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I read some of the threads here and after reading the one entitled "Why cant we find MMOs as good as 'Back in old days' I decided to creat an account and try to open a discussion. You see I disagree with the idea that old school RPers are getting old or that the new MMOs are better then the old ones.
The thing is: I had the bast experience in MMOs with my first one (you must be thinking: yep... the first MMO blah blah blah). But that is not it and I'll try to explain.
I played UO for almost 7 years (from 1998-2005). So there is the idea of a new kind of game, one that you can play with many players and all that. And this held me for a long time but after a while it wasnt what kept me playing the game. From my point of view it is the RP that keeps you playing a MMO game for such a long time. After I joined a guild that had these strict Full-immersion RP polices my gaming experience changed in a way that it is even hard to explain. After that all other MMOs fill quite silly.
What I'm trying to say is that it isnt because UO was my first MMO that it was also the best. It is because it had the ideal system to let RP flourish in a way that no modern game has. I can point a few things:
1- Chat system: you could talk only with those around you. Whisper was a real whisper that only those near to you could "listen" and if some else was hidden nearby he could actually evesdrop! There was no IG chat channels. It provided more sense of reality to the game.
2- Housing system: you could select any place to build you house! And there was many models avaiable. If you had friends enough with money enough you could actually build a city or a kingdom! It was great. Take my guild, for instance, they had actually built a kingdom near the capital city of Britannia. The kingdom had a Keep, houses, markets etc etc a king and a queen, a army and ALL player based!
3- Lvling system: There were no such thing as lvls and couldnt see in what lvl another player or moster were. People had skills and you couldn't know which they were! There was this skill called anatomy that gave you an idea of the guy phisical abilities. And you could evolve different skills and lower then to evolve other with the same char! Much like in real life. You werent restricted to a class system.
4- Maps: Man! You could actually get lost! The only maps in the world were those that you bought from NPC or from other players. They were like real life maps and you didnt had a arrow pointing to where you were in it! You had to find you own way based on a river here, a read there, a building in some other place! I did got myself lost a lot of times.
5- Reviving: No... it wasnt like in Lotro or WoW where you revive and get all you stuff intact. Actually you have no penalties at all in these games. Where is the thrill?!? In you I remember myself quaking before entering a dungeon! All my armor and weapons. How many times have I lost everything and had to walk miles or beg for a gate to get back to a city and begin from 0.
And these are just some of the things that I believe that are terrible for RPers in these new games. They tryied to make a game easy to attract as much players as they could but in doing so they created games that are not much more then every other singleplayer game.
However I'm using experience in UO alone this may be what you guys are missing in the new games. These and some other things make the difference between just another MMO in with I'lll get bored after a couple of weeks and a game that I would actually spend years playing with my friends and developing my own story in it.
I'm sorry for the size of this text but if you got here I would like to know your thoughts on all this.