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Been a lot of posts and rants and ravings about some people who are apparently "old-school" or "hardcore" or "sandbox" or some such other titanium plated adjective that implies that most of us are mmorpg wet toilet paper wimps compared to the king shits who played REAL mmorpgs "back in the day" when things were pure and "fo real".
I wonder what all the tough guy posturing is about. Who remembers the OLD old school of paper & dice RPGs? They were totally immersive and hardcore. The game was custom built for 4-6 players who you knew intimately. The gamesmaster had a scenario or campaign pre-built, but that could be altered, improvised, customised or totally changed off the cuff if the characters or story demanded it. Totally open world, totally unpredictable (by relative mmorpg standards) and much more immersive. The GM spent hours and days and months to make scenarios and campaign and the players (with a good group) really developed and fleshed out the details of their character and their motivation. No repetitive grinds, no conformity (in most games) to set definitions of "tank", "healer" et al, a great deal of variety of genres and worlds to choose from (Call of Cthulhu, Paranoia, Twilight 2000, Bushido etc), unique and original heroes with unique GM designed equipment, etc and so on. This was the real hardcore and it is still out there for the taking.
So you so-called king shit hardcore mmorpgers who are pissed at the lack of immersion and choice and open-world and death penalties and so on (yawn)...just go back to old paper & dice RPGS. You (apparently) have some brilliant and amazing ideas of what REALLY constitutes a REAL game that hey, just tailor pick the best parts of lots of paper & dice RPGS and make your own preferred game (heck, that's exactly what I did "back in the day" when I was a overly-opinionated high school student). That's the "real" old old school immersion. I used to be that old-school, before I graduated from university and before I started teaching and before I started a family and when my friends and I had loads and loads and frightenly obscene loads of spare time. I was a GM back then and had no other responsibilites other than the game. I played existing games, i customised existing games and I even made my own games. Those were heady days and great days but I had to move on as I got older.
Now me and my "old" old schoolers play modern mmorpgs because they are more casual and because my old RPG group live in different parts of the world.
So you "new" old schoolers who go on about the old-school and all those noobs and idiots and casuals who play easy-mode games, well I call your bluff. If you are really THAT hardcore then just pick up some old paper and dice RPG and play it real old-school. If you really have the passion and the time and the skill then you won't be disappointed.
MMORPGS are designed and pre-programmed for mass audiences and the gaming experience will be relatively similar for all the thousands of millions of players who play that - themepark or sandbox. The truly unique hero or anti-hero in a mmorpg is a contradiction in terms.
You think you're old-school? Go GM one of the tougher old-school games like Call of Cthulhu or Paranoia and then tell me your old school.
Evil knows evil.
Ed for spelling and grammar