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D&D: one of the culprits why MMOs are so bad

ElikalElikal ValhallaPosts: 8,063Member

I understand for many "Dungeons and Dragons" is one of "holy cows" for gamers and fantasy geeks. And many MMO gamers still have fond memories of pen and paper gaming. It is undoubtly true that D&D played a central role in the shaping of CRPGs and thus in the long run also of MMORPGs. The early computer RPGs were all more or less attempts to bring the dungon runs of D&D to computers. They functioned in the same, simple formula of D&D: make a dungeon and fill it with mobs. That was the central formula of D&D since it's early days: monster slaying.

Now while for once and then this is fine and nice, as someone who plays tabletop Pen and Paper games for almost 30 years now, I always felt D&D was a bit "simple-minded", in the way that it presented a doubtless great world, most popular the Fearun Forgotten Realms setting. But if I compare it to other PnP games, I always felt D&D was in the essence almost solely about slaying monsters. I know the German "Realms of Arcania" ("Das Schwarze Auge") is quite unknown in US and overseas. Maybe some may know the old Northland Trilogy or the first two Drakensang RPGs (which have nothing to do with the new Drakensang MMO btw.), there was always a much greater emphasis on socializing and roleplaying in Arcania and other PnP games. If you examine a typical D&D char and compare it to a char from Arcania, D&D chars have considerably more skill which are based on combat than a char from Arcania. And this was of course the paradigm of D&D: a simple fast paced dungeon run. I mean, there is nothing wrong with this, but in our days, it sort of weighs down all attempts to make different games, because we are so biased and blinded by this D&D heritage that we are still unable to imagine and manifest other ways to "advance" a game than by giving XP for mob kills as in the days of D&D.

 

My experience as DM of Arcania showed me there are a plethora of other ways to give experience to a group of characters other than how many mobs they killed. And if we look even at the most modern MMOs in the making, GW2 and SWTOR, they still give XP for mobs killed. Yes, you have a story-reason and you may not get the XP so much for the kills as to gather some badges they drop, but in the essence the are still kill counters, however elaborately masked. When I recall an adventure evening I DMed in Arcania, often an entire evening of, say, 8 hours went on with maby 1 fight or some even without any. The group would try to sneak by, or make diplomany or explore or do any number of solutions to the issue other than kill things, and it still way cool and interesting. So why don't MMOs do that more often? We heard it as a promise or plan often enough, but in the execution, it was always more a figleaf than a really new area. Example: The Vanguard diplomancy card game. It was a great idea: you needed a diplomat to open new stories or to find alternative solutions to quests. But the realization was only some side-note fun cardgame.

In Arcania, a character has a legion of non combat skills: Convincing, Heraldic, Etiquette, Dress-up, Disguise, Bluff, Streetwise Knowledge and many others, all to be applied to find other, non violent ways to proceed through a quest. Unfortunately D&D has sort of developed back to a pure mob killing game recently with the newest D&D 4 system, where a ton of potential social skills have all be cut away and you get XP purely for mob killing. A D&D dungeon romp has no diplomatic solution, and this heritage formed the perception of what a MMORPG has to be to this very day. You get XP for killing stuff.

 

Only here and there we saw a glimpse of other ways. SWG had with it's sandbox elements something different, especially with the Image Designers, Doctors and Entertainers there were entire subsystems which did not revolve around killing things, and to this day I am quite astonished why something so popular as the Entertainer system never was seen again in any form. One small hope is that SWTOR at least with have *some* decisions where you can get the same XP by nonviolent solutions, at least to a degree. It is not because I am such a pacifist, but it is because there would be need to have a much greater variety HOW to solve a quest, HOW to proceed through a "problem".

In our days, it doesn't make a difference whether you are a Priest or a Ranger or a Paladin: you always kill things. Why can't a Priest try to be diplomat and negiotiate with the robbers at the street, trying to convert them? Or he can go to missions of healing, teaching and preaching rather than killing? Or a Ranger could find other pathways through the wilderness for a group of travellers instead of just killing the robbers on the forest road. There are many ways a "problem" (quest) could be solved, depending on the skills of a character-role and the decisions of the player. And this thinking outside the D&D-box of mob-killing is what I miss and what I yet haven't really seen in MMORPGs. In this I think many developers are still too much confined in this 1970ies ideal of: "fantasy-game = monster killing", where noble attempts like Ultima IV already tried to break away from over two decades ago. But alas, this is a step we yet have to see in MMORPGs: The emancipation from the D&D heritage.

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Comments

  • nolic1nolic1 Kingman, AZPosts: 687Member Uncommon

    I Agree with allot of what you say. But to put in into a MMO would be challenging enough. Take any mmo I dont just go kill things but look for the simple path to complete the quest/task at hand if I fail I try again but do it differently and its all about trying and not failing. But all to often most mmo's have gone this route of kill 10 rats type quests. So we are stuck in a world where we follow whats put forth for us and not try to do whats not. Maybe Guildwars 2 will offer another solution or maybe SWTOR but we must wait and see. I hope one day a company comes along and makes an MMO thats open world with out quests at all this way you can make your own path and find your own quests.

    image
    To me I enjoy gaming I dont play to be uber I play to have fun. If a game is not fun to me guess what I move on and play something else till I find one that is. When I find that great game and not sure if in my life time there will be one I hope it has everything I want in an mmo.

  • SovrathSovrath Boston Area, MAPosts: 18,451Member Uncommon

    nah.

    It was up to the dungeon master to fill in those things or create adventures that didn't have combat.

    If anything D&D was better better because it tried not to bog your dm and players down with too much minutae. At least for a while and then more tables and more charats appeared.

    As a DM I discarded most of that stuff. It made the adventures flow much better. If I needed a dice roll I based it off of one of the stats or their backgrounds.

  • RasputinRasputin gnaf, AKPosts: 604Member Uncommon

    In AD&D I am tired of a trillion "Sense Motive", "Knowledge", "Spot" and other silly skills. Every time we have any kind of encounter, these skills are pulled out. What do they mean? And what does success mean?  That the DM has to give away all his hidden information?

    Why couldn't it be the players, that extract the information through investigating instead of the "Knowledge" skill? Or a player can figure out the motive of someone through cleverly interviewing him? Or by simply having a suspicion of his motive, based on what he says - as it is in r/l. You can never be 100% certain of a person's motive, until he shows his hand.

    IMO many of these "soft" skills in tabletop games could be done away with entirely. Instead there could be some guideline skills, that the players could take, that would decide what strengths their character has and decide how they roleplay. For instance, a character with social skills could be good at interviewing and getting information from NPC's. It would still be him as a person, who carries out the actual talking, but if he doesn't have the skills, the GM should not allow him to roleplay as a clever interviewer (he will be out of character).

    That would also strengthen the interaction between the GM and the players, that they have to really think and act cleverly to get what they want, instead of rolling a stupid d20 for success or failure.

  • Loke666Loke666 MalmöPosts: 17,934Member Uncommon

    I don't think it is D&Ds fault, is is the MMO devs who have very little imagination and just copy eachother all the time.

    Meridian 59 made a system based on D&D and almost all MMOs (besides UO, Eve and a few more) are more or less carbon copies of that system.

    I can't imagine why no one made a system of Runequest, Palladium, or one of the other zillion of good systems out there.

    The thing that pissed me off most were when Mythic used the usual system instead of the brilliant system from Warhammer fantasy RPG for WAR.

    We can't blame D&D for the lack of imagination from people who make MMOs. I hope WoDO will prove once and for all that you can convert other RPGs into MMOs and still make a fun and successful game.

  • jpnzjpnz SydneyPosts: 3,529Member

    Originally posted by Rasputin

    In AD&D I am tired of a trillion "Sense Motive", "Knowledge", "Spot" and other silly skills. Every time we have any kind of encounter, these skills are pulled out. What do they mean? And what does success mean?  That the DM has to give away all his hidden information?

    Why couldn't it be the players, that extract the information through investigating instead of the "Knowledge" skill? Or a player can figure out the motive of someone through cleverly interviewing him? Or by simply having a suspicion of his motive, based on what he says - as it is in r/l. You can never be 100% certain of a person's motive, until he shows his hand.

    IMO many of these "soft" skills in tabletop games could be done away with entirely. Instead there could be some guideline skills, that the players could take, that would decide what strengths their character has and decide how they roleplay. For instance, a character with social skills could be good at interviewing and getting information from NPC's. It would still be him as a person, who carries out the actual talking, but if he doesn't have the skills, the GM should not allow him to roleplay as a clever interviewer (he will be out of character).

    That would also strengthen the interaction between the GM and the players, that they have to really think and act cleverly to get what they want, instead of rolling a stupid d20 for success or failure.

    I thought the rule set for D&D was 'suggestion' with the DM having the ultimate power to use/not use the various things?

    I remember playing a D&D session where there was no 'soft' skills at all and was pure combat.

    Gdemami -
    Informing people about your thoughts and impressions is not a review, it's a blog.

  • Paradigm68Paradigm68 New York, NYPosts: 884Member Uncommon

    I think it depends on the kind of D&D you played. We never played in any of the official worlds.  My DM created his own world. A different one for each campaign usually with a completely different cultural basis. And the campaigns could last months at a time. Or until we were all dead. Made up our own non-combat skills. We used D&D as a basis and discarded everything else.  Since that was the only way I played I literally didn't know there was a shared D&D lore. When DDO came out and people were commenting on why they chose Eberron over some other world I didn't know what they were talking about.

    Being a game based solely on the shared imagination of the group, why would anyone accept something from the game they didn't like? Change it so it works for you and keep on rolling the dice.

  • Sain34Sain34 Las Cruces, NMPosts: 292Member

    First off D&D is a system wholey designed for killing monsters and getting loot. There are much ritcher table top systems out there. Second, in a DnD game the DM decides what rules are or are not important. In all the games I have ever been a part of only ONE has ever given xp per kill. The vast majority of DM give xp in 1 lump sum at the end of the game for progress or objectives completed. I have personally given larger amounts of xp to group that decided to roleplay or talk their way through situations where they could have just killed all the monsters and moved on. 

     

    I am sorry, but DnD is not to blame for the current state of MMOs. There is in fact a flaw in MMO being made today and that flaw is the simple fact that developers are giving us (the players) exactly what we asked for. We are curretly reaping what we have been sowing for years with endless forum threads about forced grouping and games being to hard and unfair drop rates and leveling being to slow, yes sir "that MMO" that is damaging the genre is exactly what we asked for it to be.

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  • Loke666Loke666 MalmöPosts: 17,934Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by Rasputin

    In AD&D I am tired of a trillion "Sense Motive", "Knowledge", "Spot" and other silly skills. Every time we have any kind of encounter, these skills are pulled out. What do they mean? And what does success mean?  That the DM has to give away all his hidden information?

    Why couldn't it be the players, that extract the information through investigating instead of the "Knowledge" skill? Or a player can figure out the motive of someone through cleverly interviewing him? Or by simply having a suspicion of his motive, based on what he says - as it is in r/l. You can never be 100% certain of a person's motive, until he shows his hand.

    IMO many of these "soft" skills in tabletop games could be done away with entirely. Instead there could be some guideline skills, that the players could take, that would decide what strengths their character has and decide how they roleplay. For instance, a character with social skills could be good at interviewing and getting information from NPC's. It would still be him as a person, who carries out the actual talking, but if he doesn't have the skills, the GM should not allow him to roleplay as a clever interviewer (he will be out of character).

    That would also strengthen the interaction between the GM and the players, that they have to really think and act cleverly to get what they want, instead of rolling a stupid d20 for success or failure.

    Actually, all good DMs let you figure out most of that stuff by RPGing.

    Spot is used to see if you detect the ambush the bad guys set out for you, or similar things that the players can't automatically see.

    Sense motive is not a great player skill.  It works fine when players try to bluff NPCs, but there are few good use for the players. Sometimes they ask the GM: "Does she seems trustworthy"?. Sometimes they get a roll for it to realize that the girl calling for help is just a ruse by an evil streetgang. But that one should never been in.

    Gather information is just when players look for stuff in a library or have to ask loads of people, stuff where the GM can't give the players real books or go through loads of information.

    Knowledge is more a thing that tells the GM if the player know a certain area of expertize. He will tell anyone with knowledge religion that the strange mark is actually the mark of the thief god mask, or whatever other the players might know. Often is it just to see what info the players already have and doesn't even require a roll.

    A good GM/DM only rolls dices when he have to, like in a battle. But he do know that a player with the skill bluff sounds somewjat likelier than someone without. Skills like that are made to even out things a little or people with less social skills IRL can never play a character that is better than them are themselves.

    Of course other games use other and often better ways. "Amber" have neither skills nor dices, just 4 attributes and some powers, the game is about actual wit.

  • OberholzerOberholzer Hasbrouck Heights, NJPosts: 498Member

    I respect the OP's opinion but to me say D&D is to blame is the same as saying WoW is to blame for fairly lame MMO's coming out recently. The only thing holding things back are the developers themselves.

  • dougmysticeydougmysticey Pflugerville, TXPosts: 1,176Member

    I will start with this. Without D&D there would not have been CRPGs and Action RPGS on the PC and later the console. Without those there would likely have never been any MMOs to begin with. So I can't blame D&D. While I am finding many of the latest entries into MMOs a rehash in many ways I have enjoyed MMOs for better than 10 years so THANK YOU D&D for that.

    Now, to the other points. Star Wars Galaxies did try to do that with professions. There are some that loved it, playing a dancer in a cantina, hip swaying for hours to better ones skill, and some that hated it. Apparently, more hated it than love it.

    There are some lesser known MMOs that have done this as well, where XP was given for a number of things and you never had to kill. There is one, Through the Desert, I think that did this.

    Even the MMOs that require you to lay waste to mobs of beasties always have other ways to garner some XP. Healers in groups get XP for healing damaged allies (who are killing mobs or bosses of course), and almost all of them give some xp for exploring. It might be very difficult to grant XP for things that are more subjective and can't be easily measured by the MMO mechanics.

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  • CactusJackCactusJack South, FLPosts: 393Member

    Several things...first I wonder did you play with the same players all the time while you were DM'ing? Don't take this the wrong way, but maybe your players weren't very intuitive. Maybe they were family members that wanted to get to the "good stuff". Maybe you never played with women who by their nature try to resolve issues w/o a sword first. I don't know.

    I can understand your statement however. I found that when I DM'd with certain people, they took great delight in discussing how their characters psionics were just as viable as a mage's evocation school, etc. I found that many people took great delight in telling others about how tough or strong their character was. All of this was easily rectified with....playing low level characters.

    I used to get the best player responses when their characters only had 9 hit points. When the strongest fighter/barbarian/paladin whatever has 14 hp, you have to evaluate your decisions carefully. When I played Werewolf:the Forsaken..it was similiar...in White Wolf's world werewolves can easily destroy vamps and just about most anything else. So how do you instill fear in a 9' furbag with 18" claws?

    Give the vamps weapons that can cause you to revert to human form or henchman that are invisible. I never let my players characters dictate the story that is being told. They are the participants, not the director.

    I have mentioned on this site before how many MMO's players today don't come from a PnP background. You can't fault them if their primary exposure to the RPG genre is from Zelda. I also agree that if you put in noncombat skills and can raise your overall level..that is a bonus. I guess this is why I still play EvE, b/c it is a group first type of game.

    Playing: BF4/BF:Hardline, Subnautica 7 days to die
    Hiatus: EvE
    Waiting on: World of Darkness(sigh)
    Interested in: better games in general

  • WarmakerWarmaker San Diego, CAPosts: 2,231Member

    Originally posted by Loke666

    I don't think it is D&Ds fault, is is the MMO devs who have very little imagination and just copy eachother all the time.

    Meridian 59 made a system based on D&D and almost all MMOs (besides UO, Eve and a few more) are more or less carbon copies of that system.

    I can't imagine why no one made a system of Runequest, Palladium, or one of the other zillion of good systems out there.

    The thing that pissed me off most were when Mythic used the usual system instead of the brilliant system from Warhammer fantasy RPG for WAR.

    We can't blame D&D for the lack of imagination from people who make MMOs. I hope WoDO will prove once and for all that you can convert other RPGs into MMOs and still make a fun and successful game.

    That was a funny little fact with WAR.  It wasn't using more the system that the franchise was based upon LOL!

    Here's hoping WoDO can pull it off, but we'll see.

    "I have only two out of my company and 20 out of some other company. We need support, but it is almost suicide to try to get it here as we are swept by machine gun fire and a constant barrage is on us. I have no one on my left and only a few on my right. I will hold." (First Lieutenant Clifton B. Cates, US Marine Corps, Soissons, 19 July 1918)

  • AxehiltAxehilt San Francisco, CAPosts: 8,682Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by Sovrath

    nah.

    It was up to the dungeon master to fill in those things or create adventures that didn't have combat.

    If anything D&D was better better because it tried not to bog your dm and players down with too much minutae. At least for a while and then more tables and more charats appeared.

    As a DM I discarded most of that stuff. It made the adventures flow much better. If I needed a dice roll I based it off of one of the stats or their backgrounds.

    Exactly.

    It's a tabletop RPG.  If the players and DM want, it can be entirely about crop-farming or political intrigue or any imaginable non-combat experience.  It's anything the group makes of it.

    "Joe stated his case logically and passionately, but his perceived effeminate voice only drew big gales of stupid laughter..." -Idiocracy
    "There is only one good, knowledge, and one evil, ignorance." -Socrates

  • Creslin321Creslin321 Baltimore, MDPosts: 5,359Member

    Originally posted by Warmaker

    Originally posted by Loke666

    I don't think it is D&Ds fault, is is the MMO devs who have very little imagination and just copy eachother all the time.

    Meridian 59 made a system based on D&D and almost all MMOs (besides UO, Eve and a few more) are more or less carbon copies of that system.

    I can't imagine why no one made a system of Runequest, Palladium, or one of the other zillion of good systems out there.

    The thing that pissed me off most were when Mythic used the usual system instead of the brilliant system from Warhammer fantasy RPG for WAR.

    We can't blame D&D for the lack of imagination from people who make MMOs. I hope WoDO will prove once and for all that you can convert other RPGs into MMOs and still make a fun and successful game.

    That was a funny little fact with WAR.  It wasn't using more the system that the franchise was based upon LOL!

    Here's hoping WoDO can pull it off, but we'll see.

     Heheh yeah...I don't know if anyone remembers this, but...

    Right before WAR's launch, Paul Barnett gave a "Mission Accomplished" speech where he talked about how, to make a successful MMORPG, you basically need to just take an existing formula (WoW) and add a few features to it.  We see how well that worked now :).  Talk about arrogance lol.

    Are you team Azeroth, team Tyria, or team Jacob?

  • EverketEverket MiddenheimPosts: 240Member Uncommon

    I'm confused, since when was D&D just about a dungeon and monsters? I have never ever played a D&D campaign like that. 

     

    And yes its a damn shame mythic based their game on warhammer fantasy battle mixed with some weird solution of their own instead of warhammer rpg. The career system is unique and excellent.

  • TalinTalin West Babylon, NYPosts: 824Member

    Comparing D&D, which is essentially a framework of rules temeperd by the judgment of a dungeon master, to a computer program of strict values and outcomes, isn't really an apples-to-apples comparison. Yes, MMORPGs are "inspired" by D&D just like most RPGs are in some way inspired by D&D. It was not the first tabletop role-playing game but it was one of the most popular.

    Some day people may make a similar comparison:

    MMVRPGs (thats Massively Multiplayer Virtual RPGs, of course) are all based on WoW.

    They will do this because looking backwards into the early 21st century, WoW was the most popular MMORPG (for such a long peridod of time as well) and when people think about MMORPGs they may make the association.

  • NadiaNadia Canonsburg, PAPosts: 11,866Member

    D&D is/was the most well known pnp but it was no way the only one being played since the 1970s

     

    from Wiki -- timeline of RPG games

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_role-playing_games

     

    theres probably a hundred different pnp games

    RuneQuest, for example from 1978, had no levels  -- only skills

     

    as to D&D itself,  the orignal box system, before any hardcover rules existed,

    the rules were so loose and that many players took the base rules and made Homegrown systems

     

    even for AD&D,  its was largely up the Gamemaster for how Campaigns were played -- it never had to be a kill fest

  • Jeff44Jeff44 1, FLPosts: 459Member

    Originally posted by Everket

    I'm confused, since when was D&D just about a dungeon and monsters? I have never ever played a D&D campaign like that. 

     

    And yes its a damn shame mythic based their game on warhammer fantasy battle mixed with some weird solution of their own instead of warhammer rpg. The career system is unique and excellent.

    Since the moment it was first published, officially.

    It grew out of the wargaming hobby, first as a set of add-on to miniature historical skirmish rules, then as a stand-aloneproduct. That product led you by the hand to the first set of dungeon doors, or that first set of stairs leading down, and plopped you there to kill things and take their loot.

    What you know as "D&D", grew out of that.

    user
  • Jeff44Jeff44 1, FLPosts: 459Member

    Originally posted by Rasputin

    In AD&D I am tired of a trillion "Sense Motive", "Knowledge", "Spot" and other silly skills.

    I think you are confusing TSR's "AD&D" with what Wizards of the Coast produced as "3rd Edition D&D". That product ook away much of what the DM was there for and tried to replace it with mechanics such as "sense motive" ("Is this guy lying? I dunno, but I can roll a die and find out!") and other such things. To be fair, however, at the end of AD&D's lifespan they were trending in the saem direction 3rd edition went.

    user
  • daelnordaelnor Manteca, CAPosts: 1,569Member

    Originally posted by Sain34

     

     

    I am sorry, but DnD is not to blame for the current state of MMOs. There is in fact a flaw in MMO being made today and that flaw is the simple fact that developers are giving us (the players) exactly what we asked for. We are curretly reaping what we have been sowing for years with endless forum threads about forced grouping and games being to hard and unfair drop rates and leveling being to slow, yes sir "that MMO" that is damaging the genre is exactly what we asked for it to be.

    Ding Ding Ding! We have a winner folks! Give that fan a teddy bear!

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  • ArthineasArthineas Selinsgrove, PAPosts: 231Member

    Originally posted by dougmysticey

    I will start with this. Without D&D there would not have been CRPGs and Action RPGS on the PC and later the console. Without those there would likely have never been any MMOs to begin with. So I can't blame D&D. While I am finding many of the latest entries into MMOs a rehash in many ways I have enjoyed MMOs for better than 10 years so THANK YOU D&D for that.

    You just said exactly what I was going to say.  Both the developers of UO and especially EQ was influenced by D&D.  And those two games put mmorpgs on the map.  If they would have flopped this industry would have never got started.  

    As far as some of the current mmorpgs not being good, that has absolutely nothing to do with D&D and everything to do with the developers.

  • LordPsychodiLordPsychodi east northport, NYPosts: 101Member

    1. Dungeons and Dragons has come a long way. Where once dungeons were deadly and perilous to experienced, downright hopeless to new players, more modern editions, 3rd and namely 4th focused much more on making characters tougher at a baseline for encounters. Likewise, skills, and feats were added in eventually as further methods to give characters out of combat functions not solely given to spellcasters. In 4th edition many spells became "rituals" which anyone who spends a feat can gain access to for further skill-related powers at a cost for out of combat options. Characters live longer, resurrection is more commonplace and perfectly acceptable within the core rules. "Spells" and abilities are no longer found nor under the whim of the DM, and many are more streamlined/made with increasing benefits when levels reach certain points. Nowadays, because we have solid rules for many actions, and is no longer up to the DM's whims of what is permissable for a situation and what is not, honstly there *is* much more room for what the OP is trying to describe, experience for out of combat encounters/mixed encounters. There's even guidelines for how much experience should be handed out for each particular type of challenge.

     

    2. MMOs borrow from what I consider to be pooled references. They draw from qualities that are very similar to tabletop games because these are the very core mechanics of many types of games,  tabletop, computer or console. They are quite finite, and despite creativity, will look similar. Things like class, race, "ability scores" are all actually very generic things are are *NOT* special to D&D. It may have been one of the first to use those to define characters mechanically, but there are plenty of other tabletops games and tons of video and computer games that take up these same concepts that are NOT Dungeons and Dragons, nor does D&D have some kind of trademark or copyright on these things. (in fact the parent company  of D&D in the 80s and 90s, TSR once tried to sue for these things and lost miserably, which was a very good thing)

    3. Older editions of dungeons  and dragons are not a good baseline and while their mechanics were admired and used in some of the most successful CRPGs of all time, given that while they were "popular" then,10-20x play 3rd and 4th edition than people who have ever played earlier editions. The modern Neverwinter Nights has been played by more people than who have ever touched 1st edition D&D and before, and honestly I don't think developers are so easily fooled into thinking old D&D was so much more popular OR than it actually was. Older D&D editions had way more rigid charts and tables than I've seen between ten modern D&D releases these days.

     

    I really don't think we are stuck in a cycle of recreating old things in new forms. D&D jumpstared role playing games, but old D&D much like its creator Gary Gygax, are both dead, and the industry probably is better off remembering what they did, but forgetting *what* old D&D was. Gary Gygax was an innovator, but a poor game designer. Even a glimpse at "Lejendary adventures", a small and I believe free tabletop RPG shows pretty clearly he didn't understand the causes of success for modern RPGs and that he made as many bad design mistakes as he made good ones. But this is practically the truth for every type of game, where nostalgia is often confused for good game design because it was so well enjoyed.

    However, these days, with mechanics like skill checks/challenges/modernized traps and story paths and "quest experience" I think most games generally are going in the right direction, just slower than one would like. Unlike tabletop games where every rule *is* technically optional (not that the DM necessarily is in the right to always treat them as such), computer games cannot decide to randomlly remove or decide not to use a particular rule one day to the next, nor can it create things on the fly to suit player tastes. While every RPG group has material 99% of the time that is tailored to that exact group, more specifically the characters present, MMOs can only guess at proper party makeup and hope to provide a challenge for everyone in interesting ways, besides combat.

  • TheCrow2kTheCrow2k Adelaide, AKPosts: 953Member

    Originally posted by eayes

    I respect the OP's opinion but to me say D&D is to blame is the same as saying WoW is to blame for fairly lame MMO's coming out recently. The only thing holding things back are the developers themselves.

    I disagree with the OP on the sentiment about D&D, I think its really wrong particularly when you look at the dumbing down of all PnP rules accross the board in the Fourth Edition books which has made the PnP game more like an MMORPG.....

    Eayes - to say developer are holding things back is also very misleading. There are lots of very innovative titles coming out or that have come and gone in the MMO space. The reason many of them do no survive or thrive is the bulk of players DO NOT want innovation.

    My god how many new MMO's launch and one of the first complaints is "why arent your chat text colours the same as WoW's ?" /FACEPALM I mean even such a small relatively minor deviation from what has become "the norm" thanks to the WoW masses seems to get slammed so what hope to do devs have of getting the bulk of MMO players to accept innovation ?

    People say they want open world MMO's but so many of those MMO's die off because players do not stick with them, players say they want innovation but then slam even the slightest deviation in a game from what is considered "normal or mainstream". Then you have people like the ex wow crowd who went to rift who then bitch and moan that Rift is the same as WoW........ its the same because you as part of the market will spend money on it if its the same & you wont spend money on it if it deviates from your long standing expectations built on the back of previous experience.

    So no it is not the developers holding things back it is the majority of players & there have been several articles on this very site that conclude the same.

  • FaelanFaelan CopenhagenPosts: 826Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by Axehilt

    Originally posted by Sovrath

    nah.

    It was up to the dungeon master to fill in those things or create adventures that didn't have combat.

    If anything D&D was better better because it tried not to bog your dm and players down with too much minutae. At least for a while and then more tables and more charats appeared.

    As a DM I discarded most of that stuff. It made the adventures flow much better. If I needed a dice roll I based it off of one of the stats or their backgrounds.

    Exactly.

    It's a tabletop RPG.  If the players and DM want, it can be entirely about crop-farming or political intrigue or any imaginable non-combat experience.  It's anything the group makes of it.

    While D&D could be used for a game entirely about crop-farming, political intrigue or other non-combat experiences, it's a really poor fit. There's just so little support for that kind of play in D&D that you're basically just making up most of the stuff and eventually the rules that do not support this kind of play start really getting in the way and grinding your nerves. At that point, you might as well ditch the whole thing and go systemless.

    Now, don't get me wrong. I think D&D is awesome for some beer'n'pretzel kick-in-the-door style gameplay and with the right group of people, you can stretch it far beyond its focus when needed. But I'd never run or play D&D in a game that has non-combat activities as the focus of the game. It's just not the game for that kinda thing and there's an abundance of systems on the market that can do a better job without going into extreme detail.

    I'm a big ol' fluffy carewolf. Be afraid. Be very afraid.

  • AdamantineAdamantine NowherePosts: 3,514Member

    I fail to see why D&D caused MMOs to focus on combat.

    MMOs focus on combat because they are large, game development is expensive, and they need a lot of content to keep players happy.

    D&D has nothing to do with it.

     

    P.s.: Also, that black eye system is definitely not on my list of "systems better than D&D".

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