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Why is Combat Almost Always 90% or More of MMORPG Content?

cantankerousmagecantankerousmage Member UncommonPosts: 992
edited May 2017 in The Pub at MMORPG.COM
Aren't humans capable of doing other things besides killing each other (or monsters or demi-humans or robots or whatever)?  Isn't killing normally the last resort in any given situation for most reasonable human beings?  Just saying.

EDIT (5/3/2017) - Here's a list of what I've accomplished in MMORPGs:

2009 - level 55/55 knight/warrior in Runes of Magic (first mmorpg to which I devoted myself)

2010-2011 - level 60 paladin in World of Warcraft (I was too bored to continue)
2015 - level 50 warrior in WoW (I was too bored to continue)

2013-2014 - level 95/95 paladin/weaponsmith and level 95/95 troubadour/I forget which craft.  Level 50 something berserker.  Had level 95s in most crafts also.  (First mmorg to which I subscribed)

2014-2017 (on and off)  9 multiple level 70 characters in Neverwinter (I got 4 of them to level 70 through mostly just invoking and leadership).  3 I invoked from 60 to 70.  Only played all the way through Elemental Evil with 2.  My rogue went back and did it after he was 2.5 IL for the boons.  level 70 3.6k IL Guardian Fighter, over 4k if you count his legendary Black Dragon Ioun Stone Augment companion.  2.5 IL Trickster Rogue.  I only spent around $170-180 on that pile of trash game.

I've tried or sampled many other mmorpgs, but none of them were fun enough for me to devote myself to them.

So, I think I've killed enough in mmorpgs.  I want to be able to do something else most of the time (or at least some of the time).  But not just as some distracting side activity placed there to try to delude me into believing I'm actually playing a role-playing game.

Or think about this way.  What sort of role-playing games and activities did we enjoy or at least participate in as children?

Playing House/Doing Chores (Inside or Outside)/Helping w/Cooking/Feeding the Pet  - Peasants/Food and Raw Material Gatherers/Producers

Doing Crafts - Tradesmen

Playing with Blocks/Lincoln Logs/Legos - Builders (Architects and Engineers)

Taking Things Apart and (Hopefully) Putting Them Back Together - Fixers (Repairers and Mechanics)

Playing Monopoly - Bankers/Investors

Wandering around the Neighborhood/Playing Hide-and-Seek - Explorers/Survivalists

Operating Lemonade Stands - Merchants

Music Lessons/Dance Lessons/Choir/Plays - Entertainers

Riding Bicycles and Go-carts - Pilots/Drivers

Playing Cops and Robbers/Voluntary Physical Exercise - Soldiers

Going to Church/Temple/Some Sort of Religious Service - Priests

Playing Operation, Putting Bandages on Booboos - Doctor/Physician

Going to School/Learning Academics - Scholars (Historians, Mages or Scientists/Inventors)

Telling Other People What to Do - Rulers/Nobility

Getting in Trouble - Criminals

Putting Up Posters or Stickers on Walls - Decorators

Doodling, Coloring with Crayons - Artists

Post edited by cantankerousmage on
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Comments

  • LawlmonsterLawlmonster Member UncommonPosts: 1,056
    Man, this is something I've been thinking about for a long time. The problem gets compounded in the themepark mob-respawn models that have you murdering thousands if not tens or hundreds of thousands of enemies to maximize character stats, reputations, dungeon access, etc.

    "This is life! We suffer and slave and expire. That's it!" -Bernard Black (Dylan Moran)

  • monochrome19monochrome19 Member UncommonPosts: 714
    Dunno, but I've always wondered.
  • EldurianEldurian Member EpicPosts: 2,681
    Definite exceptions to this rule exist.

    In Runescape there were "Skill pures" who made a point of getting super high in crafting skills without ever raising themselves above the lowest combat level.

    In Wurm the majority of combat is simple survival combat. You get attacked by a bear and have to fend it off. You go out hunting deer because you need meat and hides. Combat isn't any more of a focus than it is for a homesteader in the wild (Though admittedly the density of hostile creatures is WAY higher.) The more intentional forms of combat are purely optional and many players rarely if ever participate in them.

    Second Life. Enough said. XD

    In EVE there is mining, exploration, trading etc. People who choose these professions tend to actively avoid combat as much as possible. The danger of combat might provide a thrill but there again they are simply trying to survive as they accomplish another objective.

    I definitely do prefer games where combat is not the focus for everyone all the time. As much as I enjoy combat people who opt out of it in order to take part in a more peaceful life give more of a feel of a living breathing world.
  • RemyVorenderRemyVorender Member RarePosts: 3,669
    edited April 2017
    I agree it's something that MMORPGs need to do less of in order to distinguish themselves from other types/genres of games. I've always played MMOs longer which put less than 90% emphasis on combat. Currently, I'm playing BDO. Not because it's amazing, I think it's wonky AF, but it gives me so many different things to work on, I don't have to just grind mobs every second of every day. 

    Other games of this ilk I've really enjoyed: WURM, EVE and Fallen Earth.
    Post edited by RemyVorender on

    Played: AA, AC1, AC2, Aion, AO, AoC, CO, CoX, DAoC, DCUO, DN, EVE, EQ1, EQ2,
    ESO, FE, FFXI, FFXIV, FF, GW1, GW2, Istaria, L2, LoTRO, MO, MxO, NW, Rift, RoE,
    Ryzom, SB, SWG, SWTOR, TERA, TSW, WAR, WoW, WURM...

  • DistopiaDistopia Member EpicPosts: 21,180
    edited April 2017
    What else would you have folks doing? That said...Aside from crafting there aren't many well rounded systems to use in a multiplayer environment. Gaming has largely always centered around activities like fightnig. Especially RPG games. Hence why systems to represent it are numerous. Aside from puzzles and platforming there aren't many other popular gaming systems. Both of which don't really translate to a massive MP environment. Cyan attempted a puzzle based MMO with a myst based game, it was a mess, and made no real MMO sense. 
    Post edited by Distopia on

    For every minute you are angry , you lose 60 seconds of happiness."-Emerson


  • QuizzicalQuizzical Member EpicPosts: 18,824
    Because not enough people play the ones that aren't over 90% combat.
  • EldurianEldurian Member EpicPosts: 2,681
    edited April 2017


    Quizzical said:


    Because not enough people play the ones that aren't over 90% combat.




    That's because of a failure of MMOs to produce compelling ones that aren't.

    The success of Minecraft did not come from it being a superior combat title. Harvest Moon, Sims, Sim City etc. are also all non-combat series that did exceptionally well.

    With a vast amount of genres and concepts that haven't taken off in the MMO sphere it isn't so much because there is no market for them or they aren't viable concept for them.

    It essentially all boils down to this:

    Q: Why aren't there so few people playing MMOs that aren't WoW Clones?

    A: Because there are so few MMOs that aren't WoW clones.

    If games that are different don't exist, people won't play them... because they don't exist. Simple as that.

    MMO investors are apparently cowards and people struggle to make anything good without investors. That doesn't mean the market doesn't exist.
    Post edited by Eldurian on
  • waynejr2waynejr2 Member EpicPosts: 7,768

    Eldurian said:




    Quizzical said:



    Because not enough people play the ones that aren't over 90% combat.






    That's because of a failure of MMOs to produce compelling ones that aren't.

    The success of Minecraft did not come from it being a superior combat title. Harvest Moon, Sims, Sim City etc. are also all non-combat series that did exceptionally well.

    With a vast amount of genres and concepts that haven't taken off in the MMO sphere it isn't so much because there is no market for them or they aren't viable concept for them.

    It essentially all boils down to this:

    Q: Why aren't there so few people playing MMOs that aren't WoW Clones?

    A: Because there are so few MMOs that aren't WoW clones.

    If games that are different don't exist, people won't play them... because they don't exist. Simple as that.

    MMO investors are apparently cowards and people struggle to make anything good without investors. That doesn't mean the market doesn't exist.



    So by your "logic" if it is unsuccessful, it can only be because it isn't compelling enough.  That could be magical thinking.
    http://www.youhaventlived.com/qblog/2010/QBlog190810A.html  

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    Kyleran:  "Now there's the real trick, learning to accept and enjoy a game for what it offers rather than pass on what might be a great playing experience because it lacks a few features you prefer."

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  • cantankerousmagecantankerousmage Member UncommonPosts: 992
    edited April 2017
    I like to be able to fight in games, don't get me wrong, but I don't necessarily want to spend the vast majority of my time in any given game world bathing in blood.

    If MMORPGs contained a greater number of interesting peaceful options and ways to progress a character without having to be a Bloodthirsty Murder Hamster, they would probably attract more customers.
    Post edited by cantankerousmage on
  • EldurianEldurian Member EpicPosts: 2,681
    edited April 2017
    waynejr2 said:

    So by your "logic" if it is unsuccessful, it can only be because it isn't compelling enough.  That could be magical thinking.

    At least I use logic.

    Yes... any time MMOs are not successful it's probably because they are not compelling enough. Either that or it's a failure on the part of their marketing strategy. Those are pretty much the two reasons an MMO would fail.

    However more to the point I think you were attempting to convey, pretty much the only concept for MMOs thats been attempted by anyone with actual money and a professional design team in the last 10 years has been the WoW model rehashed over and over and over and over.

    That's not to say every model can work. That's to say pointing out there isn't a successful game based off that model is not evidence it can't succeed. Unless that model is WoW, it probably hasn't even been attempted.
    Post edited by Eldurian on
  • TsiyaTsiya Member UncommonPosts: 252
    I don't think I even spend 10% of my time in BDO killing things. My entertainer in SWG had never killed a thing and still was able to buy anything she wanted. They're out there, but they're way too few and far between. I'd love to see more games that have the option to not murder everything you come across.

    image

  • cantankerousmagecantankerousmage Member UncommonPosts: 992

    Tsiya said:

    I don't think I even spend 10% of my time in BDO killing things. My entertainer in SWG had never killed a thing and still was able to buy anything she wanted. They're out there, but they're way too few and far between. I'd love to see more games that have the option to not murder everything you come across.


    I've been thinking about trying BDO, however if it's level and gear based progression, I don't think I would be interested. 
  • RemyVorenderRemyVorender Member RarePosts: 3,669




    Tsiya said:


    I don't think I even spend 10% of my time in BDO killing things. My entertainer in SWG had never killed a thing and still was able to buy anything she wanted. They're out there, but they're way too few and far between. I'd love to see more games that have the option to not murder everything you come across.




    I've been thinking about trying BDO, however if it's level and gear based progression, I don't think I would be interested. 


    For what it's worth, as a new player you can get to lvl 50 in about 10 hours of grinding mobs, then do whatever.

    Played: AA, AC1, AC2, Aion, AO, AoC, CO, CoX, DAoC, DCUO, DN, EVE, EQ1, EQ2,
    ESO, FE, FFXI, FFXIV, FF, GW1, GW2, Istaria, L2, LoTRO, MO, MxO, NW, Rift, RoE,
    Ryzom, SB, SWG, SWTOR, TERA, TSW, WAR, WoW, WURM...

  • cantankerousmagecantankerousmage Member UncommonPosts: 992
    edited April 2017














    Tsiya said:




    I don't think I even spend 10% of my time in BDO killing things. My entertainer in SWG had never killed a thing and still was able to buy anything she wanted. They're out there, but they're way too few and far between. I'd love to see more games that have the option to not murder everything you come across.








    I've been thinking about trying BDO, however if it's level and gear based progression, I don't think I would be interested. 






    For what it's worth, as a new player you can get to lvl 50 in about 10 hours of grinding mobs, then do whatever.




    I might check it out just for the heck of it.  I've basically quit the only MMORPG I was still playing when I started posting here.  One that I've quit a few times before, but I think this time is most likely the last time.  Unless they significantly improve the game with upcoming expansions.
    Post edited by cantankerousmage on
  • KrimzinKrimzin Member UncommonPosts: 646
    This question is kinda like asking, Why are most men always thinking about Sex?

    Just because I'm a gamer doesn't mean I drive a Honda.

    It's an Orange thing
  • cantankerousmagecantankerousmage Member UncommonPosts: 992

    Krimzin said:

    This question is kinda like asking, Why are most men always thinking about Sex?


    Are you saying it's human nature to want to spend most of their time killing things?
  • blueturtle13blueturtle13 Member LegendaryPosts: 10,152
    That is why I like games that offer a separate path of advancement or progression for crafting and other sub professions. To take a break or different path than just Murder.Death.Kill.

    거북이는 목을 내밀 때 안 움직입니다












  • cantankerousmagecantankerousmage Member UncommonPosts: 992


    That is why I like games that offer a separate path of advancement or progression for crafting and other sub professions. To take a break or different path than just Murder.Death.Kill.


    The second game I ever got max level in was Everquest 2.  The crafting in that game was more interesting than in the other games I've played.  It isn't horrible to have a system that requires skill to craft.  Fable II has some mini-games that you play in order to level up crafting skills also.  I didn't finish Fable II though.  I got bored of it after a few days.
  • QuizzicalQuizzical Member EpicPosts: 18,824

    Eldurian said:




    Quizzical said:



    Because not enough people play the ones that aren't over 90% combat.






    That's because of a failure of MMOs to produce compelling ones that aren't.

    The success of Minecraft did not come from it being a superior combat title. Harvest Moon, Sims, Sim City etc. are also all non-combat series that did exceptionally well.

    With a vast amount of genres and concepts that haven't taken off in the MMO sphere it isn't so much because there is no market for them or they aren't viable concept for them.

    It essentially all boils down to this:

    Q: Why aren't there so few people playing MMOs that aren't WoW Clones?

    A: Because there are so few MMOs that aren't WoW clones.

    If games that are different don't exist, people won't play them... because they don't exist. Simple as that.

    MMO investors are apparently cowards and people struggle to make anything good without investors. That doesn't mean the market doesn't exist.


    There have been some good games that weren't mostly about combat.  For example, Uncharted Waters Online.  If it had been hugely successful, we'd have seen other MMORPGs make exploration and trading into major game mechanics.  But so long as most MMORPG players won't play games that aren't mostly combat, that's what most games will be.
  • VengerVenger Member UncommonPosts: 1,307
    I'd love to find a game that offered a balance.  One of the things I really liked about UO.  If I didn't feel like fighting I could harvest, fish, craft, or decorate there were options.
  • DistopiaDistopia Member EpicPosts: 21,180

    Tsiya said:

    I don't think I even spend 10% of my time in BDO killing things. My entertainer in SWG had never killed a thing and still was able to buy anything she wanted. They're out there, but they're way too few and far between. I'd love to see more games that have the option to not murder everything you come across.


    Entertainers worked because their play style was deeply tied to combat (healing/buffing). Most things in SWG served as some type of support role for combat, as is the case with most non combat distractions in MMOs. The only real exception in SWG was housing related crafting. 

    Until there are viable game systems to represent other avenues of play well, this will likely be the case. Without combat most of these passive professions would have no purpose. 


    For every minute you are angry , you lose 60 seconds of happiness."-Emerson


  • MendelMendel Member RarePosts: 2,297
    Combat is the only mechanism to resolve conflict because that's the only system that D&D developed.  Anything beyond combat was left to the DM.  DM's do not scale to the world of massive multiplayer, and no developer has broken from the 40 year-old ideas on what types of conflict and how to abstract these conflicts.  I don't see the entire RPG genre moving forward until this is tackled and someone comes up with a means to resolve things beyond swords and sorcery.

    The big argument against something like a system to resolve debates is that automating a legal debate, for instance, takes away from the role-playing elements.  That is true, at least as long as role-playing is at least acting-based.  We don't mime fighting moves to resolve physical conflict, why do we hang onto the idea that we can't abstract verbal arguments into a closed resolution system?  Removing the acting from role-playing would allow a developer to automate playing a trick on the goblin guarding a door, sending it on a wild goose chase as opposed to simply fighting it.  The DM in a face to face game would have no trouble with this solution, and could award XP for things other than fighting the goblin guard.

    My idea has been that we either change role-playing to remove the player's communication abilities from the character, or to develop the AI or other mechanisms to allow resolve non-physical conflicts.  No one has tried, because D&D didn't do it, and trying costs a lot of money.  I think that the original reliance on the human DM is holding the genre of automated RPGs back.

    Logic, my dear, merely enables one to be wrong with great authority.

  • DistopiaDistopia Member EpicPosts: 21,180

    Venger said:

    I'd love to find a game that offered a balance.  One of the things I really liked about UO.  If I didn't feel like fighting I could harvest, fish, craft, or decorate there were options.


    You can do all of that in ESO. :)

    For every minute you are angry , you lose 60 seconds of happiness."-Emerson


  • DMKanoDMKano Member LegendaryPosts: 18,427

    Distopia said:



    Venger said:


    I'd love to find a game that offered a balance.  One of the things I really liked about UO.  If I didn't feel like fighting I could harvest, fish, craft, or decorate there were options.




    You can do all of that in ESO. :)



    You can do all of that in a lot of games....
  • maxlancemaxlance Member UncommonPosts: 35
    I don't go into the philosophical debate because even the oldest of games have at their core the jungle law of kill or be conquered and worldwide market demand saw MMO theme preference pretty much shook itself out a decafe or two ago. Pure intellectual and exploration MMOs will likely always be niche because most of us are wired carnivores though "exploration-combat-conquer" MMOs like Civilization do prevail. In my view most all MMOs make it TOO easy to kill baddies en masse. I think they can whittle down hoards of monsters to less than a wily one or deadly dozen that demand some strategy and perseverance to kill,  sort of like hunting elephants with a bow and arrow. You can cut down the bloodshed without cutting the thrill of violence.  If I knew the solution I'd be running a game firm instead of...
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