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I always see this question here at MMORPG.com. The question "WHATS WRONG WITH MMORPG's?". For the past few days I have been trying to find that answer. I believe I have found part of that ever eluding question.
First lets talk about us. A MMORPG player. For many of us a new mmorpg is like seeking the HOLY GRAIL. But then when we get it, we still have that UMPH! missing. Most of us who play MMORPGs have unlimited choices of what to play. Most of us now are instant gratification players. Whether it be due to time constraints, selfishness, or just a part of everyday life. As most things in our life follow the same instant gratification premise. Why many companies follow the Game Shop design.
That is one layer to a problem that effects everyone who designs or plays a mmorpg. What this does is give a gamer like me or you less incentive to actually play the mmorpg. Since I can get that uber just by spending a few dollars at a game shop store.
What has the game shop actually done to that particular mmorpg? It takes out immersion. Players never actually have to immerse themselves into a game fully. In part that attitude from us and those that develop the game hurt that mmorpg.
Here is another layer to that often asked question these days.
Now the past couple of days I have been playing a single player RPG. Many of you have heard of it, if not played it, Skyrim!
When playing SKYRIM I noticed that this game world was fully encompassing me. Made me part of that world. When I did something I had that fear, risk and feeling of reward when I finished a questline. This made me ask, where is this feelng in my MMORPGs that I play? I do not have that sense of accomplishment as I did with a single player rpg.
Most mmorpgs do the following. Kill (X) creatures and collect reward. Or go to (X) location/locations collect reward, or collect(X) items return and collect reward. Often times these type of quests offer a menial upgrade item but often it is just a cash reward. This is a format that we as mmorpg players have been following for the past 10 years.
Often when we get these quests we just roll over to where the quest objectives are and do it. Now back to a Skyrim moment. I get those types of quests in Skyrim. But the difference lies in the world itself. Often enough on my way to my quest objective I get surprised. Whether it be troll popping out on the trail right in front of me or that objective while sounding simple is at the bottom of a catcomb filled with nasty undead. Who want nothing more than for me to become part of the undead community.
This is something lacking in many mmos. No surprises, no its hell to get there and risk your characters life doing it! Instead we get follow the trail to x landmark , make a left and look there in that open field. Lots of my objectives all over the place!
What fun is that really? In part I blame developers for making mmorpg much simpler than some of the older titles. In part I blame us the player who through the years have wanted things simpler. Developers want that expanded player base. But it is at a cost. That feeling of acomplishment, fear and immersion is shot.
Now another layer. It is my belief that we as players are indeed solo players. Grouping is a past time in those older mmorpgs. In part I blame guilds in part I blame us. You see most people prefer to just group when they need to. Most players want that kick butt item for themselves. As to guilds, guilds are set up with the premise to progress through end game content. Every player that is in the guild seeks one thing, power :-D. Whether it be through gear, skills whichever. We all have the desire to have the best character possible! What guilds are all about.
That said, doing such incorporates game problems. As those who are not in one are left feeling empty or substandard. Thus, they usually do not stick around and leave for other pastures.
Why , some of the best games out right now do not really incorporate guilds into the game. In fact the game of the year at mmorpg doesnt have guilds. Players can still have a guild, but its outside the boundary of the game itself. The game doesnt have to make any changes to keep guilds happy.
Players in certain games can still group. But no longer have other players turning them down. Due to the player looking weak or is the wrong class. This concept of shared grouping in my opinion should be more prevailent in mmorpgs. It is needed.
To sum this up. This is my list of reasons why mmos are missing the
1. Too much instant gratification.
2. A lack of Immersion!
3.No feeling of accomplish for finishing a quest or set of quests.
4. No random surprises.
5. No fear factor or risk.
6. System failure as per grouping.
7. Lack of content.
Probably more. But have alot to do today. Can continue later. So what ya think :-D