It can be safely stated that not all players perceive the role, significance, and individual qualities of the PVE enemies in MMORPGs in the same manner. There are many factors influencing the way we look at the enemies lurking in the virtual worlds. These include the type of players we are, what we are looking for in the game and the reasons why we play MMORPGs in the first place.
A player who enjoys the heat of combat is probably more interested in how well the enemies fight back and how gruesome they look than in whether they drop realistic items or if the size of their sword matches the proportions of their body, while a player seeking immersion may have a completely opposite view. For an achiever, who is watching their experience or skill bar while playing, the only important characteristic of the enemies may be the amount by which they push them closer to achieving the next level when they die.
I am the type of player who likes to get immersed in the beauty and sometimes the darkness of the virtual world they inhabit and while I do like PC games from other genres as well and actively play them for fun, I have always had a special place for MMORPGs and considered them to be more than just games. This shapes my personal preferences when it comes to PVE enemies in the online role-playing games.
Here are some specific examples of these preferences:
1) I like it when monsters' appearance matches with their strength and when their power is not revealed to the player before they test it for themselves. I enjoy it a lot when we are roaming an online world with my friends discovering the beings that live there. It has always been so much fun discussing whether we should attack that strong looking troll with a giant club having no idea whether we can defeat him or if he wipes us off the face of the earth...which they often have. It is not unnatural in the MMORPGs that there are boars or wolves which are many times stronger than a much more powerful looking dragon or giant due to their higher level. Also, it is quite common that a monster has its level and an eventual elite status displayed, so that the player can assume the outcome of the encounter.
2) I like it when monsters have realistic drops. This topic has been discussed many times on this forum, so I will just say it one more time. It feels weird when a wolf drops coins...here I did it. I could also say that I like it when the loot has some real use in the world, but this is supposed to be about monsters, so I will stop right here.
3) I like it when there is some background information about the monsters available in the game. It may be provided by various sources, such as quests and their narratives talking about the history of the particular race or kind of enemies and the role they have played in the story of the world or book and scrolls detailing their strengths and weaknesses, natural habitats, special skills and perks, how long they live, what weapons they like to use or what their armor is made of. If this information is not that simple to obtain and it then can be utilized in the gameplay, I find it even more interesting.
4) I like it when powerful looking creatures are less common in the world. It is not unlikely in current MMORPGs that you meet a knight with a large flaming sword, a dragonlike being or a huge ent early in the game and often you easily defeat them without even having to form a group.
These are my own likes and dislikes which you may disagree with and it is perfectly fine. What I am interested in is what is your take on monsters in MMORPGs. Are there any specific features, characteristics or qualities that you personally like or dislike about them?
Share it with us if you feel like it.