You’ve probably already gathered from my previous articles that I have a great love for the MMORPG genre. Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game – for those of us are oblivious to popular gaming.
As I anticipate Guild Wars 2 this fall I’ve decided to talk about what actually makes me put so much time (and sometimes money) into these fantasy based games. Read on find out about my experiences, which in turn should hopefully encourage you to play an MMORPG in the future!
The Beginning Is Where We Shall Start
I’m going to start where it all began. Star Wars Galaxies. Me and my father adore the Star Wars saga. Even today we collect Star Wars items and memorabilia. So, we decided to play Star Wars Galaxies, a new and topical MMO (this was around 9 years ago.) We were both new to the MMO world and after playing normal single player games such as Lara Croft up until this time we had no prior experience. Surprisingly, we loved it. Well until the game developers mucked up the game system, but that’s a different story.
This game for the first time gave us freedom. We were allowed to do whatever and whenever we wanted. We could build a house, go off on Guild raids or PVE by ourselves. It was that freedom which allowed us to experience the game how we wanted. Bringing me to my first point, freedom.
MMOs give you this realistic approach. Your character is really just another human which you’re controlling. He will do anything you want to do. Ok yes, you never have complete freedom, you still need to do certain quests to advance. Although, you’re never forced to do this at certain times and places.
A Community Spirit
I often discuss the word “Community.” But what does it actually mean, Google defines the word as: “All the people living in a particular area or place.” And that really sums up an MMO doesn’t it?. We make the game our home, its our rock, our enjoyment and our community.
We build friendships and escape from the real world, even if it’s just for a few hours. It gives us an element we don’t have in the real world – we can be anyone we want to be, play whatever way we want to play and live how we would want to live.
Point Two: Guilds. Ultimately, without these all MMORPGs would fail. We all need friends, we all need someone to talk to at the end of the day and we all need someone to help us kill higher level monsters. Most recently I’ve been playing Star Wars The Old Republic and if you haven’t played, apart from PVP the main end of level missions are called operations. For these you need either 8 or 16 players – which is an awful lot if they all need to be of a high standard and good maturity level. Personally, I think 90% of the time your pugs are going to either suck or leave after one wipe.
Without guilds you would never get that many people together, co-operating with each other and having a strong structure. One thing to bear in mind is that you’ll be lucky to find the perfect guild straight away. I’ve been through hundreds of guilds in my time, the most successful probably being my own on Guild Wars.
Joining a guild also allows you to feel part of something bigger, your guild being your base and your second family. As well as this you need a guild to be well known and raise your status. A lone wolf is never going to be accepted into the higher level groups and guilds. Making a name for yourself is key, having a bad reputation can mean constant rejection.
The community really extends to everyone on your server – not just your close group of friends. It’s this multiplayer element which is really key. If the developers form these wrong and mess up the system, I’m sorry, but that’s an instant failure.
You’re never going to be brilliant overnight. Becoming great and powerful will take a huge amount of effort and time. It makes you feel proud of achieving something because you know you’ve done something well. You could spend £40 on a normal game and complete it in a week and be done (that’s what happened to me with Skyrim, but it was more like four days.) Compared to Guild Wars which I played for six years, that’s a massive difference.
Another point I should make is these games are never ending. You can play and play to your heart’s desire without ever completing absolutely everything – it’s impossible. That’s why purchasing an MMO will always be worth your money. For example, if I look at how many hours I’ve spent on Guild Wars over six years and its around 20,000 (don’t judge me please), and I’ve probably spent around £200 on expansion packs and extras. That means I’ve spent £33 a year, for a single game. That’s what I call a worthy investment.
Finally, constant updates. MMO’s are constantly under development even until the day the game shuts down. With expansions, new areas and new story lines being added all the time to enhance your gaming experience. You’ll always have enough content to keep you going. It’s an ever changing world which is suited towards a certain purpose: to keep you playing!
For me, these are the most important factors in why I will stick by a certain MMOs. All of these and more keep millions of players dragged to their screens every year, so they must be doing something right!
Let us know below your experiences with MMORPGs and what keeps you entertained for so long!