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My history with Massive Multiplayer Online Roleplaying Games
#1
(07-24-2013, 11:16 PM)markyjoe1990 Wrote: I hate MMORPGs. They're manipulative, corporate garbage meant to expunge money.

This pretty much sums up my opinion of the genre, but believe it or not, I have a longer history with MMORPGs than one would think. Let's start with the list of MMORPGs I've played. Hopefully I remember the chronological order in which I played them.

Runescape
Adventure Quest
DragonFable
Ragnarok Online
Kingdom of Loathing
Dungeon Fighter Online

RuneScape
Runescape is a typical adventure MMORPG with a slew of mechanics. How many RPGs do you have to level up specific skills like cooking? Beyond that, you had to level up fishing, fighting, mining, smithing, the list goes on. Trust me.

The game is pretty notorious for it's mediocre presentation, featuring really janky, polygon graphics, and MIDI music.

Of the ones I played, I enjoyed Runescape most, but nearly everyone and their mother says it's one of the worst MMORPGs ever made. I'm inclined to believe this is an exaggeration, or a result of prejudice. However, I also believe that the reason why my experience with Runescape was so pleasant was because of a few reasons.

1) I was unproductive and young, and my taste in games were not as mature as they are now. I had all the time in the world, and the game was free, so it's not like I lost anything from playing the game. Basically, it was filler for when I didn't feel like playing MUGEN or other things that I played excessively.

2) I played it with quite a few real life friends. In fact, I think I was the one who got them into it... actually, how the hell did I get into Runescape in the first place? How do I not remember this!? It's such a blur...

3) Even when I got bored with the monotonous combat, I found other activities to do. Particularly, near the end of my time spent with Runescape, I decided to forget about doing quests or grinding and dedicated my time to making apple pies, which I would randomly give to people for no reason other than... I enjoyed doing it.

I was a very bored kid as you can imagine.

I made a few online friends from this. LogCabin and ILoveGod are the only ones I remember, but I teamed up with people often.

I don't remember why I stopped playing. I think it was because I grew to realize that my time with the game was rarely ever satisfying; I spent more time grinding than... actually, grinding was the ONLY thing I did in the game, whether it be grinding for runes, apple pies, or EXP.

Adventure Quest
From here on out, my choices for MMORPGs would be heavily influenced by my friend, FireKong89... come to think of it, maybe it was him who got me to play Runescape... nah. I don't remember ever playing it with him. Prolly not.

Adventure Quest was less of an MMORPG so much as just a bare bones RPG; I never EVER made contact with another talking, breathing human being in the game, so I have no idea what makes this game MMO. On top of that, the combat was literally just... completely bare bones turn based RPG. You had HP, MP, skills, run, attack (Which is kind of useless since you'd always want to use your best attacks), and I think that was pretty much it. The battles were essentially just damage races with no strategy. All of your skills were attacks, and I don't recall the game having a weakness system. It was the very bare minimum of turn based gameplay, with the result of battles essentially being "Whose stats are better?"

To do more stuff in the game, you... *sigh* had to grind. A lot. I'd like to mention that the game also had no music, and the sound effects were very barren. However, the game DID have some redeeming traits.

For one, the dialogue was actually pretty witty and amusing. It made fun of a lot of RPG cliches and sometimes even other games, and while the combat was barren, it was pretty ideal for multitasking, since you didn't need to put any commitment into it.

When I was in high school, I actually played this game often during class when I was done with my work. But... I don't think I'll ever go back to it. It's just way too uninvesting to be worth my time. Though, maybe I'm wrong. Maybe the game's gotten updated tremendously and all of my qualms with it are moot now. Do I care? Not really.

Oh. Final note on Adventure Quest. I made my character a female mage with long hair. Big surprise.

DragonFable
This was a spin off of Adventure Quest, which the only different being that you could actually walk around instead of instantly going straight to your destination/battle, a feature that Adventure Quest only had in it's underworld. This was not an improvement by any means. The art was... I guess slightly more refined, but it was also recycled a shit load more, so it was pretty boring to look at, and like Adventure Quest, no music.

Now, what do I mean when I say that actually being able to move is a downgrade? Simple, the game does absolutely nothing to capitalize on this. When you go on quests, you literally just go through some dungeon with... nothing in it whatsoever except random enemy encounters. The movement served absolutely no purpose, and the game would have been better off without it. At least it'd be getting straight to the point.

The game also had an "online" feature in which you'd fight other people's characters, which were controlled by the AI, not by the player... it was a hackeneyed piece of shit.

There's nothing else to talk about regarding this game... and they still don't give you the option to make your character's hair any longer than, like, down to their breasts. =\

Ragnarok Online
By this point, I was convinced that MMORPGs weren't for me. My friend, FireKong89 wanted me to get into this though, with the promise that it was very good. I refused at first, but eventually we came to an agreement: If he played MUGEN more, I'd play Ragnarok Online with him. I don't know if he ever held up his end of the deal, but I don't really care.

Ragnarok Online is like most other MMORPGs like Runescape. It's an adventure with numerous other players who you can talk to, battle, and team up with. However, unlike Runescape, the graphics were absolutely fantastic. Like, holy shit. Not to mention LOADS of hot anime-drawn chicks, particularly the... um... world guides? The ladies that teleported you to different worlds.

Additionally, while Runescape's music was pleasant despite it's MIDI limitations, Ragnarok Online's music was flat-out awesome. Lots of different styles of music, and almost all of them had hooks and great melodies.

Additionally, the game had numerous different skills and the classes had diversity. Whereas Adventure Quest was basically just a game of "Who can do more damage" and Runescape was a matter of how decked out you were with magic, bows, and equipment, Ragnarok required more intricate strategies such as... "Exploit the living shit out of the poorly designed AI".

... Yeah. Here's a fun fact about mages in this game: Firewall wrecks almost every enemy They just keep walking into the god damn thing. It allows you to grind pretty much anywhere in the game where enemies are limited to melee attacks. Once you get Firewall, the challenge of the game is pretty much moot.

... AND THE GAME DOESN'T ALLOW FOR PARTICULARLY LONG HAIR. ;-;

Yeah. Even though the game was clearly higher quality than the MMORPGs I'd played before, it was still an MMORPG. You still had quests that amounted to "Go to Point B from Point A" or "Kill the very easily exploitable monster of ultimate death and doom", and to go to the more difficult places, you'd either need to grind, or be a cheap douchebag like I was. It also didn't allow me to bake pies...

Kingdom of Loathing
Unlike most of the MMORPGs we've covered so far, this one wasn't introduced to me by FireKong89. Believe it or not, my high school science teacher told me about it.

This was a browser-based MMO. All navigation was done by clicking to where you wanted to go, and instantly going there. The combat held the same motif. Again, no music, and the graphics were black & white, and basically crudely drawn sketches.

With the way I made it sound, it probably sounds like a bad game. Honestly, I don't think so.

The graphics were intentionally crudely drawn, and the game focused entirely on being funny and amusing. I especially remember... uh... the cave of haikus? On top of that, when you went on quests, the game had a sort of choose-your-own-adventure feel, because you would decide what your actions would be in certain situations.

I recommend this one mainly because it's different, and very charming. I can't say it's much of an MMO, since I didn't interact with players very much, and the gameplay is pretty barren, but it might actually be worth your time regardless due to it's charm and humor. I... can't be bothered.

Dungeon Fighter Online
Last on our list is a game that was introduced to me by both it's advertising on GameFAQs and our good ol' buddy ArcWolf, a long-time fan of mine and a member of this forums.

There were two reasons why it caught my eye:
1) The female characters looked hot, plus, judging by ArcWolf's videos of it, you can make your character have RIDICULOUSLY long hair. X3
2) I like beat 'em ups... kind of. I thought the game would be interesting, since the idea of an MMO Beat 'em up seemed like a pretty creative concept to me at the time.

Even though reason #1 was a big reason for me, I choose to play as the mage character... some lolita loli chick, because she was the mage, and I like mage gameplay. ... *sigh* Perhaps I should have chose a more appealing character.

Anyway, the game... sucks. It's not because of the mechanics or controls. It's the level design. It's minimum effort, copy/paste bullshit that just places enemies about the room with little reasoning. There's no twists. The environment never has hazards, and the enemies weren't cleverly positioned in a way that required much thought.

Of course, perhaps someone will contradict me on this and point out that the game gains all these things later on in the game. To that, I will use my Dream of Five argument: Why should I have to WORK for the good parts of the game? A game should be fun and interesting from the start.

Any argument that tells me "It gets better later on" is an argument I dismiss, because it completely misses the point of a game; that it should be fun all the way through, especially in the beginning since that's the part of the game you are going to be exposed to first. You're not going to be able to skip it, which means that no matter what, you'll have to work your way through the rubble if you want to get to the gold. Why should I have to do that? It's just chores, essentially.

Anything else?
The only other MMORPG I've played is World of Warcraft, and VERY little of it no less. To me, it was just a glorified "more of the same", and a dollar sink no less.

Conclusion
I strongly believe that people don't actually play MMORPGs for their gameplay. They play them because of the following reasons.
1) Peer Pressure - When your friends are all playing the same game, you probably don't want to be left out. We like to spend time with our friends, and MMORPGs are a way we can keep in contact with them. This brings me to my next point.
2) Socializing - In every MMO that I've played that allows a good amount of human interaction, I've made friends. As my friends continue to play the game, I feel inclined to do the same to spend time with them and talk. Even when I stopped enjoying Ragnarok Online, I still kept playing because I was a lonely fuck who craved human interaction, and I didn't want to fall behind my friends.
3) Filler - You don't have anything else to do. You've beaten all the games you have, or at least the games you actually care about finishing, and you don't feel productive enough to work on personal projects like ROM hacks, or MUGEN. What do you do? Play something mindless that will distract you from thinking about how bored you are.
4) They just keep adding new shit all the time - Grinding is not going to keep a player invested. This is why you have to constantly add new shit to the game to keep them coming back... Most of the time, it's something really insignificant, but so long as you can manipulate the player into turning the game on again with "Hey! We have this new thing! You should check it out!", then you have them in the palm of your hands. Before you know it, the player realizes "Wow, I need to level up this shit, and I guess I could do one more quest. Not like I have anything else to do".
5) Artificial Sense of Accomplishment - Some people like seeing their characters grow. Whether it be simply witnessing their stats go up, or gaining new moves, it makes people feel like they're accomplishing something with their time. However, this doesn't mean those stats actually mean anything outside of "Now you can go to this area because you no longer suck". The system mainly exists to pad out the game's experience by forcing you to put more time into it so you can see more of the game's content. Like 1, 2 and 4, this isn't gameplay. It's manipulation, which can lead to addiction, which can lead to... well... this.

So there ya go. That's my history with MMORPGs, and my feelings about the genre and it's purpose.
#2
(07-26-2013, 01:33 PM)markyjoe1990 Wrote: Conclusion
I strongly believe that people don't actually play MMORPGs for their gameplay. They play them because of the following reasons.
1) Peer Pressure
2) Socializing
That was basically the reasons why I played MMORPGs like Runescape, when I was starting at a new school and didn't have any new friends I just felt left out whenever anyone would talk about Runescape. Every single conversation in the cafeteria was about Runescape and I always felt left out. I forced myself through it to even be able to have conversations with people.

I will give MMORPGs one thing though, and that is teamwork. Whenever me and my friends would get through a long dungeon or beat a difficult boss there was genuine satisfaction, even if it never made up for the hours lost on grinding. But the fact that we worked together and succeded was actually really great and fun.
#3
I only played Runescape cause I was bored and wanted to play something to entertain myself. I stopped playing it cause the game was bland and that the only way to access the whole map is to buy premium, which sucked.
#4
I've played Runescape, Adventure Quest, Ragnarok, Kingdom of Loathing, and Dragon Fable, and pretty much lost interest for the same reasons Marc (and presumably others) did.

I've also played Final Fantasy XI. Christ that game's shitty. Grinding like none other, poorly designed quests, HORRIBLE boss battles, par-for-FF plot, and some bizzare need to require the player to refer to the wiki every five minutes for maps, directions, walkthroughs, fucking everything >_> One year later, I ran the fuck away and never turned back.
#5
One thing I don't get though is how an MMORPG differs that much from a standard RPG like Dragon Quest and that normal turn-based RPGs never gets the same amount of hate.

Using Dragon Quest VIII as an example, it has a good but simple story and has sooo much grinding that it will take forever to finish a dungeon with barely any gameplay changes, but still I love the game to death. But I never feel the same about MMORPGs, mostly because there isn't much driving me forward but the same goes for DQ. The story is enjoyable but the same goes for certain MMORPGs like Guild Wars 2, some of the quests in that game were hilarious. The thing that MMORPGs have over turn-based RPGs is the fact that you are using teamwork and startegy with your team though so it goes in favor to MMORPGs. I just don't know why I like turn-based RPGs and not MMORPGs.

What's your opinion on such turn-based RPGs like Dragon Quest and Final Fantasy Marc?
#6
(07-26-2013, 04:40 PM)Rathalicious Wrote: One thing I don't get though is how an MMORPG differs that much from a standard RPG like Dragon Quest and that normal turn-based RPGs never gets the same amount of hate.
Probably because RPGs don't have jackasses that insult you and treat you badly. Probably because it's a more personal experience with an RPG since no one but you is playing (Unless it has multiplayer and you brought a friend or friends). Probably because more care tends to be put into the design, presentation, and story of RPGs than MMORPGs.

Probably because MMORPGs are manipulative cash cows that rely on it's players to determine it's value rather than good game design.

(07-26-2013, 04:40 PM)Rathalicious Wrote: Using Dragon Quest VIII as an example, it has a good but simple story and has sooo much grinding that it will take forever to finish a dungeon with barely any gameplay changes, but still I love the game to death. But I never feel the same about MMORPGs, mostly because there isn't much driving me forward but the same goes for DQ. The story is enjoyable but the same goes for certain MMORPGs like Guild Wars 2, some of the quests in that game were hilarious. The thing that MMORPGs have over turn-based RPGs is the fact that you are using teamwork and startegy with your team though so it goes in favor to MMORPGs. I just don't know why I like turn-based RPGs and not MMORPGs.
See the reasons I listed above.

(07-26-2013, 04:40 PM)Rathalicious Wrote: What's your opinion on such turn-based RPGs like Dragon Quest and Final Fantasy Marc?
I think Turn-Based Combat is a gameplay concept that hasn't been used to it's full potential. Many RPGs that use it seem to be content with it's simplest form - Spamming your most powerful attacks until you win.

However, I strongly believe that Turn-Based Combat has greater potential than that. Even games where you only use one character all the way through can have depth to how you play. Unfortunately, not many games go out of their way to realize this potential.

Never played any of the Dragon Quest games. I've played and beaten FF1 and FF2. Played a bit of FF6 and FF7.

I really liked Final Fantasy 7, and I feel that a lot of criticisms made to the game have been unfair, or are tainted by the spin offs the game has spawned. Cloud and Aerith are great, complex characters, and the game has a good balance between humor and drama that it never becomes suffocatingly depressing.

It doesn't really fix many of the problems I have with RPGs, such as my dislike of random battles, and the battles themselves lacking much depth, but it at least doesn't throw random battles at you often, and grinding is pretty much never needed. The game also has a lot of other gameplay stuff to mix it up a bit and prevent it from becoming too monotonous.

FF6 was pretty good too, but... I didn't really get invested in it as much as FF7 even though it's combat is much faster.

FF1 is mediocre, and FF2 is... slightly better.
#7
(07-26-2013, 06:01 PM)markyjoe1990 Wrote: Probably because RPGs don't have jackasses that insult you and treat you badly. Probably because it's a more personal experience with an RPG since no one but you is playing (Unless it has multiplayer and you brought a friend or friends). Probably because more care tends to be put into the design, presentation, and story of RPGs than MMORPGs.

Yeah, that's true.

(07-26-2013, 06:01 PM)markyjoe1990 Wrote: Probably because MMORPGs are manipulative cash cows that rely on it's players to determine it's value rather than good game design.

That's really true.

(07-26-2013, 06:01 PM)markyjoe1990 Wrote: Never played any of the Dragon Quest games.
What's wrong with you? Go get Dragon Quest VIII then for PS2. It's one of the few RPGs I know where you need stats-changing spells and effect spells, it's hard as fuck too. Plus it has the artstyle from Akira Toriyama (creator of Dragon Ball). I would consider it to in my top 10 fav games of all time.

(07-26-2013, 06:01 PM)markyjoe1990 Wrote: I've played and beaten FF1 and FF2. Played a bit of FF6 and FF7.

I've only played FE13....... Short opinion on it: Don't ever touch it.
#8
Rath, don't you mean FF VIII. But yeah, I never played it, but I heard it was a freaking train wreck due to massive linearity and other crap.
#9
Surprise-Surprise. I have something to say. Just relaying my thoughts and opinions on the opening post. (WARNING: VERY VERY VERY BIG WALL OF TEXT, PARTLY DUE TO SITING QUOTES)

(07-26-2013, 01:33 PM)markyjoe1990 Wrote: I don't remember why I stopped playing. I think it was because I grew to realize that my time with the game was rarely ever satisfying; I spent more time grinding than... actually, grinding was the ONLY thing I did in the game, whether it be grinding for runes, apple pies, or EXP.

Last time I checked, grinding was the ONLY thing to do other than PvP. In other words: it was the epitome of everything bad about the genre.

(07-26-2013, 01:33 PM)markyjoe1990 Wrote: Adventure Quest was less of an MMORPG so much as just a bare bones RPG; I never EVER made contact with another talking, breathing human being in the game, so I have no idea what makes this game MMO. On top of that, the combat was literally just... completely bare bones turn based RPG. You had HP, MP, skills, run, attack (Which is kind of useless since you'd always want to use your best attacks), and I think that was pretty much it. The battles were essentially just damage races with no strategy. All of your skills were attacks, and I don't recall the game having a weakness system. It was the very bare minimum of turn based gameplay, with the result of battles essentially being "Whose stats are better?"

Actually, it did have elemental weaknesses/resistances, and not too far into it there were plenty of weapons with special abilities attached to them, a fair amount of which were on par, if not outright trumped any spells or special abilities you may have had... which was pretty much RNG based, so it wasn't reliable, but people did make boring warrior builds that made normal attacks and any attack skills that were based off strength all they needed. There were also armors that weren't classes that had some abilities that made them worth looking into.

Does this change the core gameplay?... No, not at all.

(07-26-2013, 01:33 PM)markyjoe1990 Wrote: To do more stuff in the game, you... *sigh* had to grind. A lot. I'd like to mention that the game also had no music, and the sound effects were very barren. However, the game DID have some redeeming traits.

For one, the dialogue was actually pretty witty and amusing. It made fun of a lot of RPG cliches and sometimes even other games, and while the combat was barren, it was pretty ideal for multitasking, since you didn't need to put any commitment into it.

I feel like a weirdo for only spending time to grind if there was a boss that was in the way of something. When I did have to grind, though, it was very ick.

Those redeeming traits were pretty much the only reason I even bothered, actually.

(07-26-2013, 01:33 PM)markyjoe1990 Wrote: When I was in high school, I actually played this game often during class when I was done with my work. But... I don't think I'll ever go back to it. It's just way too uninvesting to be worth my time. Though, maybe I'm wrong. Maybe the game's gotten updated tremendously and all of my qualms with it are moot now. Do I care? Not really.

Pretty much my same thoughts.

(07-26-2013, 01:33 PM)markyjoe1990 Wrote: Oh. Final note on Adventure Quest. I made my character a female mage with long hair. Big surprise.

... Something tells me there might of actually been some complaints about that, because AQ Worlds has hair that almost reaches the ground for female characters. Speaking of which... since DragonFable's coming around the corner...

(07-26-2013, 01:33 PM)markyjoe1990 Wrote: DragonFable
This was a spin off of Adventure Quest, which the only different being that you could actually walk around instead of instantly going straight to your destination/battle, a feature that Adventure Quest only had in it's underworld. This was not an improvement by any means. The art was... I guess slightly more refined, but it was also recycled a shit load more, so it was pretty boring to look at, and like Adventure Quest, no music.

Now, what do I mean when I say that actually being able to move is a downgrade? Simple, the game does absolutely nothing to capitalize on this. When you go on quests, you literally just go through some dungeon with... nothing in it whatsoever except random enemy encounters. The movement served absolutely no purpose, and the game would have been better off without it. At least it'd be getting straight to the point.

The game also had an "online" feature in which you'd fight other people's characters, which were controlled by the AI, not by the player... it was a hackeneyed piece of shit.

There's nothing else to talk about regarding this game... and they still don't give you the option to make your character's hair any longer than, like, down to their breasts. =\

The reason any of that stuff was even in DragonFable at all was because everything up until AQ Worlds (a.k.a "Glorified Dressup") was really just an overhyped experiment. From what I recall, the guy who originally founded Artix Entertainment was a teen and goofing around with flash way back when; he then got the idea that he wanted to make an online flash game... That failed horribly, but he still wanted it to get somewhere, so he left it as a little single player online game that he would update every week. Some other young people with some programming or art skills got interested later, and they all collectively decided to shoot for that goal (the bonus features that required paying were still a pretty big minus, though). He's pretty much just a figure head, now, as the other people there won't even let him work on any form of art or coding.

To be honest, even though I won't go back to AQ Worlds, I have some overall mixed feelings about it. On one hand, I'd say it's probably their most well designed web browser game (haven't played any of their ap-games that they made during some indie contests). On the other hand, it's probably their bigest cash cow... Most of the stuff you can buy for it doesn't directly effect gameplay, though (aesthetic changes, mostly). The stuff that does (like some classes), however, could be annoying, especially since it was still technically unecessary for the most part (which is better than making a huge impact atleast, but still...).

One thing that kind of did surprise me is that there are actually a few puzzles in this game. In no way is this a redeeming quality, but I find it kind of strange that most MMOs avoid including any kind of puzzles. As for the design behind the puzzles... Some were actually interesting, others were really dumb (like this one "puzzle" which was less of an actual puzzle and more of a trial and error thing). But for the most part, they were kind of generic, and they were few and far between all the generic quests.

(07-26-2013, 01:33 PM)markyjoe1990 Wrote: Ragnarok Online
By this point, I was convinced that MMORPGs weren't for me. My friend, FireKong89 wanted me to get into this though, with the promise that it was very good. I refused at first, but eventually we came to an agreement: If he played MUGEN more, I'd play Ragnarok Online with him. I don't know if he ever held up his end of the deal, but I don't really care.

Ragnarok Online is like most other MMORPGs like Runescape. It's an adventure with numerous other players who you can talk to, battle, and team up with. However, unlike Runescape, the graphics were absolutely fantastic. Like, holy shit. Not to mention LOADS of hot anime-drawn chicks, particularly the... um... world guides? The ladies that teleported you to different worlds.

Additionally, while Runescape's music was pleasant despite it's MIDI limitations, Ragnarok Online's music was flat-out awesome. Lots of different styles of music, and almost all of them had hooks and great melodies.

Additionally, the game had numerous different skills and the classes had diversity. Whereas Adventure Quest was basically just a game of "Who can do more damage" and Runescape was a matter of how decked out you were with magic, bows, and equipment, Ragnarok required more intricate strategies such as... "Exploit the living shit out of the poorly designed AI".

... Yeah. Here's a fun fact about mages in this game: Firewall wrecks almost every enemy They just keep walking into the god damn thing. It allows you to grind pretty much anywhere in the game where enemies are limited to melee attacks. Once you get Firewall, the challenge of the game is pretty much moot.

Huh... Ragnarok Online wouldn't happen to be a hack'n'slash, would it? Because this sounds a bit like that hack'n'slash blues. Hack'n'slashes tend to be pretty exploitable, regardless of whether it's solely a one-player experience, or has some form a multiplayer. Saddly, I've still seen more thought and care put into most single-player hack'n'slashes then I have MMOs overall.

(07-26-2013, 01:33 PM)markyjoe1990 Wrote: Yeah. Even though the game was clearly higher quality than the MMORPGs I'd played before, it was still an MMORPG. You still had quests that amounted to "Go to Point B from Point A" or "Kill the very easily exploitable monster of ultimate death and doom", and to go to the more difficult places, you'd either need to grind, or be a cheap douchebag like I was. It also didn't allow me to bake pies...

While I can respect everything else mentioned, I find the pies thing kind of weird... then again, it's like how I find trolling and getting trolled a selling point for Monster Hunter's multiplayer. Only... Monster Hunter isn't in any way an MMO (save for Frontier, but the only good thing about that one is that the bosses are tougher then the main series. It falls victim to the cash cow syndrome, though).

(07-26-2013, 01:33 PM)markyjoe1990 Wrote: Kingdom of Loathing
Unlike most of the MMORPGs we've covered so far, this one wasn't introduced to me by FireKong89. Believe it or not, my high school science teacher told me about it.

This was a browser-based MMO. All navigation was done by clicking to where you wanted to go, and instantly going there. The combat held the same motif. Again, no music, and the graphics were black & white, and basically crudely drawn sketches.

With the way I made it sound, it probably sounds like a bad game. Honestly, I don't think so.

The graphics were intentionally crudely drawn, and the game focused entirely on being funny and amusing. I especially remember... uh... the cave of haikus? On top of that, when you went on quests, the game had a sort of choose-your-own-adventure feel, because you would decide what your actions would be in certain situations.

I recommend this one mainly because it's different, and very charming. I can't say it's much of an MMO, since I didn't interact with players very much, and the gameplay is pretty barren, but it might actually be worth your time regardless due to it's charm and humor. I... can't be bothered.

I remember reading about that on TvTropes. By the time I learned about it, however, I was already preoccupying myself with other things.

(07-26-2013, 01:33 PM)markyjoe1990 Wrote: Dungeon Fighter Online
Last on our list is a game that was introduced to me by both it's advertising on GameFAQs and our good ol' buddy ArcWolf, a long-time fan of mine and a member of this forums.

There were two reasons why it caught my eye:
1) The female characters looked hot, plus, judging by ArcWolf's videos of it, you can make your character have RIDICULOUSLY long hair. X3
2) I like beat 'em ups... kind of. I thought the game would be interesting, since the idea of an MMO Beat 'em up seemed like a pretty creative concept to me at the time.

Even though reason #1 was a big reason for me, I choose to play as the mage character... some lolita loli chick, because she was the mage, and I like mage gameplay. ... *sigh* Perhaps I should have chose a more appealing character.

Anyway, the game... sucks. It's not because of the mechanics or controls. It's the level design. It's minimum effort, copy/paste bullshit that just places enemies about the room with little reasoning. There's no twists. The environment never has hazards, and the enemies weren't cleverly positioned in a way that required much thought.

That's kind of disappointing to know. I was actually a little interested in that one.

Hmmm... speaking of beat 'em ups with RPG elements, I'll be playing Dragon's Crown when that comes around. I wonder if I should make a review of that...

... also, speaking of characters, before anyone starts assuming anything: No. I will be maining the dwarf.

(07-26-2013, 01:33 PM)markyjoe1990 Wrote: Of course, perhaps someone will contradict me on this and point out that the game gains all these things later on in the game. To that, I will use my Dream of Five argument: Why should I have to WORK for the good parts of the game? A game should be fun and interesting from the start.

Any argument that tells me "It gets better later on" is an argument I dismiss, because it completely misses the point of a game; that it should be fun all the way through, especially in the beginning since that's the part of the game you are going to be exposed to first. You're not going to be able to skip it, which means that no matter what, you'll have to work your way through the rubble if you want to get to the gold. Why should I have to do that? It's just chores, essentially.

I'm pretty sure a friend of mine showed me some late-game stuff regarding Dungeon Fighter, and I couldn't tell what was going on, but other than a mimic, I didn't see many traps or interesting level design. So based off that impression and the description you gave me, no, it doesn't get much better.

As for the "it gets better later on" thing, while I do agree with you, if I went by that way of thinking, I would only be playing sidescrollers, because every other genre starts off terrible in my eyes, because I'm incredibly picky. And no, my other favorite genres are not excluded from that. Every. Other. Genre. There are some exceptions to that. Only reason I give anything outside of sidescrollers is I really dislike being so restricted.

(07-26-2013, 01:33 PM)markyjoe1990 Wrote: Anything else?
The only other MMORPG I've played is World of Warcraft, and VERY little of it no less. To me, it was just a glorified "more of the same", and a dollar sink no less.

WoW's a terrible game. End of story.

(07-26-2013, 01:33 PM)markyjoe1990 Wrote: Conclusion
I strongly believe that people don't actually play MMORPGs for their gameplay. They play them because of the following reasons.
1) Peer Pressure - When your friends are all playing the same game, you probably don't want to be left out. We like to spend time with our friends, and MMORPGs are a way we can keep in contact with them.

While I also agree with this, I also happen to be an exception to that rule. More often than not, I get interested because of morbid curiosity/seeing if they actually handled anything better. I'm actually pressured to get into single-player games that aren't sidescrollers. >_>

(07-26-2013, 01:33 PM)markyjoe1990 Wrote: This brings me to my next point.
2) Socializing - In every MMO that I've played that allows a good amount of human interaction, I've made friends. As my friends continue to play the game, I feel inclined to do the same to spend time with them and talk. Even when I stopped enjoying Ragnarok Online, I still kept playing because I was a lonely fuck who craved human interaction, and I didn't want to fall behind my friends.

While I know this is true, to be honest, I actually hated most human "interaction" on these kinds of games. PSU and the early days of AQW were the only exceptions, which is why I was willing to keep coming back.

There was also this one MUD I tried out earlier this year. I'd say the name, but... it's partly a fetish game, so I'm not gonna mention that part. It was a turn-based game that didn't rely on a class system, and since the number of people was in the tripple digits, you were very unlikely to see someone else randomly running around. I can't say much for the combat, since I didn't get all that far, but some aspects of it confused me (attacks starting off doing decent damage and then doing significantly less damage per hit on some enemies, while doing consistent damage on others). With how I was currently spec'd I was partly a healer and partly utility/do stuff faster, so I have no idea if I needed to group up with others, or if I just was not currently spec'd for solo-ing. Oddly enough, my problem was that the community was a little too friendly (not in a sexual way). For some reason I found that a little unnerving and left.

(07-26-2013, 01:33 PM)markyjoe1990 Wrote: 3) Filler - You don't have anything else to do. You've beaten all the games you have, or at least the games you actually care about finishing, and you don't feel productive enough to work on personal projects like ROM hacks, or MUGEN. What do you do? Play something mindless that will distract you from thinking about how bored you are.

Paired up with my morbid curiosity... This. So much.

(07-26-2013, 01:33 PM)markyjoe1990 Wrote: 4) They just keep adding new shit all the time - Grinding is not going to keep a player invested. This is why you have to constantly add new shit to the game to keep them coming back... Most of the time, it's something really insignificant, but so long as you can manipulate the player into turning the game on again with "Hey! We have this new thing! You should check it out!", then you have them in the palm of your hands. Before you know it, the player realizes "Wow, I need to level up this shit, and I guess I could do one more quest. Not like I have anything else to do".

Also true, too, although my experience with this is different. Replace "need" with "want" and that's pretty much how AQ Worlds handled it. Regarding most of the updates, I spend an hour on average partaking in it, and then would log out and come back next week. This wasn't always the case, but that's how I went about that game most of the time.

As for PSU... fuck, that game's updates were horribly managed. They'd release new stages that weren't much more difficult (even if it offered something new) than the previous stages... BUT the rewards were better than everything previous. More experience. Better drops. More type point rewarded at the end. It essentially made the rest of the game obsolete. I think I quit PSU faster than AQW just because of that.

(07-26-2013, 01:33 PM)markyjoe1990 Wrote: 5) Artificial Sense of Accomplishment - Some people like seeing their characters grow. Whether it be simply witnessing their stats go up, or gaining new moves, it makes people feel like they're accomplishing something with their time. However, this doesn't mean those stats actually mean anything outside of "Now you can go to this area because you no longer suck". The system mainly exists to pad out the game's experience by forcing you to put more time into it so you can see more of the game's content. Like 1, 2 and 4, this isn't gameplay. It's manipulation, which can lead to addiction, which can lead to... well... this.

Exactly why I prefer action RPGs, tbh. Because it's more satisfying using your unmodified 7 invincibility frames during a role to pass through an attack you previously thought you couldn't avoid in that way. While stats are still kind of important, in a well made action RPG, stats are just numbers.

(07-26-2013, 01:33 PM)markyjoe1990 Wrote: So there ya go. That's my history with MMORPGs, and my feelings about the genre and it's purpose.

I must say, I actually enjoyed this read... No, I'm not just saying that. ><

*looks at the size of the post* Guess I'll have to come back to this thread later to get involved in the actual discussion.
#10
(07-26-2013, 06:38 PM)marks3684 Wrote: Rath, don't you mean FF VIII. But yeah, I never played it, but I heard it was a freaking train wreck due to massive linearity and other crap.

*sighs* more fanwar over VII and VIII <_<

But yeah XIII most be one of the worst games I have ever played, the combat system had such a horrible design and put it down after 3 hours. Boring as fuck.
  


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