Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Recognition to MMORPGs

If MMORPGs are to get the recognition they so badly need, we have to get rid of the stereotype that MMORPGs do not require skills. Ideally, however, the skills required would not be ones that put avid gamers at an advantage; reflexes, dexterity and perfect memorization shouldn't be overly involved, but instead replaced with reasoning, strategies and understanding. An MMORPG player who understands the world around him and reacts wisely to changing situations is one who, while maybe not able to trade rockets with the best of kids, can explain the difficulties of his game, and how his role plays an important part in the grand scheme of things.

Now, I say that dexterity and reflexes shouldn't be overwhelmingly involved, but I understand that they can add important aspects to the game. Stealthing people, for example, could be required to hop from shadow to shadow, or perhaps rooftop to rooftop; their combat would be faster-paced than average, and opponents who cannot react quickly could be at a disadvantage; that is to be expected of people who choose a job requiring such finesse.

Crafting, on the other hand, could, in certain cases, require a lot of dexterity; if tradeskill minigames are to mirror their real world counterparts (when we're not talking about magical crafting), they should ideally require the same skills from the players. Intelligence and planning are other traits that can be required for crafting.

If we, as players, fans, perhaps developpers, but before all gamers, can imagine an MMORPG that allows us to say "Yes, my game is challenging, but I like it that way", we would certainly have come a long way from the over-simplifying days of yore. It's what we need, to feel good about our hobby; a reason to play that doesn't involve the infinite acquisition of power.

Addon: It seems a recent post dealing with that aspect has attracted some attention. You can read the comments at Kill Ten Rats' forums.

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