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.