Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Do you really choose to group in a mmorpg?

 Over on Tesh's blog, Tipa (enough T's yet? :D ) commented...

If the purpose of raiding isn’t to trigger the camaraderie of team-building through shared experiences, then why not just sell raid gear? In fact, why even have raid gear? Just sell cool looking armor directly.

This whole thing about using groups and raids to enhance your single player experience — with other players essentially being somewhat unpredictable NPCs which you must use to get stuff for yourself — makes me despair for the future of the genre.
Now really the way I've measured it, mmorpgs have always forced a mercenary attitude. Basically they force you into the company of others unless you want to miss out on content. I can hear some of you 'But being in the company of others is the POINT of a mmorpg!'. Well if it were so very much the point then people wouldn't need to be forced into the company of others, would they? I mean, what's the reply to that 'Well, it is the point, but sometimes people have to have the point drummed into their heads'?

It's basically like old school railroading in table top, giving someone the appearance of choice when they don't. "Oh sure you start out by yourself and then you have the choice to play with others...". And maybe the railroading isn't apparent, so when a bunch of people start just using each other in a mercenary way, it just seems crazy out of the blue? When really it's a reflection of the true state of affairs/the railroad.

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