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Reader Comments (62)

Posted: May 21st 2009 1:07PM (Unverified) said

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Absolutely you can still play single player RPGs. I play them all the time on Xbox360 and the DS, plus action RPGs on the PC. Your typical single player RPG has one huge advantage over MMORGPs -- story. Single player RPGs actually have one. There is virtually no story telling in MMORPGs beyond "oh woe is me, my life is ruined, please go kill 10 boars for me". Action RPGs are frequently light on story, but have more engaging gameplay than most MMOs.

Single player RPGs can be a great escape from MMOs when you start feeling burnout, and spicing up your gaming routine with some single player action now and then can help prevent burnout from occuring at all.

Posted: May 21st 2009 1:15PM (Unverified) said

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Yes and no...

A "good" single player RPG has tops 80 - 100 hours of gameplay maybe a bit more if it has a mods.
With an MMO you like, you get a ton more playtime. You get to play with other players. In some games, you have some impact on the gameworld.Alot of MMO's offer some sort of competitive play between players.
The downside is immersion in MMO's pretty much sucks. Voice acting is still not the standard. Interesting stories (questlines) are almost non-existant. MMO's still tend to stick closely to the "grind is good" forumla.

The potential of MMO's is still largely untapped IMHO mainly because most MMO's have crazy glued themselves to the traditional EQ style grind, kill 10 rats formula which is well over a decade old.

The dismal performance of most new MMO's over the last 4 or 5 years easily demonstrates that. MMO players don't want WOW or EQ reskinned, they want something actually original and new.

Posted: May 21st 2009 1:42PM Mr A said

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Yes, I can still enjoy single-player RPGs and traditional paper-and-pencil RPGs just as much because the stories are better and more personalized.

Posted: May 21st 2009 2:06PM karnisov said

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single player rpgs often have superior story and challenging gameplay mechanics that mmos lack. i'd take a high quality rpg over an mmo any day.

Posted: May 21st 2009 2:52PM m0rpheu2 said

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To answer your question, it's both yes and no. Let me explain briefly.

I can return to everything BUT solo RPG's, games like God of War, Call of Duty,
but I can't seem to go back to solo RPG's anymore.

I think the reason I can't is because why play a solo RPG and spend 80 hours to beat it when you can play a MMORPG which is a lot like it but you can actually SHOW off your gear to thousands of others, when you beat a solo RPG you feel good, but thats it... your missing the constant satisfaction of your friends on Ventrilo or Teamspeak screaming victory when you when an arena match or new boss in WoW.

I think a lot of people feel the same way. Great topic btw.

Posted: May 22nd 2009 5:41PM (Unverified) said

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MMORPGs have gone so casual and downhill and the social interaction has been killed almost entirely, so fairly easy to go back now, yes.

Posted: May 21st 2009 3:05PM Graill440 said

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Nice topic. Currently i am dabbling in Chronicles of spellborn, after retiring, moving setting up, getting the part time job so i can support me FE hobby going i decided to try an MMO again. Granted visiting relatives, one see what they are playing and the memeories flood back, not all are good.

After reading this i dug a very dusty oblivion and reloaded it played it for a couple days and then the obvious happened, there was no background noise from the masses i played a game with, i was actually used to it.

I am primarily a solo player but did play ac1 on morningthaw with pew the mottled in his guild, i hear they still play that game. That said when i played oblivion there was no one to share a particularly odd moment or find, i found i like doing that. Sure the game is a classic and still has a draw, but not as much as an MMO, where one can share that find or crack a good joke in guild chat every now and then.

I removed oblivion as it was quite a sterile experience now. This opens the question, what if they added chat bots to those folks (not me) in single player rpgs, perhaps they would open a new market, the illusion of people chatting you up without the trouble real folks bring. and you could setup the type chat you are used to...........just an idea.

Posted: May 21st 2009 3:08PM Graill440 said

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played oblivion a couple hours not days after reading this article. just saw that. :P

Posted: May 21st 2009 3:56PM Derf said

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Not for me, I find that I'm not really liking single player RPGs anymore. They seem sterile, and not dynamic enough. I also miss interacting with others.

Posted: May 21st 2009 3:54PM (Unverified) said

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Returning to single player games from the MMO scene I felt an odd sense of isolation. Having an XBox Live or PS Home community helps, but it's not the same.

There is also a distinct sense of "why am I doing this?" in a single player game where in an MMO you play to keep up with the community and to reach new hights that you can share with others. That new sword you just won in an MMO dungeon feels like an accomplishment, while that new gun you just found in Resident Evil feels like just a scripted part of the finite experience.

Posted: May 21st 2009 3:59PM (Unverified) said

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i believe what the post is trying to express is "you can't ride that shit through ironforge":

http://www.penny-arcade.com/images/2006/20060405.jpg

Posted: May 21st 2009 4:16PM Dblade said

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I own a DS for the RPGs, and I play, although less frequently. I'm playing Super Robot Taisen OG Saga now. Its great to be able to put down a single player rpg when you like and not need to say "AFK." You also don't need to wait for others to make a party to play it, or spend a lot of time doing grinding like farming or faction-timesink things. You wont need to worry about getting nerfed.

Posted: May 21st 2009 4:04PM (Unverified) said

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I've tried, but it's not the same. I did play Fallout 3 once through, started on a second time, but ended up back in WoW and now in LotRO. Dragon Age will be bought and played, but beyond that, hard to keep me in a single player RPG.

Posted: May 21st 2009 4:25PM (Unverified) said

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I completely agree that trying to play non-mmo-rpgs gives non-mmo games a "waste-of-time" feel to them, I myself have nearly boycotted linear, un-creative/innovative single player games.

I feel being competitive is the sole of the word "game"

From Pong, to old american sports, it was always one force vs another, and to us as a generation I can say that user created storylines are equally predictable as human made AI.

So, you could say, as a developing generation of cyber/gamer/computer players, we all get used to the in-human reactive components in storylines and advertisement.

Better still, that by evolution it would come to this and we would have to further innovate to be successful and survive, whether it be in videogames or in life, using the problemsolving skills we accrued from Darwinism.

(Also, my first RPG was... Might and Magic 2: Gates to Another World, I didnt beat that text based rpg until i was 18! Hard game without cheating.)

Posted: May 21st 2009 5:34PM deadlock said

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I have a copy of Mass Effect I have not finished....... it was good and I enjoyed it but at the same time it felt like a waste of time.

Posted: May 21st 2009 6:57PM Chris G said

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Quite interesting, because I've actually done the opposite. Of course, I started out with single-player RPGs, then gone to MMOs. But for the past 3 or 4 years I've found myself unable to get back into MMOs for the fact that single-player RPGs are just much more enjoyable. As you put it with single-player RPGs, "I feel like I'm wasting my time" with MMOs.

Though, I still get excited about new MMOs that are in the works, once I finally get into that game, it takes about a week or two before I get bored with it and stop playing.

Posted: May 21st 2009 8:42PM Jeromai said

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Easily. Both MMOs and singleplayer RPGs offer different things to me.

I play MMOs mostly to see what's next on the horizon (new maps, new instances, new systems developed by the devs) and the other players form background noise and offer the occasional opportunity to team up and go through some gameplay together, hopefully to observe fun team synergies (City of Heroes offers much better-than-average PUG synergies than most MMOs.) Singleplayer RPGs can't offer a changing world beyond mods you install yourself.

I find no need to show off my newest piece of gear or brag about the cool accomplishment I just achieved in-game, so I don't miss that sort of thing in singleplayer RPGs either. (Anyhow, these days there are community overlays like Steam and Windows Live with achievements attached for a number of singleplayer games for those who love that sort of thing.)

Singleplayer RPGs are played for immersion into a world and storyline. Being by myself means that I really am the one hero of that game universe. The entire game is made and structured around me at the centre, the linchpin. There are no other players around talking in l33tspeak or scrolling chat twenty lines a second to throw you into metagaming instead of being a character in the world.

Quite different experiences altogether.

Posted: May 22nd 2009 1:46AM (Unverified) said

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I really like the "epic destiny" feel of good single player RPGs. in online only games it feels like you only progress out of certain areas due to the enemies being "too low level for you". Most NPCs in MMOs are generic quest givers that you never see again once you progress out of the quest hubs. "Thank you you really saved my skin from those " needs to go. Recurring characters (both friendly and enemy) are rare, and there is little to no "build up" to a final show down in most games i have played.

MMOs need to have a Sephiroth or a "blue pokemon trainer" (champions online rival system certainly looks interesting). They need to have an Aeris death sequence, a FF6 style "world of ruin event"; there needs to be a Judgement Day. I'm sure its hard to pull off in persistent worlds, but there needs to be change and motivation to continue your quest. You need to be able to FEEL how evil your enemy is. You need to experience it first hand. It NEEDS to be personal, you need to somehow be linked to the enemy and you need know that you're the only one able to stop him/her/it.

A lot of MMOs lack the story driven elements of the single player design. Dragon Age:Origins has something going for it with the Origin stories, i'd like to see this incorporated into a MMO. That way you aren't just adventuring with Jimbob the Mage from New York. There needs to be some way to have some sort of character depth built into the MMO experience, so that even the casual gamer that isn't particularly interested in role-playing and making up their own character's backstory can still become involved in the game universe. Multi-person Baldur's Gate style dialogue trees, and scripted events or in-game cutscenes with your party members participating. things like these would make you feel like more of a group of adventurers rather than a bunch of gamers. immersion creates memorable gaming experiences.

in summary, as vain and insecure as this may sound; i like to feel important when playing RPGs (whether in a party or not). until MMOs can accomplish that same sort of feeling, single player will always have a place on my hard drive.

Posted: May 22nd 2009 10:00AM (Unverified) said

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I use MMO to fill the time between single player RPG. When I find a MMO that can give me the same sensation that I had back when I discover who is Revan, then I will quit single player.
But at the moment kill for fifth time the same guy to get the uber-blue cape of everything, and have some random guy telling me "congrats" doesnt compare by far.

Posted: May 22nd 2009 5:08PM cray said

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RPGs would have to offer so much more than what they current do. I think MMOs have pretty much supplanted my "roleplay" fix. I get more out of Guild Wars than I did out Zelda, because you can share the roleplay experience with a friend, instead of just forcing the other to watch you play.

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