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Reader Comments (38)

Posted: Dec 25th 2010 1:08PM Syesta said

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Although I love FFXI, the game makes you very very aware of your mortality. Regardless of your job, a good 75% of monsters within 10-15 levels of you maintain the ability to crush your face in most situations.

Posted: Dec 25th 2010 1:09PM Pewpdaddy said

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The least epic ever? Hmm... I'd have to say that running back to my corpse in the Nude in EQ felt pretty un-epic. =]

Posted: Dec 25th 2010 1:34PM Infamous Nefarious said

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Pretty well any and every second I played WoW.... And FFXI.... And Guild Wars.... Those games just wore and ground down my patience and enthusiasm for gaming as a whole. Fortunately I do have my few favorites that gave me a rewarding sensation of heroism, and I'm not just bagging and griping.

Posted: Dec 25th 2010 2:27PM Averice said

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Eh... I think you're looking at it wrong. It's not an MMO's job to make you feel like a hero, it's an MMO's job to make you feel like you're having fun. Whether or not an MMO makes me feel like a hero does not make or break the game, in fact it has absolutely nothing to do with how I like the game because I've never felt like a hero in any MMO I've played, ever.

Sure a good portion of the genre supports the "selfless hero who saves the world!", but there's a lot of it out there that is so much better too. Stop reading forgotten realms regurgitated tripe and read some real fantasy. The MMO isn't about being a hero or a villain, it's about experiencing a crafted sci-fi/fantasy world to your own hearts enjoyment. If the only way you can enjoy the genre is by make believing you're some sort of hero, then that's really sad.

Posted: Dec 26th 2010 1:02AM Sean D said

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@Averice

I agree and disagree. I enjoy playing common characters. Though this may not be exactly what you meant, it came to mind when reading your post. In other words, I don't envision my characters as heroes, just normal people in a world. The fun for me comes in seeing my choices impact that world and I am just as disappointed as the player who envisions their character to be the hero when my choices aren't reflected in the game.

I tend to think most MMO players want to envision their characters as heroes and they have fun doing so. It's not sad, just different than what you prefer.

I question what you mean by "experiencing a crafted...world." Our experience comes only through our eyes and ears as we progress through the zones - pretty graphics and pretty music/VO. I do enjoy both to some degree, but the world isn't sensible by taste, touch, or smell. Paying attention to the story - reading quest dialogue, watching the cut-scenes, etc. - is the best way to actually experience whatever meat there is to a world and to get into the imaginations of the creators. Story is what breathes life into and colors what would otherwise be a rather dull platform for the chains of accomplishments that lead us to max level. And when the story tells us to go pick through hell-hound droppings, even if doing so is of vital importance to the progression of the storyline, the color fades a bit and the fact that the primary goal of the time that we spend is to gain experience becomes apparent. We don't care what we do as long as it adds numbers to the blue bar.
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Posted: Dec 25th 2010 5:34PM clik said

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I don't think I've ever felt like a "hero" in any MMO I've played. I'm there grinding away at rats and boars just like the thousands of other drones behind their computer.

Posted: Dec 25th 2010 6:37PM (Unverified) said

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Pretty well all of Cataclysm so far. Zero to no challenge while questing.

Mind boggling fast leveling speed. Can someone please explain that one to me, years of effort and millions of dollars to develop and then they rush their player base through so they can do the same instances over and over and over . And this after handing everyone a line of BS on how they were re-introducing the "challenge".

Ah well, Cataclysm accomplished one thing for me it's managed to break my fascination with the game.

Posted: Dec 25th 2010 11:19PM Alex Oglitchkin said

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@(Unverified) Questing in WoW isn't meant to be hard. Leveling in WoW isn't meant to be hard so you can roll many alt characters. Dungeons aren't a challenge once you get gear. Raids are where the challenges are.

http://worldoflogs.com/zones/Blackwing_Descent/Omnitron_Defense_System/

There is like a 10% chance that guilds down this boss at this time. There is your chance to down the boss and be a hero.
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Posted: Dec 25th 2010 7:11PM Haldurson said

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In Lotro, the lothlorien rep quests where you have to clean up the nasty orc crap, and where you have to eject the drunk party guests (well, the second one was kind of humorous, though definitely not what I'd call epic).
A lot of the halfling quests in the Shire are far from heroic, but I guess delivering pies and the mail is about as epic as the average halfling adventure gets. And I challenge any MMO to beat the heroism and epicness of chicken play.

Posted: Dec 26th 2010 3:22AM MewmewGirl said

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When you are playing a game where all these characters are telling you that you're the last hope for the planet, you're born special, you have powers to do great things - and suddenly some guy wants you to go pick some flowers to give to a girl he has a crush on, it just seems.... Silly.

Sure, you can deny the quests, and half the time you're cutting yourself off from further quest lines from not doing the stuff.

I'll play these games thinking "I'm this all important world saver and someone is asking me to go pick flowers and give them to some girl? Aren't there a million peasants - or god forbid HIM HIMSELF that can do this? Is his job standing here 24 hours a day doing nothing really more important than what I'm supposed to do?"

I realize that people run out of quest ideas, but have us do the peon quests while we're still peons. Maybe it's time to shake the industry up a bit, get new ideas from new people flowing rather than "Hey every other game has a "pick flowers for a guy and then deliver them to the girl he has a crush on for him" quest - it worked for them, so we'll add it too."

I also am pretty sick of hordes of monsters just you know, hanging out for no reason all over the place, doing nothing. "I'll just wander aimlessly a few feet this way and that once and a while with 30 others of my kind, standing around waiting for someone to kill me."

I don't want the world to be bare, but I want the creatures to have a reason to be there. I want to see them actually doing things. Sure some creatures would just be eating or laying around - so have them doing that. Is it a lot more animation? Sure, but it really would be a great immersion experience.

Posted: Dec 26th 2010 12:47PM Matonagin said

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Pretty much all of the Shire in LotRO.

I don't think it's a MMO's job to make you feel like a hero though, its job is to immerse you in a shared world with other people. How you feel is up to you.

Posted: Dec 26th 2010 2:56PM turkeyspit said

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I killed the Elemental Lord Ragnaros
I killed the old god C'thun
I killed Illidan and his Lts.
I killed the Blue Dragon Aspect
I killed Arthas

and you want me to bring this parcel to WHO? Do you not know who I AM? /sigh

It's a game and all, but it would be nice to have some recognition for killing dragons*

*although you sort of got that in the first quest hub in WoTLK - still, some 'welcome heroes of azeroth, outland and northrend' would be nice.

Posted: Dec 27th 2010 1:40AM Jeromai said

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I was having a hard time thinking of something. Then I logged in to do my WoW tourist thing, and the first quest I did involved me scrapping off venom from an ogre's tummy.

*imagines scraping out gunk from something the size of a sumo wrestler and out of his...belly button* *twitches*

I think that'll qualify, even if the ogre tummy surfing on the spider is mildly amusing.

Posted: Dec 27th 2010 8:24AM CyberNigma said

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anything that require 25 or 40 people. Heroic, to me is a small party/group of heroes that defeats some great enemy. It is not 15, 20, 25, 40 people fighting something. the closest thing to a hero in a large group like that is the tank. even then he's merely playing the meatshield. Nobody else is really heroic.

I don't think there are a lot of MMOs that make you feel heroic. Epic questlines are a good way of doing so as they rarely require more than a party to finish. guild Wars was a good one for making you feel heroic. I suppose Age of Conan small party raids and WoW epic quest chains (Thorim comes to mind even though it fails to give a conclusion suitable for a hero). Saving the afflicted Paladin in Icecrown in wow is pretty awesome, though there's no real challenge to it.

Games like God of War make the player feel more heroic. That's just one genre, though. There are others that require less action that do the same - see any single player or multiplayer/non-mmo RPG.

Large raids seem to be the opposite of being a hero, at least in the traditional RPG, movie, book sense. They may be epic in scale, but they are the opposite of what a heroic ending has traditionally been. Being a hero doesn't require 39 other people to prop you up.

MMOs tend to leave out a lot of what made traditional RPGs good and only push what makes MMOs different (the raid and pvp aspects). Something has been lost in that translation.

Posted: Dec 27th 2010 8:31AM CyberNigma said

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@CyberNigma

sorry, I meant to add 'repetition' to that last list of items MMOs emphasize or traditional RPGs (ex: repeating dungeons and/or raids to gear up).

Phasing and Instances lead to more heroic encounters while at the same time removing something of what originally made MMOs unique (the shared persistent world). It's a tradeoff, I suppose. I'd rather my party be heroes, even if we're in our own little phase/instance when it happens. Single player RPGs can't really provide that.. In those offline games, it's the lonely hero as opposed to the small fellowship like in some MMOs/online rpgs.
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Posted: Dec 27th 2010 8:55AM j1083 said

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I feel least like a hero every time I log into WoW and see my character without an appearance tab.

http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/981899278

Posted: Dec 27th 2010 8:35PM Valdamar said

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Truth be told I usually feel the least heroic in MMORPGs when I've chosen to play a villain - which I usually do if it's an option – and then the last thing I want to feel is heroic ;)

But even when I do play heroes, pretty much every fantasy MMORPG I've ever played has singularly failed to make me feel heroic.

I could probably feel heroic if it took half a dozen of us to kill a dragon, but no it needs 25+ to kill a dragon (which feels more like a mugging, considering that you're there mainly for loot), but half a dozen of us can just about survive ganging up on a single orc or a scrawny goblin.

I might feel heroic if I was rescuing people or fighting off an invasion, but no I spend most of the time running short distance errands for "lazy" NPCs that could easily have done it themselves.

I might feel heroic if I could be proactive, but no I have to be at the beck and call of minor NPCs who just treat me like the hired help I am.

City of Heroes makes me feel heroic sometimes just because my single hero can face down 15+ henchmen and not just survive, but survive with panache - sure I can still run into challenging arch/villains/elite bosses, or certain factions that give me trouble, but on the whole there are far more opportunities to feel heroic whether I’m being challenged or not. Add more players and the spawns of enemies just get bigger, so it still feels epic and you’re still massively outnumbered and “against the odds”.

Also a "raid" like the Rikti Mothership one in CoH isn't 25+ players against a single dragon, it is 30-40 players vs hundreds of really tough Rikti who would be tough enough 1v1 – only by staying together and keeping each other buffed/healed can the players succeed – but while doing so you’re still fighting your own battles, maybe 1v1, or 3v1, or 1v2 – you're not all lined up behind a single-tank being spam-healed, with everyone else careful to draw aggro - everyone has their own fights - sometimes other players pitch in to help you, sometimes you pitch in to help them – everyone gets good rewards (Vanguard Merits mostly) so a good time is had by all, even when you wipe and everyone has to fly/run/jump/teleport back from the hospital.

The Mothership raid feels like those big crossover event fights in DC/Marvel comics, where every signature hero/villain has their own fights in separate panels, but you're all still pitching in together alongside each other in a joint effort. CoH can have big fights like that - Giant Monster fights are another good example (where players of any level can pitch in and still contribute) - without making the individual feel like just a cog in a machine like most fantasy MMORPG raids do. Ok, the Hamidon raid in CoH is more like a traditional “dragon raid” from WoW/EQ, but accordingly it’s far less popular in CoH than Mothership raids.

Posted: Dec 27th 2010 10:38PM Hurbster said

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Everytime I log onto my character and see what those undead bastards did to Southshore, yeah I feel like a real hero....

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