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Reader Comments (65)

Posted: May 17th 2011 11:54AM fallwind said

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@Jeromai "Any two factions versus each other."

agreed, the whole "red vs blue" thing is getting old.
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Posted: May 17th 2011 11:54AM FrostPaw said

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Flaming swords...or glowy weapons in general really.

When you run out of ideas in how to make a weapon look cool...stick a particle effect on it that'll make it look awesome!

+

Dual wielding, back stabbing, hide in plain sight rogues

+

The same set of magical elements....Fire & Ice

Posted: May 17th 2011 11:55AM Rialle said

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I am not tired of fantasy settings in particular, but am tired of a lot of shenanigans pulled by fantasy MMOs which basically amount to "lazy lore."

- "Anything goes" fantasy that seems to have no coherent rules or weak internal consistency in its lore.

- Clerics/Priests of different deities all having the same powers and abilities.

- A supposed fantasy game that has in-game holidays which surprisingly mimic the customs of our own, and take place at roughly the same times of the year.

- Over simplified politics, such as all members of the same race (especially non-human races) being citizens of the same nation.

- NPCs who are so trumped up in lore that they are more important than the players. This is not exclusive to a fantasy games, per say, but often more common in them.

- Over-reliance on the "fate of the world is at stake" plot device.

Posted: May 17th 2011 12:00PM Heraclea said

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McGuffin artifacts are probably the most annoying thing about stock fantasy IMO.

"Your sword ain't gonna kill that dragon, not good enough. You need the specific magic sword of Um-Aida-No. No, you can't just buy a new one. Our blacksmith is good, but this one was forged by blacksmiths who were also wizards from another dimension, and after they made it, they left, taking the knowledge of how it's done with them.

"No, you can't just order one. And no, I just can't give it to you.

"After the last time the dragon was slain, we decided that we weren't going to need the sword again, and the thing was just too damned dangerous to keep around. So we broke it into multiple pieces and gave them to monsters to keep in their lairs. So heroes who want to slay the dragon must show themselves worthy by cutting a path through those monsters.

"Yeah, I know, what were we thinking? It's almost as incomprehensible a decision as why the monsters wanted useless bits of sword that would attract parties of heroes."

You can see right through this threadbare plot into the programming: enable plot point A only after plot points X, Y, and Z are all set to True. That's one reason why it's unsatisfactory; the obvious arbitrariness is another.

Posted: May 17th 2011 12:04PM 111011 said

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Someone mentioned being in the story's 'Heydey'. I agree, why can't we be witnesses to the 'Fall'? Classes; why do we have those? Why can't we have open skill trees with good chunks of skill points and people choose they path they wish, as it is in real life. Do we all always have to be on the side of good? And in a game with opposing races, why are there never any storylines to heal the rift between the two? And why are magic users always 'glass cannons'? More imaginative weapons and schools of magic, but I do know how hard it is to come up with something fresh and innovative? And fantasy means they you can think up anything so why do we always have elves, dwarves and humans I have nothing against elves or dwarves, I do think we have brains for imagination, someone came up with the current fantasy staple why are we too lazy to come up with new ones? Some games are doing different things but seems most western games are guilty of this. And too many fantasy games, not enough really good sci-fi games. And too many people complaining about 'gold bikinis' while developers do need to have a larger variety of armor at each armor level, it just gets on my tits. Ya sound like little old ladies! >.<

Posted: May 17th 2011 12:15PM Utakata said

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Father and son centric story telling...

...jeez, if your having that much issues with your boy, don't you have a daughter to pass on the reins too?

Posted: May 17th 2011 12:50PM (Unverified) said

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I dislike that game developers feel the need to seperate the playerbase into two or more faction, and then saying, oh, you're this race, you have to be this faction ALWAYS. Personally I think its been overdone way to many times and I think its just an excuse to encourage PVP (another overused mechanic) instead of cooperation and socialization which is really what these games are about.

Posted: May 17th 2011 2:55PM Laurs said

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@(Unverified)

Yeah, why all this war, slaughter and the oh-so-brutal-and-should-have-never-been-in-the-game PvP? They should just make a game world that's a perfect Utopia, where nothing can go wrong, or does go wrong, there's no war, nothing bad. When you log on, you just bake cupcakes and talk with your friends about what flowers to plant in your garden next. When you feel the need for adventure you all gather into the pixie-garden for a spot of socialising over a warm cup of tea. War, what is it good for, absolutely nothing (HUH!).

/sarcasm off
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Posted: May 17th 2011 2:51PM Sente said

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Elves, dwarves and faes of course, but also high fantasy clichés in general.

But really I can agree with a lot of the comments here about factions, golden age, outfits, names, special items etc. Just too much of all of that.

Posted: May 18th 2011 12:35AM (Unverified) said

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All I was saying was simply that I think the mechanic is over used and overly restrictive. I'm fine with games that let you change sides (with a bit of work ofcourse) But to say you're either faction a or faction b and the two absolotely do not get along no matter what is plain stupid, especially when neither side is really evil, just have philosophical differences. Look at games like Everquest 1 UO, and even Eve Online. None of these games have any sort of permanant faction restriction, and were/are extremely sucessful. Dividing the playerbase by permanent factions is taking the lazy way out, instead of building an instresting and shifting politial system/faction system, and telling a interesting story in the process.
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Posted: May 17th 2011 3:56PM Saerain said

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The ‘we deviate from stock fantasy tropes!’ trope is obnoxious to me. Elves are better than eight foo tall pirate bear ninjas with tentacles for limbs and plums for eyes in the name of being ‘creative.’ Just do elves, orcs, and dragons WELL once in a while and people will realize they're just tired of them being done poorly.

Posted: May 17th 2011 4:06PM Raithnor said

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The big reason I don't play Fantasy MMOs is because I'm not big on the stock "Medieval British/Europe" setting they all default to. For me, D&D only really gets interesting at the end levels where you're plane hopping.

I tended to go for the Oriental Adventures, Steampunk universes if I couldn't do Sci-fi/Science Fantasy. The only Fantasy-style MMO that has really caught my interest is Guild Wars 2.

Posted: May 17th 2011 4:57PM chuckasucka said

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I pretty much agree with everything that has been said here, but I'll add this one. I don't understand why all playable races have to be participating in the same kinds of society. Humans and elves have lofty, pretty cities, and orcs and goblins have dingy, dirty, dark cities, but they essentially have the same cultures. They have central cities, have people who rule them from those cities, and their societies are really similar.

I would love to see more playable races that were tribal, nomadic, broken up into lesser states still divided from a civil war maybe. Or something else less expected.

I know that if you don't have a capital city you can't have an auction house, and it all goes out the window from there, but still :p

Posted: May 18th 2011 1:41AM Addfwyn said

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@chuckasucka Don`t some games have this with their "races"? Like in Rift, there are two races that are humans, but basically split socially.
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Posted: May 18th 2011 9:09AM chuckasucka said

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@Addfwyn Ya I guess I would just like to see some different types of societies. Nomadic, tribal, etc.
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Posted: May 17th 2011 11:23PM Haldurson said

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There's a lot of fantasy tropes that bother me, which is why I (usually) stick with science fiction. I will list a few.

The fantasy trope that has bothered me the most and forever, even way back during the time of D&D v1.0 are alignments. I always though that saying that a person's driving motivation is to be 'evil' or 'good' is a cheat, and is not believable, nor is it conducive to interesting storytelling. It's not very believable for someone to simply want to destroy the world, if, in fact, that person actually LIVES in that world. Someone being a sociopath, while being more believable, also isn't very interesting either. Villains who feel, who think, and who act more like someone you can relate to, are always more interesting.

In a similar vein, there's an undercurrent of racism in much of fantasy: often whole races are described as being evil or good. Orcs, dark elves, ogres, etc. are always 'evil', as if they were born evil because of their race. There is similar 'racism' in popular science fiction (Klingons are all warriors, but where's the klingon farmers, scientists, ditch diggers, garbage men, etc. -- it makes no sense)

Finally, most fantasy do not have rules for how their universe works, making the answer to any question about how something works be 'it's magic'. That's a cheat. Even if players don't know what those rules are, there have to be internally-consistent rules at least known to the inventor of that universe. They don't have to be real-world rules, but there needs to be rules just the same. If I'm going to suspend my disbelief, you can't have things happening just because anything can happen. It has to be believable within the context of the particular fantasy universe.

Posted: May 18th 2011 3:17AM BLEH is my middle name said

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@Haldurson
I agree with the whole alignment thing. Most people in life, based on D&D alignments, are Lawful Good, Lawful Neutral, or Neutral. Then, from there as you go down the alignments there are less and less people who fit them: Neutral (coma patients and Sherpas), Neutral Evil (really mean hobos and rapists), Lawful Evil (politicians and CEOs), and Chaotic Evil (OJ and that lady who killed her daughter). I wish more games reflected this.
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Posted: May 23rd 2011 4:38PM mysecretid said

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@Haldurson

You're absolutely entitled to your opinions, of course. It's worth remembering, though, that the alignments in tabletop D&D serve a game purpose.

They give the person running the game a shorthand method of knowing what sort of in-game behavior to expect from a player. This is very helpful when planning an adventure meant to entertain everyone who's participating.

Now, what purpose do alignments serve in an MMORPG? That's indeed a very good question.
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Posted: May 18th 2011 1:23AM Zyrusticae said

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Big, buxom babes as the only female character type.

Oh, wait, that's not a fantasy trope... :(

Posted: May 18th 2011 1:38AM Addfwyn said

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Unoriginal backstories. You can have elves, dwarves, gnomes, whatever you want, but make them interesting. Dwarves and elves in WoW have pretty detailed backstories, it was what kept me in wow for so long, cause I enjoyed reading the lore and the past.

Then you have say...Dragon Age, which I found extremely boring, because the entire thing could have been ripped out of any Tolkien book. Not that I dislike Tolkien, I love it, but it`s been done before (over and over).

So use the same races, settings, creatures. But have unique story for them, make them feel like part of a new and unique world. They can be new creatures (Elyos/Asmodian in Aion) and be interesting, but they don`t have to be.

Oh, and a purely unrelated gripe, but can western MMO creators stop pumping all their characters full of steroids and hormones, I don`t want my character to look like a bodybuilder. I admit, I am partial to asian character design, but I`d settle for something in the middle.

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