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Reader Comments (24)

Posted: May 28th 2009 7:07PM AlamoeJones said

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I wonder what the ratio is for digital animals killed by players to real animals killed by people.

Posted: May 28th 2009 7:22PM JohnnyMann420 said

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Does anyone else think this is stupid?

I mean MMOs are fake, #1. If you are aware that you love being non violent while you are playing a violent videogame, then doesn't that prove that people are smart enough to know better therefore negating the necessity to extend pacifism in the MMOs they are currently playing? What? Are they worried they will like violence or do they just hate it? If they hate it then why are they playing?

The reasons I ask these questions isn't because I hate pacifism or anything moderately close to this. The real reason I ask is because I believe this some weird, fake fad that gamers have recently undergone where they try to level up their dude in WoW w/o killing anything and relying on delivery quests. To me it started as a challenge, then evolved into a profession for the need to not kill anything including pixels.

So here we are. People (who are likely pacifists) are becoming outspoken on avoiding killing things in a fricken videogame. Let alone creatures that don't even exists.... for what reason? Just to say, "I'm like soooo peaceful, I wont kill pixels"?

I'm telling you this has become a bragging right fest fad, rather than an actual want. Must like vegetarians in a 90's high school or Bisexuality among females in 90's colleges.. hehe. It's "cool" to be peaceful.

A person really like this (a real pacifist) would have already circumvented their need via something that already provides them with what they are looking for....there are plenty of MMOs out there that take a different approach and no killing is involved. Quite a few are free.

Anyways.

That's about all I have to say about that.

Posted: May 28th 2009 10:45PM (Unverified) said

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Wow, pal. I think you missed the mark. I think the point is there's more to games than killing things, but when it comes to MMOs, there's only a handful with no killing. There, Uru and A Tale in the Desert, and perhaps the upcoming Cities XL or Puzzle Pirates maybe.

Nobody's getting up in arms about killing in video games, and nobody wants to take your WoW away. But just think 3-dimensionally for a second and realize there might be more options to video games than kill or don't kill, and some people might want to play these games.

Oh, and don't say Free Realms doesn't have killing just because of the stars. It's the same thing.

If there is more to life than combat, why isn't there more to online video games than combat?
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Posted: May 28th 2009 11:02PM Myria said

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If there is more to life than combat, why isn't there more to online video games than combat?

Because for the most part that "more to life" stuff is boring, games are one of those things we do to escape the drudgery of that day-to-day stuff. How many people want to play a driving to work MMO? A shopping for the week's groceries MMO? A cleaning the bathroom MMO? Or a sewing MMO? I mean, seriously, I like to sew, but exciting it ain't.

Games and contests are invariably at their base a form of combat for a reason. Chess is hardly pacifistic, nor is checkers, and five card stud is probably rivaled only by marriage when it comes to causing gunfights.

Competition is combat.

Our games are invariably competitive.

A game sans competition isn't a game.

That doesn't mean all games have to be about killing ten bears per level, but an MMO without combat would be like a game of chess without the ability to capture an opponent's pieces -- boring and pointless.
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Posted: May 29th 2009 6:41AM Lethality said

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Myria, you're not getting it.

No one is saying an MMO without combat... no one is saying a "drive to work MMO".

The entire point is that MMOs exist in open worlds,and there are HUNDREDS of options for different styles of gameplay to be satisfied there.

If someone wants to play ONLY as a crafter, so be it. ONLY as a merchant, so be it. ONLY as a diplomat, so be it.

MMO developers are doinga huge disservice to their players and the worlds they create by simply offering combat as "the game"

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Posted: May 29th 2009 1:07PM (Unverified) said

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Myria, you sound like a person who's never played sports.

I'm not saying we need sports MMOs, but they're clear examples of how you can have competition without combat. Hell, the article cites plenty of other evidence. Racing, mystery solving, puzzles, action platforming... stuff that happens to be in many video game genres, just suspiciously absent from MMOs.

If you think life is so mundane such that you need video games to fill some pent up violence quotient, that's your own issue. Go climb a mountain or something.
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Posted: May 28th 2009 8:03PM (Unverified) said

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WoW's next server option... RPp (role-play-pacifist)

All monsters (including bosses) are neutral. Welcome to Switz.. I mean... Azerothland.

Posted: May 28th 2009 8:17PM (Unverified) said

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Dont forget Shiney's MDK third person shooter!

Posted: May 28th 2009 8:50PM LaughingTarget said

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"Go out and refuse to defend yourself against 10 bears and return to me for your reward."

Posted: May 28th 2009 9:03PM Russell Clarke said

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Hahaha, love it!
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Posted: May 28th 2009 9:19PM Saker said

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I've been playing MMO's since they were created, and they definitely need to evolve. The endless repetitive (boring) kill this-that-and the other thing is just well... boring. I'm at the point of canceling the only 1 I'm still subscribed too out of boredom with the same old formula they've been using since the beginning. "Mortal online" (in beta) though it's primarily a PvP game does seem to be (at least talking about) having more to do in that (supposedly) there will be very few Npc's almost everything will be player crafted. I think this level of "sandbox/virtual world" is a definite step in the right direction. Though I seem to remember other companies making the same kind of promises in the past..... I would personally love a world where you could explore, harvest, do serious crafting that actually made a very serious impact on the virtual world.

Posted: May 28th 2009 9:24PM karnisov said

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/agree
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Posted: May 29th 2009 12:42AM SgtBaker said

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You haven't tried EVE yet? It's got real crafting, real economy, real high-impact on gaming world situations, player alliances (essentially large guilds) can claim sovereignty over the game world etc. Seems it might match your requirement list..
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Posted: May 29th 2009 1:28AM (Unverified) said

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Agree as well. I'd kill for a more elegant version of A Tale in the Desert or an MMO Civilizations based around diplomacy and trade. My frustration is less ideological, which is ironic since I'm a pacifist in real life, than boredom with the same mechanics being used over and over to achieve the same ends. I want a variety of experiences in my games, not merely variations on a single theme.
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Posted: May 29th 2009 1:28AM (Unverified) said

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Look into Fallen Earth if Eve isn't your thing. It's not out yet, but I may or may not be able to tell you that I may or may not be allowed to discuss how I think it's going to be an extremely solid and successful "sandbox" mmo.
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Posted: May 28th 2009 11:46PM (Unverified) said

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Honnestly, what i LOVE in a MMO is not the whole grinding, making friends, raiding, or even pvp..... what i LOVE the most in a MMO is the special events. When everyone just gets piled into one area and starts playing minigames and gathering materials and other stuff!

I don't know why... but the Dragon Festible in Guild Wars is more appealing to me than double Kurizik or Luxon faction points.

But then again the primary elements still need to stay in a MMO, like Pve and PvP.

If Freerealms had the combonation of GW pvp..... i would soooo play it for like....evar!

Posted: May 28th 2009 11:50PM Graill440 said

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Wow!! what intuitive, incredibly original thought on MMO's, not. It's been said, the ideas have been driven before developers time and again, the devs do not care. Take the money away until they do care, only way to change that ball rolling downhill.

.......so, we all going to /agree in another 9 months when someone else says this again?

Posted: May 29th 2009 12:01AM Anatidae said

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Odd. MMOs started with far more non-combat skills/spells and then slowly took them away. Ultima Online is a game where you can be very immersed, achieve goals, and progress your character without ever entering combat.

Other games like Mabinogi also provide significant gameplay that never has anything to do with killing a creature. Free Realms would be another one.

It is more than possible for the large mainstream MMOs to develop more in-depth and fun non-combat roles. Combat itself is just a mini-game inside the MMO setting.

When I think back on UO, I remember a very LARGE number of players who learned and specialized in non-combat skills. It was probably still a minority, but not so small it was not uncommon at all. As a sandbox type game, UO also offered gameplay in the form of players trying to form and maintain their own "player towns" which were just random housing placed in a field. Maintaining usually meant having players who liked combat run out the PKers to protect the players who didn't like combat as much. The non-combat characters often became governors, barkeeps, and all sorts of other interesting roles.

Someday someone might make a game again where there are just as many non-combat based skills/abilities as there are combat ones - and they all are implemented in a fun way. All while maintianing the growth and evolution of the modern MMO combat system. That would be a very fun game indeed. But developers need to start looking at tools that are more sandbox in nature and also be willing to put in game features that do nothing but offer interesting RP opportunities.

Posted: May 29th 2009 8:34AM (Unverified) said

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I disagree with this 'more than combat' = 'sandbox' notion. Vehemently. There's no reason that non-combat can't be theme parked or better yet, progressively generated. Honestly, to receive the fleshing out it needs, it SHOULD be theme parked to a degree, with specific non-combat missions and goals and influence on combat scenarios.

I also think its silly to harp on the pacifist angle when clearly, anyone who's been in this stuff for more than five years, or more that two games realizes it is all the same tired, yet psychologically addictive drivel. We've all played this game, whether is EQ, CoH, WoW or AoC.

The heart of his blog is this: "...it’s just that every alternative to a combat system seems shallow and pale. Why is that?"

And he's right, in these games, everything except *maybe* combat is half-done, nowadays. An afterthought. We had a great article recently from a WoW dev about why combat is so important, because it's expandable, repeatable, tactical and visceral.

What the writer, and many MMOers don't seem to realize is that puzzle and minigame are imaginary constructs. Combat is a "minigame" that's been given thought and balance. Combat is a puzzle where you apply tools, balance resources and protect your investment. As long as we use these silly lines, we're never going to make an expandable, repeatable, tactical, visceral crafting experience, much less an expandable, repeatable, tactical, visceral diplomatic/social encounter.

Of his suggestions, Diplomacy is my favorite, and in tandem with a great pet/sidekick system, has the most potential to be an easily developed and revolutionary, but viable playstyle. Things that take you out of the game are no good, and Vehicle Combat is still Combat. He says Crafting is boring, and Card games are fun, but pointless, so why not turn Crafting into a CCG? Achievements are obviously an end to gameplay, not a means.

Posted: May 29th 2009 9:07AM dudes said

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There's always www.clubpenguin.com if users feel they need wrapping up in cotton wool from the baddy waddy hurt.

Aw, diddums.

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