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Looking at current MMORPGS (and with reference to current theoretical models of interaction founded in CMC based rerseach) I think we need more forms of interaction in MMORPGs. Sure we get a lot of hullabaloo about class roles, the trinity, twitch gaming, death penalties etc. But how much attention is paid to the manner in which we interact in MMORPGs? A majority of MMORPG interaction occurs in a synchronous setting with avatars interacting in virtual physical space in real time. To complete a dungeon or fight a PVP battle you need to get a bunch of folks together in real time. This may be due much in part to non-persistent worlds. But even then in games like Ryzom (sorry my sandbox knowledge is very outdated ><) and Ultima we had most of interactions occur in real time.
Is there a place for more asynchronous interaction in MMORPGs? One thing you see players complaining about here a lot (besides WoW) is not having the time to play or having an odd schedule. We can’t always play with our pals when we want. So why aren’t there more types of asynchronous ways in which we can interact. Sure I can craft something and give it to you to help you later, but can I go in and clear out part of a dungeon? Can I do some damage to a rival even when s/hes not there? See here on forums land our interaction is completely asynchronous and based on the continued participation here ideally fun and defiantly very social. Now as any research will tell you it’s easy to point out a problem and I am not sure I have a solution here, but I think one big problem with MMORPGs today and looking at the (subjective ) success of GW2 and the features which were hyped in its conception players aren’t always need to interact in a synchronous medium and even when they cats and toddlers and spouses can make interaction sporadic.
So great minds of the MMOPRG.com forums what do you think? Am I completely off here? Is there any way we can make a game fun and exciting yet not be limited by who else happens to be on at the same time? How can players interact with the game enviornment synchrnously and asynchronously change the world for others?