What's Wrong With Online RPG's? Part 1
It's about 90% of the reason I have the internet, Online Role playing games. It's like pulling teeth trying to gather a group together for a game very often, so here's where I turn. It's a shame to have been disappointed by so many MMRPGS, so what do I look for in a game?
Years ago, I was an avid player of a semi-popular game called Neverwinter Nights. It was available only on AOL and was limited to 500 players at a time. During this time, AOL wasn't yet a flat rate ISP, but a 3 dollar an hour service. Addiction got expensive, but I regret spending none of that $800 bucks for about 4 months of game play.
It was my first tastes of many things that would become what I commonly waste my spare time on. It was my first time on the internet, my first time using something close to a chat client, my first time noticing that what seemed like 2 or 3 hours passing was in reality a 10 hour stretch, and it was the first time I "met" anyone via the internet.
The game itself, is still what I use to hold newer MMRPGS (massivly multiplayer role playing games) up against for comparison reasons. The game was basically a goldbox game by SSI that was modified to play online. The rules were AD&D and the levels capped off at 11 for some classes, 10 or 12 for others.
While the graphics and actual realism weren't the best, the game itself was a perfect example of what a game should be. The only thing I would actually change would be to raise the cap of players from 500 to 5000.
There is currently a group of old NWN players like myself, using their skills to bring back the magic of the old game. So far, I haven't been able to test the actual game to check the accuracy and likeness to the old NWN (not to be confused with the upcoming 'Neverwinter Nights' which you can find info here). I commend the idea and hope for others sake and my own they succeed. You may be asking yourself "why would he want a game with outdated graphics back when he could be playing one of the much more advanced MMRPG's?" The answer is quite simply that these newer online roleplaying games, well, they suck.
How about Everquest? Hardly. A pretty interface, with a nice view of landscapes and creatures doesn't save it from the lag pockets, "YOU HAVE BEEN DISCONNECTED" screens and poor newbie structure. Although I have to give it credit, once you get past some things, this game can be fun.
Ultima Online? Well, I don't feel I have to rip this one apart, but what the hell! I will. Any game, in my humble opinion, with a skill based system rather than a level based system is just too realistic to play. When I sign up for an RPG, online or not, I sign up to play a hero (or villian) who roleplays, kills enemies, saves the weak, solves problems, and builds in strength. I don't expect to waste hours upon hours in front of my screen fishing, knitting, chopping lumber, or giving snickers to trick or treaters! I can do most of that crap in my backyard. I also expect to be able to kill things on my own... instead, I get the glory of taking out bunny rabbits and running away from bears. I can do that in my backyard too! I suppose some other changes to the UO realm have caused a majority of the older players, who HAVE to have patience to deal with the aformentioned crap, to leave.
The next entry from me will be what should happen, how to fix it, what to do, and how to win the lotto. Keep looking, It should be posted within a few days.
Forgottenworld.com has some screen shots of what's to come.