(I’ve been posting a lot of journal entries lately. My apologies for any friend list spams, I do try to keep it to one-a-day…)
I just don’t get it. MMORPGs. Where’s the fun?
Progress Quest seems to have hit the nail on the head. Once you cut away the purdy (or totally not purdy) graphics, what do you have? An exploitable system of mathematics and logic hoops that set up a series of repetitive tasks which ‘progress’ your character along. It’s basically like a game where you push a button in order to get access to the next button which you push in order to… etc. The only way for them to add longevity to this sort of hamster wheel game design is to make the wheel able to spin for longer and longer amounts of time — higher levels, bigger stats, more points scored for doing what’s basically the same thing constantly.
The system lends itself more to hardcore kiddies who talk in l33t and brag about their l33t stats and phat lewt than it does to ‘ROLEPLAYERS’ which is technically two of the letters in MMORPG. What’s more, the system is so systematic and pseudoeconomic that entire businesses can be founded on gathering phat lewt and selling it, or suing the game makers for daring to suggest how their game should be played.
Seems to me that it’s not really a ‘game’ at all.
I’m hoping that at some point in the future, we can have an MMORPG that is not entirely centered around killin’, EXP, lewt, and stats. Something more like a graphical MUCK, maybe. (I don’t have the winning formula and don’t claim to; if I did I could be a millionare right now.) Even if it doesn’t take off like a rocket in popularity with the Diablo II mindless clickfest brigade of thirteen year olds, we need SOME sort of alternative! I just want a quality RPG experience without the juvenile Progress-minded attitude that surrounds these things. Why should folks who enjoy the art of RP be forced to use Carter-administration internet technology while those twits get all the perks and bennies?
And the stink of it? The RPG which put the emphasis on STORY and experience (the personal experience kind, not the experience point kind) back into RPGs, Final Fantasy, goes MMORPG in its next incarnation. And everything I’m reading about it screams out ‘progress!’. It’s basically a disc with a game mechanic system on it, some texture maps, and nothing else. Whee. I’ll wait until FF12, thank you.
But, now I’m just complaining bitterly, so I’ll stop. …oh, and we have new Meiko fanart. Which does add a bit of a smile to my day. ^_^;