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During my time in mmorpg's I never got into roleplaying. I played the major titles, ran my own raiding guild, was officer, was casual, was about everything but a roleplayer. Now 10 years later I peeked around the corner trying to make some sense out of what seems to be something that fits me: roleplaying in major mmorpg titles.
I started out in Rift on a roleplaying server. I was absolutely amazed by the details of Rift's housing and saw the massive potential for fun storylines connected to my own built environment. Yet I was shocked how there seems to be so little roleplaying involved with it on that server. I learned that you end up farming everything to get "the best goodies". I did search for a bit for a roleplaying guild, but I actually couldn't find any and was disappointed to see all big guilds were non-roleplaying.
Then I played lotro for a little bit on a roleplaying server. I got a pretty good first impression on Laurelin, when I bumped into some music-making characters who were welcoming me and my friend. Unfortunately I have no experience and being expected to dive into it right away was difficult.
In my opinion, mmorpg's can do a lot more with roleplaying and really miss a lot of potential by focusing merely on adding more and more services related to farming and heroicness based on the speed with which you smash the right buttons. In all fairness, roleplaying is more or less the opposite of farming and has nothing to do with combat skills. A story doesn't have repetitive parts, and so roleplaying primarily costs time to find a meaning behind the world. All the gamers who stand there bored in main cities are signs of lost gametime, all the gamers making/buying more than one account to boost themselves, all the gamers letting others work for them in a meaningless grind/farm in games that have only group systems with ranks such as guilds. No wonder mmorpg's go F2P, because many players just want to try out and leave "to try and find the most fun gameplay". It's the same thing over and over again: graphics, combat, etc.. The mmorpg market is being treated as a declining market while the major roleplaying market hasn't even entered yet. Think about all the people who have seen and read lord of the rings for example. Or the potential of roleplaying between different world regions.
Mmorpg's are losing and it's because it feels like you walk into an empty world to smash buttons. I often feel like it doesn't add to my free time joy. Oh well, maybe Laurelin is still playable.