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Role-Playing in MMORPGs

TithenonTithenon Fountain, COPosts: 109Member

I'm sure many of these discussions have taken place, but I wanted to take this opportunity, in particular to talk about one of the articles from MMORPG.com, recently, and the effect it's had on my thoughts over the past two days.


William Murphy, on August 3rd, wrote the column “The List: Five Games That Should Be MMOs”.  I like his writing, I honestly do, and I’m not trying to cut him down, here, so if it seems that way, I will apologize up-front.  However, the article actually made me angry… curious to find out why?


 


The problem I had with it is that all the games listed there were computer and/or console games.  I love computer games, I really do –I despise consoles… sorry, guys–, but the advent of computer games came from the world of tabletop Role-Playing Games, and homage really should be paid to these, from my favorite pastime, and it never has been done justice.  Now, my post from the other night, is copied here…


 


Okay, if we're only talking about video games being made into MMOs, then this list is excellent.  However, what about tabletop RPGs that really need to see the light of the MMO day?


1)  Earthdawn


2)  Shadowrun


3)  BattleTech


4)  Millennium's End


5)  Dark Conspiracy


6)  Torg: Role-Playing the Possibility Wars


7)  Warhammer Fantasy Role-Play (not the BS garbage out, now, a true MMORPG {ROLE-PLAYING GAME, not KILL EVERYTHING IN SIGHT})


 


Please understand, I have nothing against anything William listed, except none of them were role-playing games, they were computer games playing at trying to be role-players, not role-players.  I have been playing Dragon Age Legends on Facebook for two days, and it is touted as a role-playing game, when indeed that is laughable, at minimum, and absolutely untrue on its face, a lie.  This is also true with every single MMO-supposed-RPG to-date, and I’m uncertain Secret World and the coming Star Wars will be much better, though they are, most assuredly getting closer.  See, Bioware, and maybe Tornquists crew, have role-players among their development team, and they’re actually having an effect on how the game is produced, so it would seem.  I have no doubt other MMO developers have role-players in their crews, also, but they were obviously a sub-class when the game was in development,


 


“Get back in your cage, role-player boy!”  (swish-smack) as the whip cracks.


 


Hey, MMO companies, don’t you know that, in order to have a real RPG on your hands, you need to unleash your role-players?


 


I have read several forums and stories, such as those on this web site, and I read all the time about players who actually need a story to follow, and are thoroughly exhausted by the enormous amount of “chase this”, “kill that”, “talk to this guy” garbage that has been put out at the cost of billions of wonderful taxpayer dollars.  The industry became comfortable –until TOR and Secret World’s dev teams, I hope– with the idea that this is what players actually wanted, to kill crap all day long and that would be satisfying.  Well, take notice, blokes, it ain’t good enough, anymore.


 


Each of the games I listed, above, are extraordinary games, and you’ll notice the top three are from the now-defunct FASA Corporation, right?


 


EARTHDAWN


The fantasy sector of the MMO market is absolutely saturated, right now, so this likely wouldn’t see any market share, but if a company could take and develop the true whole of this high-magic-high-fantasy world to its righteous extents, WoW would die on the vine.  I’m not kidding.  This world is so highly developed, so beautiful, so deadly, and so thoroughly explorable, that NOT making it correctly would be a travesty beyond imagination, worse than not making it at all.


 


SHADOWRUN


There is a heavily modded version of this game being made, now, and I believe the guys who are doing it may actually be able to make the world sing for us, but it’s going to take a LOT more work than they’ve already done, and a whole lot more money.  However, this world, almost surely an extension to Earthdawn, even though Shadowrun was produced first, is as beautiful, complex, and delicious, in a very different way, from Earthdawn, and anything less than a full role-playing experience would be a mistake.  Some company attempted to make a Shadowrun game for the XBOX, and it was a dismal failure.  A game like this would take one DVD-R of space for the basics of the game system, the races, etc., but the rest of the game would fit on around nine more DVD-Rs.  Big chore.


 


Now, what do I mean by ‘full’ role-play?  Well, Bethesda Softworks, Bioware, and FunCom seem to be getting the clue that a world needs to be interactive… not just with bullets, lasers, good guys beating bad guys, and good guys being made dead by bad guys, but there need to be clues, puzzles, logical continuity to a story, and a story to begin with.  In order to have story, you need to crack the books, make the universe in-line with those books, include the lore, back-story, history, mythology, and give each race and/or group of people, monsters, etc., goals, ideals, loves, hates as a group and not on a specific individual level, and then you can adjust these items individually for people who are bent on destroying the characters if they do something wrong, or who are willing to help them through difficulties if the players use their characters to talk with the NPC right.  There’s more to it than that, but since you can’t really program a true personality into them, yet, you do the best with what you have.


 


BATTLETECH


My heart catches in my throat every time I think of seeing this one on my computer screen, where I’m actually able to play a character in this amazing universe, and then climb the body of a BattleMech and go into battle with a character I’m actually building up.  I’ve dreamt about this since seeing, and participating in, the first exploits of Gideon Braver in the very first, original MechWarrior game.  Surely you’ve seen the work of various space-rendering artists, where the visage of a planet not too far away from the one you’re viewing it from is rising, or much like the worlds in Pitch Black as the sun was beginning to falter behind those other worlds.  What would it be like to actually see those things.  MekTek and the MechWarrior: Living Legends crew have done absolutely amazing things with the MechWarrior games, but they are still only combat simulations, not RPGs.  Alternately, there is an extraordinary tabletop dice and paper role-playing game called the Classic Battletech RPG, or now A Time of War (AToW), that could be ported into an MMO with its complexities.  I would cry to see this game done properly, not as a sole combat game.


 


MILLENNIUM’S END


Until recently, The Agency was going to start filling the niche of the covert operations MMO category, but it was still only going to be an extended combat game, which would have been utterly beautiful to see, apart from the videos I watched when I first found out it was coming out.  I’m a huge 007 fan, and I’m here to tell you my heart dropped into my feet the day I found out this was canceled.  Millennium’s End, by Charles Ryan, is a role-playing version of what The Agency would have been, and it would be wonderful if someone would pick up The Agency, continue its funding, and build it into an actual role-playing game rather than what The Agency was set to be.


 


DARK CONSPIRACY


A third edition of the tabletop role-player is in work by 3 Hombre’s Games, but it would be something else to see the world as originally envisioned by Lester Smith with the game was first produced, and to play in that world.  I always sort of pictured it as a zombie infested version of Shadowrun, with the other horror elements of the game available for heart-stopping consumption, as well.  I ran this game for three different groups of role-players, and each enjoyed it when we were playing, but there’s a great deal more that could have been done with the game, and I hope someone else will pick up that mantle, eventually.


 


TORG: ROLE-PLAYING THE POSSIBILITY WARS


Ever wanted to play a pulp fictional character with super abilities and ray guns, or a werewolf with cyberware, or a mage capable of turning into a dragon temporarily?  How about the game system available to support all of that?  This is your game.  Now, drop it back to 1990, when the world was still relatively decent, you could look at your neighbor without them wanting to engage you in a fight, and you dare not try to keep your children inside, or they would miss the sunshine and rain.  A war of realities, where you play a character trying to detach the realities of the invaders from this world, to keep it from being torn apart by storms caused between the edges of their realities and ours.  Finally, add in the effects of standard and dramatic portions of the game, where dramatic portions are more difficult, and more is at stake if the players lose, for their characters, where time may very well be a factor in whether you win or lose.  (grin)


 


WARHAMMER FANTASY ROLE-PLAY


Warhammer: Age of Reckoning, I realize was not meant to be an actual RPG, it’s the Fantasy Battles section of the Warhammer universe.  That being said, it’s time something was done for us role-players, and Games Workshop should spear-head that effort, so we role-players, who have supported them for two decades, now, can actually have a place to play with our friends, where we might even be able to help build adventures, hooks, monsters, spells, et al.  Bring it on GW… you’re pretty bold throwing this other travesty of a game in our faces.


 


Will any of these ever come to fruition?  Not likely, unless I somehow get the money and support to do one of these myself.  I love them all, and I’m not truly certain which one I would put first on my priority list, but most likely the one that hasn’t had a niche to fill, yet, would be the best to begin with.


 


Well, I think I’ve ranted long enough.  If anyone thinks I’m right, don’t be too proud to get vocal, here, because the devs will start listening when our dollars begin going to the projects and people who actually deserve our time and money.

Comments

  • jmayorjmayor Berlin, MDPosts: 36Member

    I'm with you in spirit but the fact is the "typical" player isn't interested in roleplaying...they want to show off their characters, get loot like crazy, and kill each other.

     

    so yah...if any of these games come to be....they're going to be niche...and certainly not get enough subs to compete with the big boys

     

    majority of players just don't care about it....they want a social aspect (like I said) where they just go to get "phat lewts", kill each other, and talk trash.  They're not interested in sitting around chatting in-character.  or exploring..or anything of the sort.

     

    I'm not one of those, but that doesn't mean I think if a game was catered to what -I- would want it to be would automatically make it a huge success...

  • zxcvbnm1234zxcvbnm1234 qwerPosts: 92Member

    "Five Games That Should Be MMOs"

    Let me list.

    1- Elder Scrools

    2- Baldur's Gate

    3- Icewind Dale

    4- Gothic

    5- Risen

    by the way Darksiders's content was very interesting.

  • crack_foxcrack_fox WellingtonPosts: 402Member

    I haven't done any tabletop stuff since the days of MERP/RM decades ago, but I'm not convinced that roleplaying really belongs in the static world of the MMORPG.  I tend to gravitate towards roleplaying servers, and I'll indulge rpers if I encounter them, but the only role I generally concern myself with is that of tank, dps or healer. Character backstories, quirks and personality traits feel incongruous when the game world cannot adapt and react to the actions of players.

  • C0MAC0MA Houson, TXPosts: 522Member

    Roleplaying is very much a part of MMO-RPG's, most people who "hate" role playing spend a lot of their time role playing. When you log onto a virtual character, with a virtual name keeping a in game only identity as most people prefer to stay anonymous from their real life... they are role playing. Everytime I see someone downing role players in global I like to bring up the irony of the players entire world.

    (For example)

    Name: Rhizo       Guild: Eyes of Ghondore           Title: Hero of the people
     
    It's like okay,.. so you hate role players but you play a role playing game, use a role playing name join a guild with a "backstory" and have a role play title visible to the public... Bravo to you sir.

    "Sometimes people say stuff they don''t mean, but more often then that they don''t say things they do mean"
    image

  • ignore_meignore_me Apple Valley, CAPosts: 1,987Member

    Yeah it's the ill-fated melding of sensory action versus imagination. The minute GiJoe is in a remote controlled Jeep you are not playing with action figures any more, you're playing with an action toy. PnPRPGs use imagination and social interaction, but once you introduce sensory action ... the slow, methodical world of RP is subborned by our visually driven sense of the world.

    I was raised on table-top, and I know the power of home-grown stories, but the computer RPG and the player's imagination are in a marriage of convenience that holds no passion.

    Survivor of the great MMORPG Famine of 2011

  • rfernan9rfernan9 Buenos AiresPosts: 27Member

    Originally posted by Orizontas

    "Five Games That Should Be MMOs"

    Let me list.

    1- Elder Scrools

    2- Baldur's Gate

    3- Icewind Dale

    4- Gothic

    5- Risen

    by the way Darksiders's content was very interesting.

    Love to see this games in MMORPG. In addition like to see this too:

    1. DemonSoul

    2. Assasins Creed

    3. Uncharted would be a nice mmo with the same engine as vindictus if ever

  • ars2010ars2010 Kansas City, KSPosts: 15Member

    Originally posted by Tithenon

    I'm sure many of these discussions have taken place, but I wanted to take this opportunity, in particular to talk about one of the articles from MMORPG.com, recently, and the effect it's had on my thoughts over the past two days.


    William Murphy, on August 3rd, wrote the column “The List: Five Games That Should Be MMOs”.  I like his writing, I honestly do, and I’m not trying to cut him down, here, so if it seems that way, I will apologize up-front.  However, the article actually made me angry… curious to find out why?


     


    The problem I had with it is that all the games listed there were computer and/or console games.  I love computer games, I really do –I despise consoles… sorry, guys–, but the advent of computer games came from the world of tabletop Role-Playing Games, and homage really should be paid to these, from my favorite pastime, and it never has been done justice.  Now, my post from the other night, is copied here…


     


    Okay, if we're only talking about video games being made into MMOs, then this list is excellent.  However, what about tabletop RPGs that really need to see the light of the MMO day?


    1)  Earthdawn


    2)  Shadowrun


    3)  BattleTech


    4)  Millennium's End


    5)  Dark Conspiracy


    6)  Torg: Role-Playing the Possibility Wars


    7)  Warhammer Fantasy Role-Play (not the BS garbage out, now, a true MMORPG {ROLE-PLAYING GAME, not KILL EVERYTHING IN SIGHT})


     


    Please understand, I have nothing against anything William listed, except none of them were role-playing games, they were computer games playing at trying to be role-players, not role-players.  I have been playing Dragon Age Legends on Facebook for two days, and it is touted as a role-playing game, when indeed that is laughable, at minimum, and absolutely untrue on its face, a lie.  This is also true with every single MMO-supposed-RPG to-date, and I’m uncertain Secret World and the coming Star Wars will be much better, though they are, most assuredly getting closer.  See, Bioware, and maybe Tornquists crew, have role-players among their development team, and they’re actually having an effect on how the game is produced, so it would seem.  I have no doubt other MMO developers have role-players in their crews, also, but they were obviously a sub-class when the game was in development,


     


    “Get back in your cage, role-player boy!”  (swish-smack) as the whip cracks.


     


    Hey, MMO companies, don’t you know that, in order to have a real RPG on your hands, you need to unleash your role-players?


     


    I have read several forums and stories, such as those on this web site, and I read all the time about players who actually need a story to follow, and are thoroughly exhausted by the enormous amount of “chase this”, “kill that”, “talk to this guy” garbage that has been put out at the cost of billions of wonderful taxpayer dollars.  The industry became comfortable –until TOR and Secret World’s dev teams, I hope– with the idea that this is what players actually wanted, to kill crap all day long and that would be satisfying.  Well, take notice, blokes, it ain’t good enough, anymore.


     


    Each of the games I listed, above, are extraordinary games, and you’ll notice the top three are from the now-defunct FASA Corporation, right?


     


    EARTHDAWN


    The fantasy sector of the MMO market is absolutely saturated, right now, so this likely wouldn’t see any market share, but if a company could take and develop the true whole of this high-magic-high-fantasy world to its righteous extents, WoW would die on the vine.  I’m not kidding.  This world is so highly developed, so beautiful, so deadly, and so thoroughly explorable, that NOT making it correctly would be a travesty beyond imagination, worse than not making it at all.


     


    SHADOWRUN


    There is a heavily modded version of this game being made, now, and I believe the guys who are doing it may actually be able to make the world sing for us, but it’s going to take a LOT more work than they’ve already done, and a whole lot more money.  However, this world, almost surely an extension to Earthdawn, even though Shadowrun was produced first, is as beautiful, complex, and delicious, in a very different way, from Earthdawn, and anything less than a full role-playing experience would be a mistake.  Some company attempted to make a Shadowrun game for the XBOX, and it was a dismal failure.  A game like this would take one DVD-R of space for the basics of the game system, the races, etc., but the rest of the game would fit on around nine more DVD-Rs.  Big chore.


     


    Now, what do I mean by ‘full’ role-play?  Well, Bethesda Softworks, Bioware, and FunCom seem to be getting the clue that a world needs to be interactive… not just with bullets, lasers, good guys beating bad guys, and good guys being made dead by bad guys, but there need to be clues, puzzles, logical continuity to a story, and a story to begin with.  In order to have story, you need to crack the books, make the universe in-line with those books, include the lore, back-story, history, mythology, and give each race and/or group of people, monsters, etc., goals, ideals, loves, hates as a group and not on a specific individual level, and then you can adjust these items individually for people who are bent on destroying the characters if they do something wrong, or who are willing to help them through difficulties if the players use their characters to talk with the NPC right.  There’s more to it than that, but since you can’t really program a true personality into them, yet, you do the best with what you have.


     


    BATTLETECH


    My heart catches in my throat every time I think of seeing this one on my computer screen, where I’m actually able to play a character in this amazing universe, and then climb the body of a BattleMech and go into battle with a character I’m actually building up.  I’ve dreamt about this since seeing, and participating in, the first exploits of Gideon Braver in the very first, original MechWarrior game.  Surely you’ve seen the work of various space-rendering artists, where the visage of a planet not too far away from the one you’re viewing it from is rising, or much like the worlds in Pitch Black as the sun was beginning to falter behind those other worlds.  What would it be like to actually see those things.  MekTek and the MechWarrior: Living Legends crew have done absolutely amazing things with the MechWarrior games, but they are still only combat simulations, not RPGs.  Alternately, there is an extraordinary tabletop dice and paper role-playing game called the Classic Battletech RPG, or now A Time of War (AToW), that could be ported into an MMO with its complexities.  I would cry to see this game done properly, not as a sole combat game.


     


    MILLENNIUM’S END


    Until recently, The Agency was going to start filling the niche of the covert operations MMO category, but it was still only going to be an extended combat game, which would have been utterly beautiful to see, apart from the videos I watched when I first found out it was coming out.  I’m a huge 007 fan, and I’m here to tell you my heart dropped into my feet the day I found out this was canceled.  Millennium’s End, by Charles Ryan, is a role-playing version of what The Agency would have been, and it would be wonderful if someone would pick up The Agency, continue its funding, and build it into an actual role-playing game rather than what The Agency was set to be.


     


    DARK CONSPIRACY


    A third edition of the tabletop role-player is in work by 3 Hombre’s Games, but it would be something else to see the world as originally envisioned by Lester Smith with the game was first produced, and to play in that world.  I always sort of pictured it as a zombie infested version of Shadowrun, with the other horror elements of the game available for heart-stopping consumption, as well.  I ran this game for three different groups of role-players, and each enjoyed it when we were playing, but there’s a great deal more that could have been done with the game, and I hope someone else will pick up that mantle, eventually.


     


    TORG: ROLE-PLAYING THE POSSIBILITY WARS


    Ever wanted to play a pulp fictional character with super abilities and ray guns, or a werewolf with cyberware, or a mage capable of turning into a dragon temporarily?  How about the game system available to support all of that?  This is your game.  Now, drop it back to 1990, when the world was still relatively decent, you could look at your neighbor without them wanting to engage you in a fight, and you dare not try to keep your children inside, or they would miss the sunshine and rain.  A war of realities, where you play a character trying to detach the realities of the invaders from this world, to keep it from being torn apart by storms caused between the edges of their realities and ours.  Finally, add in the effects of standard and dramatic portions of the game, where dramatic portions are more difficult, and more is at stake if the players lose, for their characters, where time may very well be a factor in whether you win or lose.  (grin)


     


    WARHAMMER FANTASY ROLE-PLAY


    Warhammer: Age of Reckoning, I realize was not meant to be an actual RPG, it’s the Fantasy Battles section of the Warhammer universe.  That being said, it’s time something was done for us role-players, and Games Workshop should spear-head that effort, so we role-players, who have supported them for two decades, now, can actually have a place to play with our friends, where we might even be able to help build adventures, hooks, monsters, spells, et al.  Bring it on GW… you’re pretty bold throwing this other travesty of a game in our faces.


     


    Will any of these ever come to fruition?  Not likely, unless I somehow get the money and support to do one of these myself.  I love them all, and I’m not truly certain which one I would put first on my priority list, but most likely the one that hasn’t had a niche to fill, yet, would be the best to begin with.


     


    Well, I think I’ve ranted long enough.  If anyone thinks I’m right, don’t be too proud to get vocal, here, because the devs will start listening when our dollars begin going to the projects and people who actually deserve our time and money.

     

    earthDawan and Shadow run is my Favorite MMORG image

  • SpottyGekkoSpottyGekko RotterdamPosts: 3,845Member Uncommon

     

    In the kinds of PnP games I've played, you are not focused on "end-game content" or "maxxing your char skills". The focus is on the journey, not the destination. Character development is a side-effect of the journey, not it's purpose. There IS no end-game.

     

    That's why PnP games are so hard to translate into an MMO setting. It's like taking the storyline that your group has gone through in five play sessions, and just repating it over and over again.

     

    To enjoy RP in a game, you have to be prepared to invest in the game world. You have to immerse yourself, otherwise it becomes contrived RP. If you're not enjoying the journey through the game, you won't be prepared to spend time on things that enrich that journey and actually make it last longer.

     

    I believe that players who are intent on reaching level-cap as fast as possible in a game, will not be interested in RP. It just slows them down too much. And there are a great many of those players in the MMO market today.


     

    On the Landroval server in Lotro you will see the odd character that actually WALKS around in towns, rather than using autorun. It was a shock, and actually looked out of place, lol.


  • Jazzka25Jazzka25 poriPosts: 7Member

    I installed my NWN diamond edition and found RP persistant world named Ravenloft.

    It is low magic and encourages roleplaying which gives you xp.

    average population on server is 25 and all players are into rp.

    If own copy of NWN Sotu& Hotu check this out or get one from GOG for 9$

     

    Heres link for their site http://www.nwnravenloft.com/

  • MoppyDanielsMoppyDaniels FrankfurtPosts: 2Member

    I find it anoying when I was noticing that i.e. in STO it is (f2p was) impossible to RP as a matter of fact. While I was involved in RPing-threats pre-beta I realized as still playing the game previously it wasn't also to practicise it these days. That reminds me on SWG (as I heard only stories about pen & paper RPGs, and I didn't know before about RPing in MMOs) afterwards I can tell how to personate a character & his traits. As I was almost a Jedi in that game I started as alien Tw'ilek besides I was in the 1st expansion JTL a Rebel Alliance pilot, I wanted to get the grate of a bountyhunter.

     

    Today it matters more to use skills, which in SWG was new to me with all the useability of emotes, martialarts & new features that made the game popular. I never was able to RP afterwards in STO as I did before in the time when it was almost as a RPG in forums.

     

    After STO was dropped from formular owner of the IP P2 I played Second Life, which actualy was possible f2p in earlier days than nowadays WoW I don't play. When Cryptic took over unexepected the license from CBS & the game was in a earlier development stage, I din't realized how desperate the ppl in the only excisting fanhomepage Hailing-Frequency afterwards STO.net are when they after launch of beta & finaly the game used hacked versions of a MMORPG. Even though in my fleet was a person who told me in chat the game was "free to play“ which actualy is begining January 17th 12 not at the time the female Jean told me, because I'm not playing since my browser shot down when I attempted to make payment with a gamecard-key. It was almost impossible leading up to this day to recieve this card with a one from mailorder, which was the refound for a box from original Cryptic that had not a card inside, and I didn't could buy one from a Gamestop-store when the employee told me she had one & then there wasn't one for me.

    Engineer MoppyCGDaniels, Helmsman, Security team & captaining.

  • GlorghGlorgh Jersey City, NJPosts: 3Member

    agreed

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