Thursday, November 26, 2009

In Search of RP on an MMORPG

I have to admit I'm not married to the idea of playing just text based games. I've played a multitude of computer and console games over the years from games on an Atari and a Commadore 64 computer to the newest generations of gaming consoles and computers. I like graphical RPGs. In the past couple of years I've happily played and "beat" many Final Fantasy Games, Kingdom Hearts I and II, and also Persona III. I've casually played many more. I have avoided getting dangerously hooked on Guitar Hero even though I found it immensely fun at a friends abode. The problem is I found it too fun and my days are packed as it is!

For solo gaming I prefer playing console games though I play graphical computer games as well. So why if I like graphical games do I still actively and happily play an online text based game with no graphics? The answer is simple. I have yet to find any graphical game with a good enforced roleplay environment. Not from a lack of trying either. In the MMORPG genre I've played Everquest, Ultima Online, and Dark Age of Camelot. My last experience was awful and has kept me from even trying World of Warcrack. Excuse me, Warcraft.

When I play an online fantasy game with other human beings I want them to enrich my gaming experience, not destroy it. I like adopting the role of the character I am playing, and if my fellow players aren't trying to do the same it severely detracts from the game for me. The big MMORPGs are trying to make as much money as they can. They aren't willing to spend the time or money to enforce a roleplaying environment. The most I have ever seen MMORPG creators do is designate RP servers but it is mostly on the honor system that those who join to serve whether or not they roleplay.

Several years ago I had completely given up on trying to find a good RP environment on an MMORPG so I decided on a different strategy. If the environment on the RP server as a whole wasn't good then maybe I could find a guild that roleplayed with each other. I spent days trying to research online what the best RP guild was on any Dark Age of Camelot(DAOC)server. I started a character, built them up, and devoted weeks to trying to get into the guild. When I finally did make it in I found that even they didn't roleplay.

That is the primary reason I still MUD. I've found game administrators of MUDs and MUSHs will create and enforce good roleplay environments. If I want to play a graphical game I fire up one of my game consoles and have a blast instead of paying a monthly fee to play a game online with others that actually by and large make my gaming experience worse. I haven't completely given up on MMORPGs yet, but I'm not holding my breath.


  1. Yes, I definitely agree with you on that. Most MMORPGS out there are not MMORPGs but MMOs. Well, these mainly serve to entertain those who have little to no interest in roleplaying, which is not exactly bad because they might enjoy PvP/PvE and the other things that these games might offer.

    Well, personally I am going to enter into the world of 'text-gaming' on MUDs (Shadows of Isildur) for the first time, but it's funny that I've been playing mainstream MMORPGs and strategy games like Warcraft online for years. I got a bit bored of these genres and would like to try something new.

    Within a few minutes of playing SoI, I was overwhelmed. Honestly. Still have to get the hang of it... I mean, trying to visualize things after seeing them on-screen for so many years is kind of hard, but I think it's worth it, so I'm going to try.

    Good post by the way, and really nice blog.
    BTW, you should change the comment layout a bit so that I can comment without having to log into my gmail account externally.

    Nice blog again!

  2. Thanks, Feynor! Good luck on Shadows of Isildur. It can be hard to learn MUDing initially, but it is certainly rewarding if you are looking for good RP. There are many different types of MUDs out there and if it doesn't work out for you on SOI (or you just want to see what is out there), I would suggest heading to Top Mud Sites and starting a thread letting MUD admins know what you are and are not looking for. Most times it is only a matter of finding a good fit!