Online Role-Playing is "Virtually Real"


One of the things I find most interesting about MMORPGS is how much money people are willing to spend for imaginary items. Have you ever spent that much on an object from an online game? Would you? Do you know someone who has? Are they in therapy now?

One of the things I find most interesting about MMORPGS is how much money people are willing to spend for imaginary items. For example:

An "Xegony Froglok Scale Chestplate" fetched $355. And bidding on an entire character, a level 55 wizard complete with fishbone earring, evil eye bag and ceremonial dagger, was approaching $1,000 recently.

Have you ever spent that much on an object from an online game? Would you? Do you know someone who has? Are they in therapy now?

Well, there IS that guy who paid over a grand to have t-shirts made for his online game. As far as I know, he is not in therapy, but that doesn't mean he's stable, neccessarily.

That's why I like my short attention span :)

Remember that time when an EverQuest Guide went postal, tied a bunch of characters to a cliff and murdered them repeatedly until he was kicked off by a supervisor?

IHow about that other time (last week) when a simple buffer overflow bug in Diablo II allowed anyone to become any character?

I had a good hearty laugh when I heard about both of these incidents. It's amazing to me that people will spend so much time and money on something that they in no way own. Oh sure, somebody will pipe up about how no matter what happens to "their" (it actually belongs to the company) character, they still have all the great memories and friends/significant others they met while playing the game. This person can shut their pie hole right now because they are very much a minority.

Even the most die-hard MMORPG apologist has got to admit that most of the people playing these games are full-blown, family sized munchkins/power gamers/twinks/what-have-you. Even though most of them aren't paying hundreds of dollars for characters, equipment and land in these games this doesn't change the fact that if they were to wake up one morning and find that their characters lost everything and won't be getting it back they would shit a brick.

What's funny is that if this were to happen these munchkins would have NO RECOURSE. Everything in the game is owned by the company that runs the blasted thing! So since the game doesn't require any sort of real-life skill to play (just a shitload of time) you end up with NOTHING if the company folds or doesn't feel like restoring a backup. Isn't that hilarious?!

As you can tell, I see all of these "corporate MUDs" as completely unworthy of my time. I'd rather spend my gaming hours honing my first-person shooter skills or (better yet) playing a table-top RPG.

My best friend, if you want to call him that anymore, has been hooked on evercrack for the past year and 3 months i believe. i havent' hung out with this guy since 2 full halloweens ago..And he lives right next door to me.

All he wants to do is play EQ. He admits he's depressed and he hates his life, so I guess instead of getting drugs or therapy, he uses EQ as an alternate means of reality in which to escape into.

He even told me that if he could go back in time, he would have never bought a computer or EQ. That's just sad. It's like he's really truly addicted.

I never bothered to get into any online RPG. Well, that's not entirely true; I spend a huge amount of time on text based MUCKs and MUSHs. I see Everquest and its ilk as graphical MUDs--with about the same average IQ and twink density. I'll stick with my text-based, free form environments until one of these graphical things allows me the same level of interactivity. That'll be the day.

Everyone's got a hobby... as I'm too broke to buy the game, and too busy to divert my attentions elsewhere, EverQuest ain't going to be seeing the likes of me for a while... but I do play freeform, chat-type RPGs elsewhere online... and as was mentioned before, it's the same everywhere. Unless you know where to go, or simply play with friends, you're up to your neck in God Moding Munchkins. Ick. I'm in it for the interaction and storytelling, not the "ha ha, I've got all this cool shit, I'm so damn strong!" dick length comparison macho stupidity....

I've consciously avoided any sort of on-line gaming from day one. For one thing, it isn't a truly social activity when compared to table-top gaming, barring any LAN party type events. You never see the other players, just their "avatars". That has to be disturbing on some level. Munchkins aside, I just can't see spending hours upon hours staring at images on a computer monitor. I do that at work. Give me a table, some chairs, a good GM, intelligent players, and some good food any day.

As for having a high level character it took me a months worth of played time to reach level 40. I am a hard core gamer and spent countless hours sometimes almost 2 full days playing striaght.

EQ admits to catering to higher level needs. I see nothing wrong in that. It is suppose to be fun at higher levels. It can take many months if not a full year of playing several hours each day to reach those higher levels (level 55 to 60).

I got tired of EQ after about 3 months... within a 48 days I had clocked over 32 days played time. EQ is a waste of time. It is to repetive for the amount of time it takes to play. It took one of my friends 14 months in the time it took me almost a month to reach the same level they have. AS EQ has an increasing number of higher levels they raise up the stakes. MoBs become hard to kill which entails more slashing and bashing to achieve a players goal. The same very repetive things I am talking about. I hate having to sit and camp a spot to get an item. why not be a random item. Make it easier to go up levels by allowing servers have different expereince ratings. I guess I should take the rest over to EQ and submit my comments. But you know where I stand.

Reply to Dp: You can murder people repeatedly? I never knew that!

Really, I was looking at that too!

some people like myself really enjoy playing online video games. though i would never buy items because i enjoy finding them myself, I understand why people would spend money on virtual items. It's the same as someone buying a guitar or skateboard, it's fun and for some people that want to have fun right away they see buying items and kicking butt right away as being fun. I understand because when i first started playing everquest i sucked and saw everyone's stuff and was a bit jealous, but I knew that after playing for some time, the good items would come my way, and it would be more fun finding them than buying them. Don't look down on people that buy items cause its kind of the same as someone taking skateboarding lessons while everyone is out skateing try to master their tricks their own way. =)

The only MUD I'm a regular on expressly forbids selling characters. Sounds reasonable to me, particularly in something that's a labor of love, like a MUD usually is. No sense allowing other people to profit off your work, and this sort of restriction limits power to those willing to put in the game time. :)

Yes, I know people in EQ who have bought and sold both items and/or characters for real cash. I myself would never consider doing either. In my mind, if I didn't level/advance the character myself... it isn't really my character is it? Also, seems that there are alot of elitists posting on these boards. Newsflash: EQ isn't as bad as you seem to think. Try actually experiencing something before posting an opinion on the matter. It kind of helps give your arguement more credibility. If you try EQ (or AC, UO, DAoC, etc) and then hate it... that's a different story. At least then you can start your critique with "I played EQ for awhile and I hated it because..."

I played EQ for a while until they upgraded it so much that my computer couldnt handle it anymore.. and its not even that the requirements are high my pc just sucks... but anyway, I enjoyed the game, wasnt an addiction I played it probably as much as I would play my regular consol games, still maintained, school, a job, and friends rather well... I am saying this because of so many people saying its a horrible thing that rips life away from you and such, like anything else... too much is bad... too little isint as fun and just right is just right, take your time and who cares if youve played so long and have such a low level char it took my other wizard 1 year or more to reach lvl 60, but I enjoyed it, it was good and when I canceled my account I wasnt the least bit upset or anything, I didnt sell it because I dont think I like that idea. I think my charecter was meant to be played by its creator, me, because he had a certain personality all his own and he was indeed badass... cause of me lol. so I wouldnt want anyone going around as him for any amount of money, well, lol life has become more boring around here in my little town in southern NJ and I think with this new computer I will be playing soon on vallon zek again... oh another reason I liked the game.. pvp race war is a very cool feature to me, even though I think they should make a good vs evil one with the same restrictions as race war, well... im gonna go now and uhh ... I think thats all the blabbing im doing for now... if there are any inconsistancies in my post... thats probably cause I dont care enough to think through it all.. I am writting at the top of my head.. if you disagree with it.. hmm oh well and if you want me to write some more later ill consider it.. cya later

Online games can be seen as an escape from real life, however in some cases this can be unhealthy and can take away from school, family, and friends. If the player is responsible and keeps the balance, then it can be a wonderful form of entertainment. However, if the player is not, there can be a problem

I have seen the online stores for The Sims and Diablo II and frankly, I think it's just plain frightening. People actually pay real money for things that aren't real and they could have for free if they decided to put the time into creating the things themselves. This is less true with some games but The Sims is stupidly simple to create items.

I have a friend who is hooked on Ashron's Call (spelling?) and it's virtually impossible to hang out with him because it seems like his friends come second to video games.

I have another friend who recently got into Final Fantasy XI so I will probably not be seeing him for a while. Prior to this he was playing Multi-Neverwinter Nights. At least that one was free to play online.

Which brings me to another thing that confuses me about MMORPGs. You pay $50 for the game and another $20 a month just to play the damn thing???? What the hell is the deal with that. I'll stick to D2 and Neverwinter Nights. At least they're not a rediculous money sink.

All in all I just don't get it. I never have and I guess I never will.

Damn, I should turn this into an article.

:: screws in lightbulb on top of Eater's noggin ::