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Where have MMORPGs come from, and where are they going?
12

Where have MMORPGs come from, and where are they going?

by William HarmonJanuary 30, 2012

Continuing my discussion of The Old Republic, I think it’s important to take a look at this game with the intent of acknowledging where the MMO genre has come from, what has changed to get us to this point, and where I think we might be likely to go from here. TOR is the MMO of the moment in the eyes of most people, and it exemplifies some of the directional shifts in MMO design that we’ve been seeing for a long time now.

Some major changes have occurred in MMOs over the last 12 years. What I namely want to focus on is:

  • Narrative Presentation.
  • World Construction
  • Combat
  • Rewards and Penalties
  • Access to Content

Narrative Presentation:

First and foremost, the narrative structure in TOR is, as well as being a staple for how Bioware makes most of their games, a progression of something we’ve seen since “questing” became the generally agreed upon method of character progression.

As some of you know, questing used to not, really, be a thing in MMOs. When I began with EverQuest, I had missions that would see me courier letters from NPC to NPC and that was all fine and good, and they had their tangible rewards (Items or Gold), but they weren’t the focus of the leveling process. This was done through camping. Players would find a location in a zone, and pull enemies to it, where they would fight and gain experience.

This looks like as good a spot as any. Now where are those monsters?

This, however, isn’t the case any longer. Western MMOs are almost entirely and without exception quest-centric now. A player will receive a series of quests from their starting town, that will lead them around their immediate vicinity. Eventually these take them to the next town, and this continues until they’re explored the entire game world.

A designer could easily dictate that killing enemies grants more experience than the quests, as it was once done, and the mechanical advantages would disappear. The only real difference is a presentation in narrative. When an MMO presents you with quests as your primary leveling tool, the designers are scripting a narrative for you. If you read the quest text, you got a full story, full of characters and history. If you didn’t, you were, at the least, being told where to go, when to go there, and in what order you would encounter certain things.

A player is never late, nor is he early, he arrives precisely when he meant to.

In TOR, you don’t have to “read the quest text”, but it’s done so much better than in any other quest-centric / strict-narrative MMO that it would be a shame if you didn’t. What does this all mean though? What changed from what we had with older MMOs, and what might we expect from MMOs in the future?

Well, we lose the sense of personal adventure. We’re no longer forging our own stories, choosing where to go and when to go there. We don’t get harrowing tails from our friends, about adventures in a dungeon no one knew was there, because you and all your friends hit the same spots, in the same order.

What we’ve gained is a very detailed story. There is no fading to black, or scene skips when you play an MMO. In a traditional single player game, you may get abbreviated scenes, where in an MMO you really get to see everything. The designers are able of telling you a tremendously large story from start to finish.

I’m not sure where this will go in the future. I think the recent trend of heavily revolving every MMO around quests has more to do with the mechanics of leveling than it does with narrative style. Both styles are viable and interesting for different reasons, and I think as soon as we start seeing methods of progressing your character that have the benefits of questing, but not the narrative limitations, we’ll start seeing a return to the very open-ended, high agency, game worlds.

World Construction:

The way worlds are constructed in MMOs has changed in some subtle ways. On a macro scale, we’ve seen a lot of refinement in zone placement. Most modern MMOs have zones laid out so that as soon as you become too strong for one, the very next adjacent zone is just right for you. This is a luxury older MMOs didn’t always posses.

Make one wrong turn, and this asshole is there to ruin your night.

To use an example, everyone who played FFXI remembers their first walk to Jeuno. You hit level ~19 and all of the sudden, you’ve got to trek through 4 zones of monsters that would tear you apart in order to reach the game’s neutral city, and the most viable early 20s area. As opposed to World of Warcraft, which saw Night Elves go from Teldrassil, to Dark Shore, to Ashenvale. All in one big line.

There is a bit of a trade off here as well. In the older style, we see players presented with a moment of choice. They hit a wall and think: “Well damn, what the hell am I supposed to do now…” As we all know, there (sadly I have to use the past tense) used to be multiple zones in the same level range. So you saw players trying to adventure in areas that, in retrospect, were ridiculous. I leveled up my Wood Elf Druid (EverQuest) through my high 20s by soloing Gearheart… just Gearheart. It ended up being one of those stories you told around the proverbial campfire, and you and your friends all had a good laugh.

I fuckin' hate gnomes... and robots...

In my current playthrough of TOR, I have gone the exact same route everyone else in my faction has. From Balmorra, to Tatooine, to Hoth and beyond. This has its advantages too though. Players that find themselves overwhelmed by situations where they are unsure of where to go, or that get frustrated when they make an inevitable wrong choice, and seem themselves die horribly, will never had to deal with those situations. Their time in game will always be efficient. They’ll go from one quest hub to another, and their experience bar will always be going up, and they’ll have that very visual representation of progress. What they’ve gained isn’t some ethereal concept like a “campfire story”, it will be something real. That experience bar is 10% more full than it was 10 minutes ago. That sits well with a lot of modern players.

Yeeessssssss, it's going up!

World construction has also changed on a micro scale as well, and in my opinion, entirely for the better. MMOs in the past have had a nasty habit of spawning mobs in a zone, and having them path randomly. This may work on occasion, for animals and what not, but as soon as you start having sentient creatures walk around in random loops, you start to lose a sense of immersion.

These days, designers have put a lot of effort in to meticulously placing NPCs. After all, they know you’re going to see them (they’re guiding you with quests), and they know you’re going to expect them to be doing something (the quests told you about them). What you get out of that, is to come across a camp of thieves, and see them laughing around a campfire, or cooking, standing watch at a hilltop with their hand to their brow. This is absolutely fantastic, and is one of the things that, in my opinion, TOR does better than any MMO before. Literally every trooper, or smuggler, or rebel I have come across (as I’m empire), is either taking cover, working on a computer, or talking in to a radio.

Back in the good old days. This guy could be randomly pathing around a field or something. Sucks to be him.

In the future, I expect both of these trends to continue. I begrudgingly accept the first one, and as soon as we see alternatives to quests and an allowance for open world unscripted games, I hope to see a return to having to stop and think: “Well… what now… I guess… this way?”, but I don’t know if that would be acceptable given the current population of MMO players. We’ve grown accustomed to convenience. The Micro changes I don’t think will ever go away. Any MMO that wishes to stand out will incorporate this, as they should. It’s objectively better. As time goes on, I think the micromanagement of NPC spawns and appearance will only get more detailed.

Combat:

Combat has undergone some changes in and of itself, and it has also seen some adjustments based on how MMOs present classes. Combat has also been a part of MMOs, but has gone in and out of the spotlight, in my opinion, depending on which one’s you’re looking at. Some MMOs have focused more on discovery and dungeon crawling, while other have focused on how and when you’re going to be killing what.

In the general sense, we see that combat has sped up over the years. Not only are individual confrontations shorter, but players are doing more. As I mentioned before, I spent a good deal of my mid 20s in EverQuest soloing one named mobs. This involved snaring him, kiting, nuking, kiting some more, and then meditating in combat to get some mana back. It was a 3 or 4 minute fight every time.

In FFXI, it felt much the same. Spell cast times could be as high as 19 seconds and combat often involved resting while the group fought, or while you put a mob to sleep. Even weapon delay could be in the realm of ~3 seconds per swing.

Watch out guys. In about 6 seconds here, I'm gonna unload.

WoW rolled around, and numbers are flying off the screen. You don’t even know how much damage you’re doing, those big prominent crits aside. In TOR, we see this taken even further. TOR has gotten rid of your auto-attacks and made your standard weapon use a skill that you “cast”.

The shift we see here is away from the importance of an individual action. Both sets of combat can be very tense, but in older MMOs you could specifically say “If this attack doesn’t land, we’re in trouble”. Now it’s more along the lines of “Guys, he’s not dying fast enough. Do something harder to make sure he starts dying faster”. The sense of tension is simply more vague.

However, what we get to replace that is that the very nature of constant action makes it so that nothing ever feels routine. During a close call, that slow paced combat is a boon, letting you savior every action. During an encounter you know you’re going to win, it can feel mundane and repetitive. Older MMOs were generally more difficult, so it was less of an issue, but the bottom line is, that in a good group, you were killing every thing that came your way. The fast paced MMOs of today make this type of situation much more engaging than their predecessors.

Pictured: Higher APM than an entire old school raid dungeon. Also lasers.

In addition to general combat feel, class realization has also affected combat in large ways over the last several years. You no longer see classes that specialize in specific areas. Classes in modern MMOs, TOR included, are malleable. Players are able to make a character that is capable of fulfilling several, if not every, niche role.

TOR has eased off this in one regard, in that there is no class that can both heal and tank. However, there are no permanent choices (anything can be undone), and the classes are much more narrow than previous MMOs. Class innovation hasn’t necessarily stagnated, Warhammer Online had some very interesting healing and tank classes, while Rift had some nifty mage classes (and one of the only games in recent memory that gave a nod to the dying breed of support classes. RIP poor Bard). By and large though, you will see “Tanks, Healers, and Damage Dealers” as your only options. These classes will have very specific ways they are meant to be played, and that’s the way you’ll play them.

This has narrowed the way players can approach combat. You don’t see much emergent gameplay. Players doing things that designers never thought of. I hope that, in the future, we see less of this. I think that we’ll reach a state where things will get so simple, that people will start demanding more complex classes that fill more niche roles. TOR really exemplifies how simple I think an MMO can get away with making its classes.

"Pet class" didn't use to mean one specific thing.


Rewards and Penalties:

TOR is very much in line with today’s standards with rewards and penalties. You get credits and gear for doing quests or killing important NPCs, and the penalties for failing in some aspect ofthe game is pretty much that there aren’t any. This is to say that in todays MMOs, your rewards are monetary, and you’re not penalized for playing poorly.

Don't worry about that dying thing. The Medical Probe can bring you back on the spot. We wouldn't want being awful to inconvenience you.

This is the one category where I think today’s MMO players are least connected to their MMO roots. 10 years ago, MMOs would give you little in the way of tangible rewards. Doing quests wouldn’t really give you that much money. Would rarely give you items. Gear that did drop off special NPCs would drop only a small percentage of the time, and these NPCs would have long respawn timers (instances were not yet a thing). In addition to this, the game would penalize players for dying with either lost experience (and levels), or lost gear. In Ever Quest, you could even loot gear from another play whom you had killed in PvP (can you imagine the amount of crying Blizzard or Bioware or NC Soft would hear if they implemented that type of feature in their MMOs now?)

About ready to do that corpse run, bro? All your gear that you left on your dead body isn't going to fetch itself.

Now, a lot of people tend to demonize penalties, saying: “My games are supposed to be FUN, and getting killed and losing two hours worth of experience, or gear, or whatever, isn’t FUN!”. What they fail to understand is that penalties serve a purpose, and were integral to the type of reward system that older MMOs had. You didn’t get gear, but you got experiences. Not a number on your UI, but a story to tell your friends.

That one time, you and a friend got ambushed by 4 skeletons, and you had to snare them and run away, dodging all the other enemies in the zone until you reached the exit? Sure that’s probably happened in WoW, or TOR, or any modern MMO. But no one cares. So what if you die? Use a mediprobe and just come right back. But if that death would have cost you 2 hours of your level, sending you back to town that’s another hour’s run away, AND costing you a shot at claiming the rare spawn that’s only up once a day? That’s a much more thrilling tail, and everyone knows it. You’re all playing the same ruthless game, and everyone appreciates the challenges you go through.

You got more "grats" in guild chat the first time you reached Norg than you did when you leveled up.

This is, perhaps, the greatest loss in MMOs today. Losing that sense of worth. Those intrinsic rewards. 10 minutes on an official MMO forum, and you’ll read all about how people “want more gear” or “have nothing to do because they got their gear”. They should be players sharing harrowing tales about “This one time I…” followed by a series of “Holy shit man, well done. I myself…”

I can only hope this goes away in the future. I am worried that it won’t because of the psychological grip that such design holds over people. It’s a thing known as Operant Conditioning, and it’s awful game design. I don’t mean that it’s ineffective, or that it won’t make money, or generate and maintain subscriptions. I mean that it’s deceitful and dishonest. The game string players along with the promise that this time they may get some gear, instead of providing them with satisfying experiences.

Access to Content:

The last thing that comes to mind that has changed from the Pre-TOR area, to now, is access to content. Specifically, the ease of access. MMOs now are, pretty unquestionably, easier than they were 10 years ago. With the exception of boss mechanics, which have seen notable improvements in their mechanics and execution, the vast majority of an MMO can be explored unhindered. A player can waltz through dungeons and fields, mountains and deserts, and go where they like.

Sure. try it. I dare you.

All of these features that I’ve discussed, I think, are related to each other in some sense. Almost nothing in a game’s design is completely isolated from other features. This specifically though, ties pretty deeply in to the other facets. Would an MMO be so easy if the player’s were still hyper-specialized? What is the effect that these games are now based upon questing, a primarily solo activity? There’s no doubt, however, that the ability for everyone to experience everything is a conscious decision.

This is also probably the change that players are most aware of. If you’re locked out of content because of skill, or time investment, you’re very aware of the players that are a few steps ahead of you. The part that is strange to me though, is the difference in how people approach this now. People look at those who have accomplished more than them with contempt rather than reverence.

Look up Angwe from early WoW, or Stanislav from FFXI. These were people that everyone knew, because they changed the face of the game within their respective servers. People obtained notoriety and it was a good thing, but they were only able to stand out because the access to content was restrictive.

Seriously. There are still websites dedicated to hating this Angwe guy. And trust me, it was well earned.

TOR is just as guilty of this shift as any other modern day MMO. The leveling process is quicker and less strenuous than any MMO I’ve played to date. My gear is all neatly packaged for me in related and simple quests as soon as I reach a new planet. I’m never in want for anything. Even crafting seems to level up quicker and with less focus than ever before. There is nothing to differentiate me from anyone else my level (as we all wear the same quest rewards, have walked down the exact same paths, and have heard the same diaglog).

At level 50, I’m sure I’ll be “just another Bounty Hunter” playing solely because boss mechanics are interesting, and not for any other sense of fulfillment.

Pretty much the reason we're all still here.

I think this is going to both get better, and worse, as MMOs get older. Mechanics are going to become more complex and interactive, and combat is going to get more refined, and as such, we risk seeing an ever increasing emphasis placed on it. But I also think that some MMOs will break away from this mold, and go back towards the player agency and discovery.

In Conclusion:

It all comes down to MMOs these days being less satisfying, but more convenient. They’re influenced just as much as any other genre is by the same zeitgeist that has given rise to mobile app games as one of the industries most popular genres. They’re intended to be played in shorter bouts, with more obvious rewards, and with as little stress as possible. They’re the “quickie” version of their predecessors.

However, I’m still excited. MMOs, I think, will reach a point where we can’t refer to them as a single genre anymore. We’re going to see action MMOs (like Tera Online, FireFall, or Raiderz) that are all about the combat and competitive PvP scenes that will crop up. We’re going to see your Narrative-centric, Light MMOs (TOR, WoW, Rift) that about casually progressing along a story while killing some pretty interesting bosses and showing our friends we have a better sword than they do. And I think we’ll see a resurgence of your open, sprawling, table-top style Immersive MMOs (FFXI, EverQuest, DAoC, Wakfu) that are going to be about really letting the players take control of their world, and live in it in an almost D&D type fashion. MMOs have a bright future, for everyone, and it’s going to get to the point where we actually have choices. People won’t be looking at every new MMO as a “WoW killer” because it’ll be like asking if The Last Guardian is going to be the “Angry Birds killer”. It simply won’t make sense to do so.

At the end of the day, there is nothing quite as cool as a god-damned laser sword.

About The Author
William Harmon
  • http://thegamefanatics.com/activity/profile?uid=1 Charles

    Very nice article, funny, no one really pays attention to the evolution of mmo’s.

  • James Dethridge

    BACKSTORY (optional)
    __________________________________________________________
    I have just been banned on planet of warcraft for financial system exploitation… yeah I do not know either.(I also just commenced taking part in soon after a 6 month extended break — have not even had time to go to the ah) I’ve also been banned from runescape from macroing, that I could see coming since even however I was taking part in legit, I was playing 10 hours a day whilst viewing the dvd set of smallville.
    __________________________________________________________
    Question
    __________________________________________________________
    I would like to know what would be the very best mmorpg for me. I have just not too long ago purchased a new desktop computer(specs below).

    I like a sport like runescape, with alot of tradeskills, and things I can do apart from just running close to and grinding.
    I also like wows facet of questing, such as you level by questing, and their quite effortless to find(not like runescape, wherever you grind for ranges to do the quest, then you consider several hours to do it)

    now for some stuff I can just put in a huge list
    – great graphics(would like to get the most out of my new pc :D)
    – great economy
    – good community
    – player customization( this sort of as race/class/gear — not like rs in which all gear is JUST a various colour than the previous set)
    – (optional) very good conclude game stuff, like raids or great pvp
    – (optional) pvp is not unbalanced, like warlocks and pallys employed to be
    – (optional) challenging move combinations, so that I won’t get owned by 10 year olds that bought their gear — even if my opponent has great gear, I can trump them with skill
    __________________________________________________________
    HP – Pavilion Elite Desktop with AMD Phenom II X4 910 Quad Core Processor specs
    __________________________________________________________
    #
    Processor
    AMD Phenom™ II X4
    #
    Processor Speed
    2.6GHz
    #
    Cache Memory
    2MB on die Stage 2 + 6MB on die Stage 3
    #
    System Memory (RAM)
    8GB
    #
    Type of Memory (RAM)
    PC3-8500 DDR3 SDRAM
    #
    Hard Drive Type
    Serial ATA (5400 rpm)
    #
    Hard Generate Size
    1TB
    #
    Graphics
    ATI Radeon HD 4350
    #
    Video Memory
    512MB (dedicated); up to 3579MB somme obtainable as allotted by Windows Vista
    #
    MPEG
    Yes
    #
    Audio
    High-definition audio (8-speaker configurable)
    Copied from bestbuy.com — http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage.jsp?skuId=9366553&st=hp+pavilion+elite+desktop+with+amd+phenom+II+x4+910+quad+core&lp=1&type=product&cp=1&id=1218092151542
    __________________________________________________________
    Asus 20″ widescreen flat panel LCD HD watch specs
    __________________________________________________________
    #
    Response Time
    5 ms
    #
    Brightness
    300 cd/m²
    #
    Vertical Frequency
    56Hz – 76Hz
    #
    Horizontal Frequency
    29Hz – 83KHz
    #
    VGA Input
    Yes
    #
    DVI-D Input
    No
    #
    DVI-D with HDCP Input
    Yes
    #
    HDMI Input
    No
    #
    ENERGY STAR Qualified
    Yes
    copied from bestbuy(didn’t know what is essential data on monitor) — http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage.jsp?skuId=9367892&st=Asus+20%22+widescreen+flat+panel+LCD+HD+monitor+specs&type=product&id=1218092611086
    __________________________________________________________

    Feel free to list p2p mmorpgs to, with the cost of the computer, I Am likely to have to wait just before I can manage to start off spending a subscription

  • Ryan Dunn

    Currently, I have a 2wire. It sucks and I’m going to scrap it once I can figure out what I’m doing. That said, I’d be using my laptop one floor up (pass insulation and several other range blockades) and 50 ft away from where the router/modem currently sits.

    Conditions
    *as of now, the signal doesn’t even reach half way to my room
    *I don’t have a phone line in my room to set up dsl
    *I don’t have cable (but do I need it to use a cable modem)?
    *I need to be able to support 2 computers and 2 360s (unless there is a way to keep the 2wire on and let it support the one desktop and xbox wirelessly, and have a second modem/router support my room by itself)
    *I use to hook my xbox to my laptop because my 360 still doesn’t have the wireless receiver. I’ll buy one once I can get wireless to reach my room.
    *I’ve considered getting a repeater, but I’ve read so many problems with them dropping signals, and that’s a “no no” for gamers. (unless you know of a repeater that has never had that problem with a 2wire)
    *If I do go wired with my laptop in my room, what can I use that will not require a phone line? What does it need?

    Other than xbox, I play mmorpgs, so I need a reliable connection that won’t lag or drop. Even when I had a linksys G, I ran into that problem. Now, I can barely play the games unless I’m hooked up to the modem, making my laptop’s wireless capabilities all but useless.

    I’ve read some things about hooking up a modem directly to your computer. What would I need for that setup? What has worked best for you?

    Furthermore, I’m pretty much a moron when it comes to technical jargon so I really need plain english, or at least links to clear definitions of those techy-terms.

  • mal_functiongeo

    Please consider:

    1. Unrivaled experience

    My game should provide a high quality experience for which are no alternatives anywhere else, i.e.:

    – story of the game is irrelevant. Books/movies/theaters are superior at telling stories.
    – social aspects are irrelevant. Meeting with my friends face-to-face is superior.
    – graphics/cinematic qualities are irrelevant. Enjoying nature/movies is superior.
    – any kind reality simulation (economy, love & relationships, racing, war simulation etc) is irrelevant for obvious reasons.

    So, what are games unrivaled superior at?

    At providing a unique mental and motorical challenge without the risk of getting hurt or dieing for real.

    2. Intuitive controls, elegant motorical real-time challenge

    My game should be played in real-time. The best experience for a not-turn-based game is hence a game with controls as unrestrictive as possible, i.e. intuitive controls (mouse work), and focussed on quality, not quantity.
    With intuitive I mean the opposite of binary/number driven.

    Don’t come up with button mashers like StarCraft 2, where you have to give orders to as many units as possible at the same time (unelegant, quantity based execution). Also don’t mention any kind of MMORPGs. According to my opinion MMORPGs are the scum of PC gaming, as they try to provide everything in point 1., but not even on a medocre level and are so restrictive with their RPGish way of converting most gameplay aspects into possessible objects (activated by the simple push of a button), that they are almost completely bound to playing time (everyone with the same amount of time comes as far, individual skill and talent by far doesn’t matter as much as it could).

    I want something with a minimum of these artificial restrictions, something more elegant. Minimalistic game mechanics, easy to learn but difficult to master – like chess.

    If you recommend an FPS, keep in mind that artificial restrictions like recoil or aiming restrictions on movement are a no-go. Besides that they promote camping, there is no reason that the computer disallows me to aim unrealistically good in any game situation – even if I shoot with 1000 mp/h from mid air. My game has to exploit the potential of actually being a game. My game has to put challenge, fun and balance above realism.

    3. Mental challenge

    My game should provide strategical/tactical depth. A mental challenge just as exciting as the motorical. And that with a minimum amount of artificial restrictions.

    I’m basically looking for the definitive game for defintitive gamers. A game that is designed according to what gaming means in the literal meaning of the word, rewarding pure activity, providing highest mental and motorical challenge in the most unrestrictive way. The definitive game.

    Thanks in advance for your time and answers!
    Austin M: If you don’t even bother reading a simple text while still presuming to comment it, why should I think that you’re competent to answer my question? You are not.

  • Seth

    Currently, I have a 2wire. It sucks and I’m going to scrap it once I can figure out what I’m doing. That said, I’d be using my laptop one floor up (pass insulation and several other range blockades) and 50 ft away from where the router/modem currently sits.

    Conditions
    *as of now, the signal doesn’t even reach half way to my room
    *I don’t have a phone line in my room to set up dsl
    *I don’t have cable (but do I need it to use a cable modem)?
    *I need to be able to support 2 computers and 2 360s (unless there is a way to keep the 2wire on and let it support the one desktop and xbox wirelessly, and have a second modem/router support my room by itself)
    *I use to hook my xbox to my laptop because my 360 still doesn’t have the wireless receiver. I’ll buy one once I can get wireless to reach my room.
    *I’ve considered getting a repeater, but I’ve read so many problems with them dropping signals, and that’s a “no no” for gamers. (unless you know of a repeater that has never had that problem with a 2wire)
    *If I do go wired with my laptop in my room, what can I use that will not require a phone line? What does it need?

    Other than xbox, I play mmorpgs, so I need a reliable connection that won’t lag or drop. Even when I had a linksys G, I ran into that problem. Now, I can barely play the games unless I’m hooked up to the modem, making my laptop’s wireless capabilities all but useless.

    I’ve read some things about hooking up a modem directly to your computer. What would I need for that setup? What has worked best for you?

    Furthermore, I’m pretty much a moron when it comes to technical jargon so I really need plain english, or at least links to clear definitions of those techy-terms.

  • Thomas A

    BACKSTORY (optional)
    __________________________________________________________
    I have just been banned on world of warcraft for economy exploitation… yeah I don’t know either.(I also just started playing after a 6 month long break — haven’t even had time to go to the ah) I’ve also been banned from runescape from macroing, that I could see coming because even though I was playing legit, I was playing 10 hours a day while watching the dvd set of smallville.
    __________________________________________________________
    Question
    __________________________________________________________
    I would like to know what would be the best mmorpg for me. I have just recently bought a new desktop computer(specs below).

    I like a game like runescape, with alot of tradeskills, and stuff I can do besides just running around and grinding.
    I also like wows aspect of questing, such as you level by questing, and their very easy to find(not like runescape, where you grind for levels to do the quest, then you take hours to do it)

    now for some stuff I can just put in a big list
    – good graphics(would like to get the most out of my new pc :D)
    – nice economy
    – nice community
    – player customization( such as race/class/gear — not like rs where all gear is JUST a different color than the last set)
    – (optional) good end game stuff, like raids or good pvp
    – (optional) pvp isn’t unbalanced, like warlocks and pallys used to be
    – (optional) complicated move combinations, so that I won’t get owned by 10 year olds that bought their gear — even if my opponent has good gear, I can trump them with skill
    __________________________________________________________
    HP – Pavilion Elite Desktop with AMD Phenom II X4 910 Quad Core Processor specs
    __________________________________________________________
    #
    Processor
    AMD Phenom™ II X4
    #
    Processor Speed
    2.6GHz
    #
    Cache Memory
    2MB on die Level 2 + 6MB on die Level 3
    #
    System Memory (RAM)
    8GB
    #
    Type of Memory (RAM)
    PC3-8500 DDR3 SDRAM
    #
    Hard Drive Type
    Serial ATA (5400 rpm)
    #
    Hard Drive Size
    1TB
    #
    Graphics
    ATI Radeon HD 4350
    #
    Video Memory
    512MB (dedicated); up to 3579MB total available as allocated by Windows Vista
    #
    MPEG
    Yes
    #
    Audio
    High-definition audio (8-speaker configurable)
    Copied from bestbuy.com — http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage.jsp?skuId=9366553&st=hp+pavilion+elite+desktop+with+amd+phenom+II+x4+910+quad+core&lp=1&type=product&cp=1&id=1218092151542
    __________________________________________________________
    Asus 20″ widescreen flat panel LCD HD monitor specs
    __________________________________________________________
    #
    Response Time
    5 ms
    #
    Brightness
    300 cd/m²
    #
    Vertical Frequency
    56Hz – 76Hz
    #
    Horizontal Frequency
    29Hz – 83KHz
    #
    VGA Input
    Yes
    #
    DVI-D Input
    No
    #
    DVI-D with HDCP Input
    Yes
    #
    HDMI Input
    No
    #
    ENERGY STAR Qualified
    Yes
    copied from bestbuy(didn’t know what’s important info on monitor) — http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage.jsp?skuId=9367892&st=Asus+20%22+widescreen+flat+panel+LCD+HD+monitor+specs&type=product&id=1218092611086
    __________________________________________________________

    Feel free to list p2p mmorpgs to, with the expense of the computer, I’m going to have to wait before I can afford to start paying a subscription

  • jdfan

    My wife and I are two TOTALLY different people. This would be fine and dandy because opposites attract, but this is actually becoming a family catastrophe! She believes things should be “this way” and I believe things should be “that way” and I see her point of view but I still think that my way is better, she doesn’t even see my point of view and says that her way is the only way that is “acceptable”… Ugh, make it (cuss)ing stop!

    So today I proposed that my wife and I would write down our morals, beliefs, values, and our ideas on separate & private pieces of paper then in a few days we can compare them and make our life more unison. This is going to require change from both people, but constantly being in a tug-o-war with your wife over how life should be lived is aggravating!!! The children are getting mixed messages from both of us, I am getting mixed messages from her, and she is getting mixed messages from me; it’s just one huge cluster (cuss)…

    I know most people do what I’m trying to do before marriage, before children, and before even dating; but we were your typical “fools rush in” relationship… We met when I was 19 and her 20, we had sex on day one, we moved in after month one, she was one month pregnant after month two, we were engaged year two, and we were married year four; during all that time we were actually enjoying each other’s irresponsible company (video games, movies, anime, tv shows, books, MMORPGs, etc) but when it came down to the reality and real life stuff, we didn’t start talking about that until the real life stuff was starting to affect our lives and we needed an IMMEDIATE answer…

    So yes, we were (cuss)ing stupid children for not using our brains when we first met but if you heard our childhood stories you’d understand why things unfolded the way they did… Now, 11 years later, I am trying to stop acting like (cuss)ing stupid children and do this right; but I don’t know where to begin since we differ in so many ways! Not to mention, my wife is a very rigid, sexist, closed and narrow minded, narcissistic woman; so to get her to be swayed on ANY of her (unrealistic) beliefs is going to be difficult since not even logic can penetrate her rigidity… So does anyone have advice for me before going into this exercise?

  • John G

    I’m in the middle of divorce, I’m moving, I have hardly any money to survive and my life is changing entirely. My heart is shattered, but I must find my way in life, to carry on financially. I am at the bottom, I can only climb up, but I am having a hard time with where to go. I just don’t know what’s out there and what I might like. I take personality tests, but they come out with very generic answers.

    Previously I have worked with web companies. I am beginning to consider the idea of going back to school. I have no idea what I should do, I am feeling lost. I’d love to hear about unique jobs or interesting careers that might be good for someone like me.

    And now for some run on sentences…

    I am introverted, have low confidence (working on that), not athletic, have no previous college experience, I have stage fright, not good with presentations, not into traveling, hate customer service, I am not an artist, I cannot play an instrument. I am a good person, I don’t wish to have a job that involves criminal types or criminal activity. I do not feel I’m smart enough to own my own company or manage one.

    I am open to keeping odd hours, I love music, historic buildings, great with computers, I enjoy writing poetry and blog style writing, reading, learning, thinking, sometimes working with my hands but also my brain, I am not good at math; but numbers and patterns are interesting, I’m very organized and good with instruction and procedures, I have a good eye for consistences and detail, but I don’t have a very good memory. I play MMORPGs and am very good at making game money, but can’t seem to apply that knowledge to real life. I have a touch of OCD, I like things to be a certain way, this is a benefit but can hinder me at times. I like making people happy, though I am shy and not the best with words in person. I have written long technical documents, worked with multi-billion dollar global companies and also very small ones. I like working from home and in an office; I don’t mind either one, but I like to have a life on the side. I enjoy editing and making videos for youtube in my free time. I like to be good at what I do and strive to get better, to grow and accomplish more.

    I tried my best to say some of my good and bad, I hope that helps get a picture. Is there something out there for someone like me?
    I appreciate any/all advice anyone has for me. Thank you for reading.

  • llb443

    So i’ve heard about the nre gigabyte thing and i want to avoid any additoinal charges but i also like playing MMO games i have 25GB a month and play about 2 hours weekdays and 6-8 hour weekends i know 1000mb = 1gb so dose that mean i have to play 1000 hours to use 1?

  • Spider Pc

    A few hours ago, I came up with an idea for an online MMORPG that I found to be pretty awesome. However, I wanna know what you guys think, and I wanna find out if the idea’s already been taken. (I doubt it, but who knows?) Anyway, here’s the concept, I basically took the idea of the movie Kick-Ass, added some elements from the Grand Theft Auto series, as well as other famous MMORPGs like World of Warcraft.

    In this game, the player is capable of creating his or her own costumed vigilante or criminal. The choice is completely up to the player. The player will be responsible of making a name for him/herself by either fighting crime or causing it. The player can obtain experience by stopping crimes that occur on the streets, or causing it. Some of these crimes, would include muggings, bank robberies, shootings, arson, assault, drug trafficking, and several others. In addition, the player can also make alliances with multiple organizations, including the police, gangs (street gangs and mafia type gangs), drug cartels, the government, and other vigilantes/criminals. In those cases, the player would do missions for them for money and respect, while causing rival parties to dislike you. The player can also create “crews” with other heroes or villains (other online players), and they can also start rivalries with other ones.

    Another aspect of the game would be “karma”. A player’s character doesn’t have to be completely good or bad. You could be a ruthless, yet well-meaning anti hero, or you can be a well-mannered, yet extremely dangerous villain. The karma scale would go from -100 to 100. Basically, cold blooded villain to clean, perfect hero. Players can do whatever they want, whether it’s good or bad, at any time.

    As for abilities and such, you would start out as a small-time “wannabe” with limited abilities. However, by getting experience, you can upgrade your outfit, get more powerful weapons, and make a better name for yourself. There would also be a huge variety of weapons in the game. This includes knives, swords, firearms, crossbows, nunchucks, baseball bats, chainsaws, and super-weapons such as flame throwers and rocket-launchers. You can obtain weapons by buying them at stores, or picking them up from where other players had left them. Each weapon has pros and cons. Stabbing people can be a good option, due to the fact that it’ll make the kill look discrete, however, it’s ineffective with large groups of enemies. Firearms are better at getting the job done, but they are harder to obtain, and due to the noise, the cops will be all over you if they find out you’re using them to kill people (however, if you’re allied with them, they’ll let you use them for crime fighting purposes only). If the cops do find you breaking the law, you’ll have to outrun them, and change from your costume, back into your normal, civilian clothing. As for items, the player would be able to buy cars, new weapons, new costumes, and other stuff.

    Furthermore, even though the costumed vigilantes in the game start out as normal human beings who just happen to have weapons, you can become a true “superhero” be getting superpowers. If your character gets involved in an accident involving certain chemicals, or something along those lines, you can get superpowers. In addition to that, you can also volunteer to have a scientist experiment on you in order to give you some, however, it will cost a lot of money.

    As for the location, the game would be set in a large, dangerous, American city, but I think it would be a good idea for the player to be able conduct business in other cities in America, as well as the world too, but only if you can pay for a plane ticket.

    Like I said, this game will be an “open world” game. In addition to completing missions given by organizations, the player can also do whatever he/she wants. The possibilities should be endless.
    Anyway, that pretty much wraps up my idea. If this idea has been taking, let me know. If it hasn’t been taken, let me know what you guys think.
    I think this will be different from DC Universe, because this won’t be set in that universe, or anything similar. It’ll be much more realistic, and the player will have a lot more freedom. It’ll be a “sandbox” game.
    It probably wouldn’t be considered a ripoff, considering how similar some other MMORPGs are, like World of Warcraft and Skyrim.

  • Clayton Cottrell

    I saw this one flight combat MMO game. It’s not Heroes in the Sky but something different. I think it was made by a Canadian or American company.

  • Malcolm Hudson

    I’ve already tried Maplestory(really liked it) and am now looking for a new mmo just like it. If their aren’t any like it could u list any good f2p mmorpgs. Thanks.