How Your MMORPG Background Shapes Your Current Perceptions

Is World of Warcraft your favorite MMORPG?

I took the plunge into MMORPGs over 2 years ago.  I knew I’d get addicted and stuck to console RPGs for a very long time.  Then when I started writing for a video game site, general game info started scrolling past my eyes at a much higher rate than that of a typical fan of the culture.  MMORPG info was in my face constantly, so I made a decision to start.

I still was very stingy and not ready to pay, so I looked for free games, found one, played it for a few weeks, got bored, and started searching for more.

That’s when I really swam out to the deep end and discovered the masses of good F2P games coming out.  During that first year of jumping in and out of around thirty different MMORPGs, my friends kept trying to get me to play World of Warcraft.  It wasn’t until I felt I exhausted all my F2P resources and still came up emtpy that I started WoW.

I loved it, it was and is a great game that I still play on and off.  However, it is not my favorite MMORPG, even after trying it for almost six months.  Sure, it’s the best, and for good reasons, but my favorite MMORPG is Runes of Magic (Which I started playing the Closed Beta Phase 3 about a week before I started playing WoW).

I have to admit a little egoism here that I feel is due to how I started playing MMORPGs.  I feel that players, like myself, that started with F2P games when they started to blossom in America have a very unique perspective and are either in the minority or simply don’t think it’s worth mentioning.

I found, after diving into WoW, that I had very different perceptions on the games elements.  Many shared annoyances didn’t phase me.  Another issue that I thought was obvious thanks to my MMORPG background was that I saw many hundreds of tiny annoyances that made me red in the face and needing to take a break yet other people lived with them.  No the annoyances did bother them too, but they just “lived” with them.

That was what kept me going back to Runes of Magic, in the beginning.  I was really only playing WoW to be able to play with my friends.  I did later learn to enjoy it, and still to this day love WoW.

So what am I talking about, specifically?  Well, as one example, when I started WoW It would take me longer to find the NPC I needed than do the quests.  It annoyed me so much.  Most F2P games aren’t even set up as quest based games (They are mostly grinders).  Runes of Magic is quest based, but didn’t have this annoyance, they made it as easy or as hard as you wanted.  You could even turn a tracker on that led you right to the NPC you wanted (excluding the “find them” quests).

Then I got annoyed when I discovered I HAD to do a series of quests for my Shaman that forced me to stay on that wee little Island where I hardly ever saw anyone and my friends never wanted to visit.

I also became annoyed by many other elements that forced you to do “shared” activities.  I could only level jewelcrafting so high until it forced me to go level my character some more which forced me to get better gear to be able to battle that level of mobs.  The list goes on and on.

Now I learned to play and enjoy WoW for what it is, and I do like all those elements of game play- when I’m given the choice of where and when I want to do them.

Players who start in very different MMORPGs can start taking things for granted.  Many players probably think that WoW does everything the best (when they obviously don’t)  They appeal to the masses to attract the most.

What about those players that I saw that are annoyed by the same parts of the game as me?  They probably don’t know there’s a better way to do things.

Which leads me to the fact that a lot of people don’t play WoW to have fun, because they don’t know what they want.

My ego is flaring up again, and that’s okay (it is my blog afterall).  I think people who generally switch from F2P MMORPGs to P2P have a keen perspective on this, while people coming from WoW to a F2P don’t.

When you come straight from one of the biggest game worlds and the most popular MMO ever, to a F2P, the most obvious things to players are the shortcomings.  A F2P game is usually much smaller, and more limited in what activities you can partake in.

When coming from a F2P to WoW, players (at least me) are apt to accept WoW as the best but there background has them trained to see limitations.  When they get into WoW that is what happens.

F2P gamers are very critical of how a game runs.  They deal with constant bugs and mishaps in F2P MMORPGs, it’s always on their minds, and they carry this mentality with them when they decide to try a P2P for the first time.

Personally I think Runes of Magic has a better, more intense, and very fun PK and PvP system.  I also love that you can craft as much as you want without being forced to level your character.  There are going to be hardships to try that.  If I want to get the higher level resources, I simply have to go to those zones.  But if I wanted to, with enough work I could max my craft professions, and most of them.  RoM lets you take all the craft professions to different levels which is more freedom and choice than WoW offers.  I can have my own house which I can furnish with crafting stations to do my professions, decorate, or invite friends to hang out with me.  I also love the rune system that lets you find and combine many different runes to make better ones that fit in slots on your gear.  I also love the aggregator which lets your character have his or her own style without sacrificing stats.  They still offer instances, Arenas, a guild castle, guild wars, etc… that many other P2P MMORPGs offer as well.  But they also have a lot of freedom and ease of getting around without sacrificing fun.  You earn TP points to increase skills and you get new skills as you gain levels, but you earn TP points alongside EXP which you acquire anywhere.

The short of it is that I don’t know most of the reasons why I like an MMORPG.  I jump in and start seeing things, and liking it (why? I don’t always know).

I think one thing we can do is go beyond scratching the surface to see what it is we really like about an MMORPG or different parts of it.

I quit playing WoW with my friends for a long time, because I told them:

“The truth of it is everyones always on edge and bitching at each other, and that is not having fun, so why should I continue to play?”

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2 Responses to “How Your MMORPG Background Shapes Your Current Perceptions”

  1. What is this better PK/PvP system you speak of? I’m intrigued, yet I can find very little on the web about it.

    • howtoloseyourlifetoanmmorpg Says:

      It’s been, IMO, “gimped” a bit. No factions, no safe zones(except inside your house). You get -rep for PK and enough points turns u “red” where guards will attack and “white” name players can get bonus +rep if they kill you.

      Even with Guards attacking you, your not auto-dead man.

      Any lvl can kill you, but it’s only when you are within 5 lvls of your killer that they could get a item or weapon/equi drop from you(even something you are currently wearing)

      When killed, you respawn with a PK protect bubble that lasts about a minute to prevent spawn camping of you.(this can be turned off early, at will)

      You can turn PK mode on/off at will. It’s a skill you get at lvl 15(when everyone enters PvP on a PvP server)

      Originally(and still my fave) if you entered PK mode(via a skill) you had to wait 10 minutes before it would go away. Of course, during that time you were a tasty target for others of ANY lvl, and there was no PK protection bubble.

      I understand the bubble, but it causes guild war and other general problems. People are starting guild wars, rushing there healers in to get slaughtered, then they all have PK protection and can just stand there healing all others while they slaughter the other side.

      I really wish they’d go back to open beta days with no pk protection and the forced 10 minute cooldown on PK mode.

      Oh also currently if someone’s redname, you don’t need to enter pk mode to kill them and get bonus rep.

      and here’s a site that lays out bonuses you get when you obtain so many points(whether – or +)

      http://www.runesofmagic.com/en/articles,id46,0,pvp_rules.html

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