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Why You Do What You Do: Week 2 Challenge

13 May

So, this week Ambermist over at Tastes Like Battle Chicken gave us a new challenge. It is the “Why do you do what you do?” which is basically to answer with a picture… uh…. why do you what you do! She was nice enough to give us the option to answer it with text too. You know, just in case there is someone graphic challenged. *coughs*likeme*coughs*

My original intent was to actually answer it with a picture. I suck at anything graphical however. Even stick figures. So as the week went by I realized I had less and less time to try making even a decent picture for this challenge. Time for plan B then which is to write it!

With that said, this is my answer to Ambermist’s challenge!

Boldly going where no man has gone before…

… except for those who were already subscribed or were the developers. *clears throat*

Anyway, that phrase sums up one of the things I love about MMORPGs, the feeling of getting into a completely new world, with its own history, its own conflicts, nations, rules, etc. The more open the world in terms of exploring and strong lore, the more I like it. Ok. Perhaps not completely open. Some guidance is always nice so we are not totally lost wondering how things work. I guess my version of a good open world would be open enough so you can go off exploring on your own, being rewarded with finding spots for cool stuff like spots to harvest a crafting material or some neat lore detail. A bad world implementation would be one where you feel you are just going from point A to B doing a laundry list for some soulless NPC.

Another way for me to explore worlds is through alts. Since usually each class has its own feel, they each bring a different way to experience the world. For instance, fighting through the mobs of a quest  with a tank will feel very different from a mage who in turn will feel very different from a rogue and so on. The more unique the mechanics of each class the better. And with that it can be refreshing to play the same parts of the game again.

Lastly, one aspect I didn’t expect to fall in love with but makes me sad isn’t more common in MMORPGs, is housing. The short version of the story is this: MMORPGs nowadays are for the most part pretty static. However housing is your little part of the story of the world that can definitely change. It is only limits are your imagination, in-game resources and time. With those three it is a way to leave your mark in a world that will never change until the developers decide it must do so. For a longer, more incoherent, rambling of the subject there is this and this post. There may be some redundancy between both posts and they are as rambling as it comes…. I blame it on often writing at times when I should be sleeping.

Of course, all these aspects could be, and often are, done better in a single-player game. This can make spending money on MMORPGs hard to justify. What with all the money you have to spend on the game box, expansions and subscriptions. Indeed, I even left a few times because of that reasoning. However there is one good reason I still find myself enjoying MMORPGs despite that. And that is people!

Six degrees of separation?

I am a soloist. The type who hates forced grouping and avoids PuGs like the plague. Though even a soloist like me some times needs to interact with other people. Be it to get a party (even a PuG!) to achieve something or indirectly through trading. With this new friendships end up being formed. :)

Another cool thing is that MMORPGs are probably the most equalizing of the hobbies. It doesn’t matter if you are tall or short, fat or thin, rich or poor, male or  female, all that matters is your skills as players. Yes, I am aware that some times those things may be brought up and some people will make an issue out of it. I am fortunate however to not have met any such person so far. I hope to never meet one of those either.

MMORPGs are also a proof that no matter what your country of origin is, everybody is pretty much the same. They all have the same victories, the same challenges and the same worries. The only thing that really changes is the name of the country and the language spoken. Yes, I know there are also a few cultural differences that may pop up from time to time. I however don’t think they matter. If they do it is actually in a good way, a way to enrich our cultural knowledge. The only really thing that sucks is time zones. But that is beyond anyone’s control.

I honestly can’t think of any other hobby where it is just as easy to bond with other people as in MMORPGs. And in the end that is pretty much why I end up playing them more than single player games. :)

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7 Comments

Posted by on May 13, 2012 in Ambermist's Challenges, MMORPG

 

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7 responses to “Why You Do What You Do: Week 2 Challenge

  1. battlechicken

    May 13, 2012 at 7:50 pm

    There were two things that drew me into World of Warcraft at first. One of them was the “epicness.” I found it absolutely epic that (at the time) 40 actual people from around the globe could team up and kill a boss. It blew my mind.

    And second, the world! You’re absolutely right: it’s completely new, with new everything. I got so caught up in exploring and following the quest lines and encountering the characters that the first 40 levels flew by (even though they actually took for-ev-er). I loved the feeling of seeing brand new places!

    Great post, thanks! :-D

     
  2. Rakuno

    May 14, 2012 at 12:38 am

    Good point about the raiding aspect. It is not only epic because of the number of people involved but also about the organizational challenge it must be to get all those people on the same page. I never got into raiding, it is not my thing. But I can’t avoid admiring anyone who is brave (crazy, maybe?) enough to try organizing one.

    Yeah. That is the cool thing about a well crafted MMORPG. Everything feels fantastic the first time, so much to see, so much to do. We don’t even notice the time pass by. The second time you are more seasoned so things just don’t impress us as much. Still can be fun to revisit old sightings, maybe try a few ones we skipped the first time because we couldn’t do it for one reason or another…. :)

    As always, thank you for the kind comment and for the challenge. :)

     
  3. Ravanel

    May 14, 2012 at 6:19 am

    I recognize your reasons for playing so much! It’s much the same for me. The feel of exploring the environment is great, especially if there’s actually much effort put into details. I’m always so curious when a new area is released!

    Another point you mentioned: playing with people of all nationality, gender etc was something I was actually thinking about in the train yesterday. I play together with people of all sorts of nationalities and MMOs just prove so well that it all doesn’t matter, that working together totally works (at least in my kin, perhaps I’m lucky, hehe). It wouldn’t surprise me if people would broaden their views playing MMOs. :)

     
    • Rakuno

      May 14, 2012 at 9:44 pm

      Indeed! I guess MMORPGs might be the closest we’ll ever get to Star Trek now that I think about it. People of different nationalities banding together to do cool stuff!

      Ok, in Start Trek they were actually getting together for much more important purposes. But it was still cool!

      Hmmm…. Now I am thinking about playing Star Trek Online again…

       
      • Ravanel

        May 16, 2012 at 9:03 am

        Hehe, there you just went from MMOs to my favorite series. ^^

        I love Star Trek, but have never played Star Trek Online. In gaming, I generally can’t stand any shooting.

        In retrospect, getting together and overcoming differences is of course a big theme in many stories. And games are all about telling stories, not much different from books (only a different medium). In Lord of the Rings, different races and peoples have to fight together to fight the bigger evil (Mordor) and the same counts for Mass Effect (which I am currently playing), in which you have to do the same to fight the Reapers. And what can we tell about Star Wars…

        I guess we all really like this theme, as I certainly can’t seem to get enough of it, looking at my choice of games. Not really a bad thing, I only wish that people in real life would be more like this!

         
        • Rakuno

          May 16, 2012 at 11:18 am

          Again, another excellent point!

          I guess Star Trek came to my mind first because of the time period the original series was broadcasted in, the issues they were trying to tackle and because most of the main crew (Spock being the obvious exception) were human. So it is easier to relate to real life unlike a band of composed of hobbits, humans, elf, dwarf and… whatever Gandalf was. I always forget. >_>

          Same thing for the Mass Effect series. Yes, some of them are humans. But the aliens of the crew are just important (as they should be!). Star Wars I guess I didn’t think about it since the size of the main characters are smaller than the usual “lets band together to save the world!” type of groups we see in movies. Or at least the ones I cared about anyway. :x

          And yes, it is not really a bad thing. I too wished people in real life would be more like this. Perhaps one day they will. :)

           

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