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Reader Comments (5)

Posted: Feb 13th 2008 4:21PM (Unverified) said

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I cannot speak for PotBS - only did a bit in beta. However, I think LOTRO is a very social MMO. In fact if not for LOTRO I would have probably given up on MMO's a long time ago. Because of WoW - which I feel as ruined my favorite game type - most people login for the items and not the adventure...

Posted: Feb 13th 2008 5:30PM (Unverified) said

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Yeah way back in the day when SWG didn't let just everyone be a jedi I got into it because of the prospect of being able to PLAY A ROLE instead of just run around and kill whomp rats so I can get a new helmet.

Unfortunately my computer wasn't up to snuff (I was much more of a console guy at the time) so I wasn't really able to play. Once I got upgraded and a better internet connection I went in to find that it was all going to change in the next week to the system that ultimately killed the game.

What's turned me off to just about every MMORPG is the fact that there's not much RPG in them. That and the fact that I've always found most elf/fairy/magic-based games to be corny which limits my prospects.

Once the MMO industry gets out of the cookie-cutter D&D theme and shooting for the monthly fees and starts trying to be innovative and original then I'd be more into it.

I still need to see the RPG part happen, though!

Posted: Feb 13th 2008 6:05PM GRT said

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Really? You'd suggest POTBS for someone who is a casual gamer looking for social aspects?

We must've played different games. POTBS is all about PvP, and losing a ship costs pretty dearly. A casual player can lose a lot of progress by losing a ship.

My experience with POTBS was that it was a find game for hardcore gamers who can log in every day and who have the time to get hunting groups together to go PvP.

As for social aspects, I played on Bonny (the "unofficial RP server") and there wasn't much in the way of social discourse going on.

I do agree that this person is just in a slump though (I know I get into those often enough). MMORPGs today are more 'casual friendly' than they've ever been. But programmers can't code social stuff, and it's hard to make social connections when you play casually. But then its hard to make social connections at the local Pub when you only stop in once a week, too.

Posted: Feb 13th 2008 6:18PM (Unverified) said

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My problem with the current state of MMOs is that they've often promised to be "virtual worlds" to live in and experience, but most of them are lacking the immersion factor. Linear zones, removed instances, heavy GUIs and a sort of third generation accept-the-trends-as-they-are mentality has led to a series of uninventive and unsurprising games.

Sure, they're fun, and they even do new things. But they just haven't made that next stride. I see this as a potentially good thing. It means the next game to break down the immersion wall will probably have players flooding in from both WoW and Second Life.

Posted: Feb 13th 2008 8:40PM Anatidae said

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I have to agree with Tovin. End-game MMOs are all about the raiding schedule and the time sinks for the loot that you might see once a month if you raid a few times a week.

WoW is a bait and switch in the gameplay department. You spend 69 levels progressing through casual adventuring able to grow a little bit every day. Quests reward upgrades, new skills appear, and so on. Then, you hit 70, and it is suddenly about the raids. Once you have your "dungeon" set, well... your out of luck if you like to play casually.

I would really like to see an MMO that just builds the end-game. If that is what everyone is going to eventually hit anyway, lets just all skip the levels. Imagine if the whole landmass of WoW contained things for a level 70 to do as opposed to having the majority of the land mass a ghost site while everyone is crammed into a handful of instances. Not immersive at all.

I am under the opinion that it is possible to design a game that allows for progression through casual play while throwing the concept of levels out the window. Ultima Online was very close to that as you might become a grandmaster swordsman, but any deep forest could be dangerous. Sure, it was mostly from other players out to kill you, but monsters could still overwhelm you even after you skilled up. The entire world was a place you could still adventure in.

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