promising.

Role-playing doesn't just mean acting anymore... (2, Insightful)

analog_line (465182) | more than 11 years ago | (#6493406)

I'm more than well aware of the people who believe that role-playing is some pure, unsullied ideal which everyone who plays these games must aspire to. I deal with them far too often, and wish they would find this role-playing nirvana they're after so they can leave me the hell alone. However, I think most of these people would be better served taking acting lessons than playing games.

Role-playing games are not the same as acting. Some of them get a good approximation thereof (like Mind's Eye Theatre stuff from White Wolf and a hard-nosed DM on a Neverwinter persistent world) but what your looking for is over there with all the theatre majors. Final Fantasy VII isn't an acting game, it's a role-playing game. The term has come to define that style of game, and all kinds of variations on the theme, but acting ain't a part of it. Most MMORPGs that have ever been are just the same kind of thing with you able to talk with tons of other people and interact with their versions of Cloud Strife, Tifa, Cid, or whomever. Frankly, Warcraft 3, Shogun: Total War, Quake, Half Life, and just about any other non-puzzle game in existance is as much an acting game as Everquest, Baldur's Gate, or any other so-called "role-playing" game.

I actually like acting, but a game is at best a mediocre stage, and online gaming is the worst of the lot. There are people who have a blast doing it, and more power to them, but acting like the rest of us are ruining your performance is sad.

Planetside. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6494870)

Although Planetside is designed to be an action game, it still has problems. The aim is to kill enemy players and there isn't much in the way of character development (besides battle and command ranks) - it's mostly player skill. But people have *still* found ways to cheat or bend the rules.

One of the most disturbing problems so far is because there are *three* teams. Each supposedly mortal enemies in the game, each with a few unique weapons - but when two decide to double-team the third... it's a grossly unfair and horrible experience to those being ganged up on. And when they start to share those unique weapons amongst themselves - you can't do anything but loose horribly.

Another minor issue is with those bloodthirsty enough to kill their own side if they make a mistake and mess up in some way. Even if they walk into your line of fire and get hurt - they'll blame you. It destroys the whole teamwork element of the game. The "grief" system in place helps but doesn't really do enough to prevent all abuse. Sure, it's a MMOFPS - but a few players are still dicks.

For a team game, I've found going solo to be a much more rewarding experience lately, although the lack of anything to do besides kill the other side (a massive team deathmatch with some bases that are largely pointless and irrelevant to anything) doesn't help.

Roleplaying/Immersion (2, Interesting)

Muggins the Mad (27719) | more than 11 years ago | (#6495174)

I'm seeing many different opinions of what roleplaying *is*. So I guess it's no surprise that no game seems to be able to live up to everyone's expectations.

To me, a shining example of good roleplaying is when the character does something that the *player* knows will be really bad for them, but the character wouldn't have. I've almost never seen that happen in online games.

But to me, the biggest problem with nearly every online game I've tried is mentioned in the article, but I don't think it's a "roleplaying" thing. It's language.

One of the reasons I like games is... immersion. Escapism. I can come home after a bad day at work and go into a world where magic works, where the good are rewarded, and where I can slay great evil beasts.

That is almost *totally* destroyed when there is a continuous scroll of "lol!!!!! I 0wn3d j00r k177!!!!" type stuff. To me, it destroys the immersion and snaps me back into the real world I'm trying to escape when I meet an elven princess who immediately says "greetz!! grp me!!! grp me!!!"

That's one of the main reasons I abandoned EQ and DAoC (the other being time). Take away the immersability, and I find it hard to see why anyone would play any of the MMORPGs.

- Muggins the Mad

First step...words that will get you banned (1)

KalvinB (205500) | more than 11 years ago | (#6496401)

Set up a dictionary of words and phrases that will get you banned after a certain frequency of usage.

Another potential solution is to allow players to rate other players. Slashdot type moderation but with more adjectives. "Lamer," "AOL User," "asshole," etc.

For the ambitious you could also set up an automated system of stats that is affected by your words and actions. Everytime you attack something you get a point for agressivness. Everytime you use strong language you get a point for foul mouthed. Everytime you log on from an AOL based IP you get a "loser" point. Etc. Points could then decrease over time and if you manage to go over a certain threshold you get banned or warned or whatever. The "leet" speakage could be worked into that system. Everytime you use a word like "1337" you get a "lamer" point. To many lamer points and you're gone.

Such a system wouldn't be too difficult to implement. In fact, I've got a couple weeks to kill, I'm going to play with it in my on-line project.

Ben

Paid Actors (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6501136)

Npc's just don't cut it in a good RPG they end up being flat... If a game wanted to realy be interesting they would pay select people to play. These people would be in some positions of authority guild masters, lords of a realm ect.. and they could direct the flow of the game one lord could decide to take over the entire universe and try and rally support.... The main thing is having major Events happen and people in role that make intelligent actions would help. In a large population 90 or so actors would suffice.. Soon to others would like these positions of power and players could in some ways take over them all promoteing role playing... as for OOC speech I think its ok as long as you do have IC speech along with it, Even sitting around the table rolling dice you break it up with talk about whats going on I mean come on its a game have fun.

Role Playing and balance of play (1)

Kirellii (688799) | more than 11 years ago | (#6502336)

This post is EXACTLY why the game I help develop was designed. In starshiptraders, the playing field is balanced through time limitations. In addition, the game is only player versus player. This means that the universe(s) are dynamic based upon the players themselves. In addition, there are three ways of playing. This means that someone who only wants to see text can play in telnet mode and it is all imagination. The person who likes clicky things can play with the browser and it is just like anything else on the web - click in - check - click out as you will. The third way to play is the graphical client that I support. In this, you can actually see some of the items in play which include planets, ports, wormholes, and other ships. This lets you pick the reality level you want. In addition, it has 2 layers of communication. The bulletin/mail feature allows you to communicate in a persistant manner with built in security to everyone or a group. The radio allows you to chat and it has channels so that private conversations can be had. The RPG aspect is limited to the players and their imagination, but the looting factor is minimized as you do have to interact and trade. By this I mean when you trade an area you are directly cutting into someone else's profits. However, everyone has a time limit as well as a fuel/move limit so you can't just play forever and CAMP. Let us face it - camping is a waste of time. Best of all - it is free and in Opensource C (the client is anyhow). This allows it to be run in Linux, Windows, and I have even heard it compiles in BEOS. I imagine it would run anywhere that OpenGL resides. Anyhow, I agree that you have to search long and hard for a good RPG. Wherever you go, you have to participate as an RPGer or it will not happen. RPGs are based on critical mass of good players being achieved. Whether you play starshiptraders or any other game - it is reliant upon you to make it a good RPG. Although I would hate to see someone making an RPG out of a chess match - but it could happen just as in Harry Potter. (a little bit off, but true in spirit)
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