What's Wrong With Online RPG's? Part 2


What's wrong with Online gaming? Online gaming seems to have less of a role playing element when the creation of the game concentrated too much on user interface and realism. I've had the opportunity to play Everquest some more to back up this point. While the system itself and the world created are nicely done, the lack of roleplaying and character depth is evident.

What's wrong with Online gaming? Online gaming seems to have less of a role playing element when the creation of the game concentrated too much on user interface and realism. I've had the opportunity to play Everquest some more to back up this point. While the system itself and the world created are nicely done, the lack of roleplaying and character depth is evident.

This all brings me to wonder what makes some of those table top campaigns so 'magical' ? What makes the long nights of erasing and scribbling numbers so fun? What makes you care so much about a collection of numbers on an eraser worn character sheet? Imagination. Just like any good soft porn, imagination gives the finishing touch.

When there is something vague about an online rpg, it naturally brings out the best in your imagination, whether it be a lack of certain NPC's in a characters homeland, a visual layout of a certain hotspot, or even a lack of character icon / sprite / 3d model / paper doll. While there are people out there with little to no imagination, I feel that a majority of the roleplaying community is not lacking in this area. Maybe that's why Everquest attracts so many non-role players. Which is fine, but not for role players. It's our genre - we deserve something more attuned to us.

Enter Neverwinter Nights (not the old AOL based version I fell in love with years ago). Bioware is developing a game, NWN, which can have one player can make the 'module', the DM, and other players play that module while the DM is tossing random stuff at them. While this game is certainly a whole other discussion in itself as far as stealing the old NWN's name and a attempt to market their fan base, the fact remains that this is a damn good idea. I wont insult your intellect (purposefully) by explaining all the games nifty little attractions, but I do suggest going to www.neverwinternights.com and checking it out for yourself. I hope, myself, that this project works out. This may end up being phenomenally successful, or may be another nail in the coffin on true role playing.

More coming next week. Keep the flames/comments/sexual favor offers flowing. RPG's?

If only NWN could offer the true perks of role-playing with your friends. Ordering out for pizza and harassing the delivery guy when he comes to the door... sending the cleric out for cola and chips when he runs out of spells... digging for dice that have skittered under the couch and discovering old crumpled up character sheets...

When they invent TRUE virtual gaming, I'm there dude. RPGs are absolutely not the antisocial monstrosities that some would have you believe. Some of the most memorable days of my eary teen years are of playing AD&D on the living room floor. Man, that takes me back...

Perhaps the author is being a tad limited in his scope? Remember, the ORIGINAL internet roleplaying games were not graphical at all, but text-based, and there are hundreds such worlds alive and kicking on the web today. See http://wotmud.org/ for a very successful example (where I play) - see http://www.mudconnector.com/ for hundreds more =).

As for the argument that you can't have roleplay in a 'hack 'n slash environment, again, I just don't buy it. Simply put, I don't see how you can have roleplay without some murder and mayhem - it's all part of the reality, surely?

Perhaps the reader is being a tad limited in his scope? I mentioned that some of the best gaming I had online was playing a mud.

My bad, I only just noticed "(part two)" in the title. Where is part one, presumably that's the bit that mentions muds? =)

yes i know how you guys feel. I to feel as a novienc programer makeing my first text rpg that it should be base heavly on imagenation and creativedty.

Perhaps nass is being a tad limited in his scope. Long before "the internet" there was the original MUD (later called British Legends) as well as a semi-grapical RPG called Island of Kesmai. The latter used characters to draw the map, although a front-end was available that replaced that with real graphics, that is once graphics were available on the machines that could connect.

Also don't forget games like Nethack.

To date, I'm still torn between two fantastic sources for role-play.

There is, of course, the old stand-by where one sits around with a group of friends; paper and pen(cil) in hand, dice within arm's reach. I don't necessarily enjoy this because of the great role-play. For one, having people face to face makes it difficult for many people to step into character. It's quite literally a form of public speaking, which many are rather uncomfortable with. Also, when gender-cross characters (guys playing girls, vice versa, etc..) are involved, it's really difficult to take any flirtation or gender based interaction seriously. Especially when the blonde bombshell is being played by a guy with a scruffy beard. Heh. No, I enjoy this source of role-play because of the interaction with friends. The commradere of the group event. Gaming is had, as well as digression and conversation of other, non game related topics. It's an excuse to get together and have some fun.

The other source, I play because I've found it to be a "more true" form of role-play. One can immerse themselves, play whatever they wish, and not be hindered by public hang-ups. Anonymity is had, for all that anyone 'sees' is the character. The text based games mentioned a couple of times before in these posts. Although, I tend to stick with MUXes and MUSHes, as I've noticed a tendency for MUDs to be more hack'n'slash and overly coded. Text-based Diablo is, well, just not my bag of beans. Anyway, I've always felt as though true role-playing was akin to a bunch of people getting together and ad-libbing a script, play, or book. MU*s flow much like a story. And, the "NPCs" are often played by other people. They have soul, character, and depth.

Graphical games I view with a bit of skepticism, however. I can't count the number of times someone comes out with a new "RPG", yet it's primary activity involves going out and killing stuff. To the near exclusion of all else, no less. And, while one is involved in combat on graphic games, it's nigh impossible to carry out any real roleplay with available messaging. It's just too hard to whip out a soliloque at the same time you're clicking your finger off at the approaching nasties. This, I think, is one of the biggest hangups of the graphic RPGs. They fail to provide an interface which allows roleplay along with click'n'kill. The new Neverwinter Nights offers some hope, though I'll not hold my breath. I'll just have to wait and see.

As far as I know, Neverwinter Nights is off track now, enmeshed in a struggle to even survive. Some serious copyright issues abound, and they are tying up implementation. I don't know if it's going to go far without the new 3rd ed. D&D rules...

NWN is out now, much to critical acclaim. I think it reminds too much of Everquest and not enough of Baldur's Gate, but a lot of people like graphics like that. I'll stick to my "old" school pen-n-paper group thanks.

And what about forum based interactive fiction games? Maybe I'm just a freak for not liking numbers, but games like alleria, telgard and so on are truly magical sometimes. They do transport you. I just wonder how they would counter in, as I am not a table top player, nor do I haunt the realms of NWN, Everquest and BG.

I am desperate to find a good old MMORPG like old Dransik, with really 2D graphics, requiring little from the computer, and a cool level system, not skills percentages and crap.

Speaking as someone who has been pencil-and-paper GMing since the late '70s, I can't help feeling that most of what people object to as a "lack of roleplaying" is really a combination of two things: 1) Lazy programmers or limits imposed by software, simply because it *cannot* think on the fly as a decent GM can, and 2) the simple fact that the "Mad Slasher" type gamer probably outnumbers all other types of gamers by a fairly wide margin, so naturally that's the "target market" that anyone trying to make money from their game is going to write for.
It has been my experience over 25 years that very few gamers will be happy with a game session that doesn't include *at least* one "monster" to kill, and yet I remember one evening when the toughest challenge the players faced (and the thing that did the most damage to the party members, for that matter) was figuring out how the elevator worked. It caused two fairly minor injuries, one nearly critical injury, and broke a character's brand-new magical spear. I, and *one* of my players loved it. The other four considered me lucky not to be lynched.

Vermithrax, eh? I'm willing to bet that I've found another Sacrifice player, am I right? He-hey! That brings the total up to two.

I have to agree with you. There are far too many grief players on the net who's only joy is to slaughter innocents for no reason. Those sort of people should not be tolerated. I mean, it's almost as bad as posting silly comments on... Oh, Nephandus, so nice to see you again!

(1) As of now, pen & paper with friends is best. If you disagree then you are a chuckle-headded ignoramus.

(2) I have taken part in two text based email campaigns as a player. The main problems were:
(2.1) players replying at different rates.
(2.2) DMs getting busy and not replying.
(2.3) The rate at which action proceeds is slow, so the DM has to be cautious not to introduce too many new factors too quickly. One campaign failed because the DM liked plot twists and he introduced mysteries faster than the players could solve them. Very frustrating.

And thats all I have to say

i just started MUD. And yet I still dont understand how to play. After I get my name and all, I only see a chat screen and it won't let me see the world. Is this game supposed to be like that? If not, can u tell me how to look at the accual game screen?

Anyone know were a really good free online rpg is?(other than runescape)

If you don't mind paying monthly I know an awsome game called nexus: The kingdom of winds. If ya wana check it out its downloadable at www.nexustk.com. When you start out you get a week free trial.