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After being through a few MMO releases over the past 5 years I've heard this phrase used many many times and its been cropping up again in the SW:TOR forum. But everyone that uses it has a different idea of what a real MMORPG is it can be a sandbox like UO or a heavily group grinding based game like Everquest or a hybrid of the two like Asherons Call or a three faction PvP game like DAOC or a quest heavy game like World Of Warcraft and Everquest 2 or inter-corporation polictics, exploration, galactic PVP game as in EVE. Now as I wasn't there at the creation of the graphical Massive Multiplayer Online Roleplaying game as I came in in 2007 I wonder was there an actual template that defines what a real MMORPG is or is this just a meaningless phrease used to denegrate modern "MMORPG's"?
Personally I've had some great experiences in modern MMORPG's that I could not get in any other type of online game like the feeling I'm immersed in an online world with thousands of other players, (when I first played WoW I wanted to explore all the world do all the quests and play with as many people as I could, same with EQ2 and now SW:TOR), roleplaying with others has been a surprisingly enjoyable experience, crafting objects that are actually useful and needed by my guild or friends in game, going on adventures around the world with others and having to be organised in a team to survive what ever the world threw at us, being a successful trader within a real economy, having a home that I can hang my treasures and trophies the list goes on. So now I'm thinking I've never actually played a real MMORPG and I'm wondering what else is there other than going full simulation like Wurm Online.
We all seem to have different ideas of what makes an MMORPG and the "its not a real MMORPG" seems to come from disgrungled vets who have seen the genre evolve away from what they imagined it would be a decade or so ago, but that happens with entertainment and Art in general. Thomas Edison said about his new invention “I don’t want the phonograph sold for amusement purposes. It is not a toy. It is for business purposes only.” what would he think about the iPod and I feel that many of the users of this "its not a real MMORPG" phrase feel the same about there precious MMORPG games.
In SW:TOR I feel much more immersed in the world around me than I have with previous games, it has come alive with a myriad of different characters and places to meet and see that it makes me want to see and hear it all just like WoW and EQ2 and when I'm grouped it feels like I'm in an adventure film with all the dialogue choices and fast paced action. But it is to some a lobby based dungeon/quest/PvP grinder though I feel I'm playing a Massive Multiplayer Online Roleplaying Game with all the different people to play with and against, places to see and things to do and with game dev's only having a certain amount of time, resources and funds I understand that no game is going to be all things to all men but why do players think that they should be? surely there is an MMORPG out there for you and if not patience is a virtue you know, there are plentry of other things to fill your time rather than bemoaning the demise of the genre.
This doom and gloom thread was brought to you by Chin Up the new ultra high caffeine soft drink for gamers who just need that boost of happiness after a long forum session.