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Reader Comments (36)

Posted: Jul 13th 2011 8:08AM GenericPerson said

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I enjoyed more of the SWG example above. I enjoyed making a name for myself and knowing that if I did well enough I would become peoples go-to for equipment or other goods. So for me, being 'Epic' means being part of a living breathing persistent world that revolve around the player, not around a static environment.

Posted: Jul 13th 2011 8:15AM (Unverified) said

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The one thing that makes me feel epic in games is blue glowy stuff. Blue glowy spells, blue glowy weapons, blue glowy mounts... to me, glowy and blue is ALWAYS epic, even if it's level 1! I just love blue glowy stuff!!

Posted: Jul 13th 2011 8:16AM Saintjude said

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I always felt really good in FFXI being able to save random lowbies from getting slaughtered while soloing. It was always a great feeling hopping off of a chocobo to throw a cure or two to keep some one alive.

Posted: Jul 13th 2011 8:18AM Matix said

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Pre-CU SWG I felt VERY epic in the PVP/PVE mixed battles: First, because the NPC vs. NPC fights actually made it feel like an actual WAR was going on; and second, because my involvement in killing other (Rebel) players and NPCs meant I was turning the tide in that epic struggle.

And since these were NPC deployments by players/the game and not just theme park scripted events, it felt WAAAY more real that the WOW Cataclysm quests that try to make you the hero in a psuedo-action movie.

Posted: Jul 13th 2011 8:52AM Magical Hug Machine said

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I disagree with the statement that feeling epic is equivalent to feeling big and important. To me, feeling epic means feeling like you are a small part of something grand. Pre-Wotlk WoW was pretty epic. Remember opening the gates of AQ? That was pretty freaking epic. Participating in the war effort, gathering up in the hundreads at the gates, not being "the chosen one" but just a member of the free races of Azeroth ready to die for your freedom. The Wrath hit and everyone was "the chosen one". It just kinda killed my epicness. You meet the Lich King at every turn and in the end you were supposed to be his secret weapon or some crap. Lulz.

This works fine in a single player game but in an MMO I prefer being a grunt, getting sweeped up in the massive unfolding events.

Posted: Jul 13th 2011 9:12AM Irem said

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@Magical Hug Machine
I agree with all of this. I feel like a lot of interesting story elements are sacrificed when the game goes out of its way to try to make me feel like my character was personally responsible for the outcome of the plot (for instance, it's difficult to create interesting, compelling lore characters when their hands always have to be tied at crucial moments so that the PC can pick up their slack).
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Posted: Jul 13th 2011 9:24AM Floop the Squirrel said

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@Magical Hug Machine

Perfectly put. I am tired of the "chosen one" scenario.

"only you can save us. and you. and that guy. and that chick over there. and oh.. that guy. But you're a hero. Really... You are our only hope. and that guy.. and..."

To paraphrase another massively article: Sometimes, I'd rather be Uncle Owen and not Luke Skywalker. (But.. you know.. without the horrible death)
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Posted: Jul 13th 2011 9:53AM Irem said

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@Tempes Magus
I think there's a happy medium between "chosen one" and "dirt on the bottom of the NPCs' shoes" (I still remember my S.O. ranting at the screen when we played FFXI: "How dare you tell me I'm not fit to enter the Chateau d'Oraguille in this?? MY ARTIFACT ARMOR COULD BUY YOUR ENTIRE FAMILY"). In RP nobody can be the "main character," so I tend to shoot for "awesome NPC" level--there's always that handful of quest givers or allied NPCs that get endless comments on wikis or info databases talking about how badass or charming or funny they are, and people go back and do their quests again and again because of that. They're not the main characters, and the world doesn't rest on their shoulders, but they're often even more popular than faction leaders (Saurfang or Nathanos Blightcaller from WoW, or the Serpent Generals from FFXI are examples that spring to mind). That, I think, is a good place for the PCs to be at. Still heroes and legendary figures, but not THE heroic, legendary figure.
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Posted: Jul 13th 2011 10:18AM Lombardus said

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@Magical Hug Machine

Agrred. To me thats the point of an mmo. Being a part of the world, not necessarily the focus.

I never really want to be the guy on the horse leading the charge. Like you, I'm cool with being soldier on foot ready to give his all for whatever reason is important to him.
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Posted: Jul 13th 2011 3:26PM Tizmah said

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@Magical Hug Machine Need more protagonist, less heroism.
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Posted: Jul 13th 2011 3:28PM Wild Colors said

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@Magical Hug Machine

I agree entirely! Being part of a grand event or undertaking with dozens or hundreds of other players is what makes virtual worlds feel real and epic to me. Opening the Gates of AQ is perhaps the best example in a mainstream game. (Oddly, EVE fleet engagements feel a bit too slow/distant/remote to me, but that's probably a personal failing on my part.)
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Posted: Jul 13th 2011 9:00AM Anshin said

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What's more epic than killing gods? Or emperor-slayers? Guild Wars has it all! And now in GW2, fighting against mountain-sized dragons, will be beyond epic.

WoW also has its moments. Who doesn't love beating Onyxia? And when Deathwing comes? Giant dragons ftw.

Posted: Jul 13th 2011 9:03AM Scarecrowe said

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City of Heroes -- prior to "Enhancement Diversification" (virtual ED which was pretty much equivalent to physical ED). We were obviously too powerful so Cryptic had to nerf. 3/4 of my guild dropped never to return to the game when it went live.

Posted: Jul 13th 2011 9:19AM hansh0tfirst said

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"Epic" to me is akin to scoring the winning touchdown or three-point basket in the final second of the forth quarter (I probably screwed up my sports analogies there, but hey I'm a nerd not a jock).

It's something that should happen routinely enough that it doesn't just feel like wild chance or dumb luck, but shouldn't happen so routinely that it feels like I could just faceroll my keyboard and garner the same results. Ideally there needs to be some element of strategy and/or hand-eye coordination in the mix (once again, so I don't feel like I'm just at the mercy of virtual dice rolls) and the risk of failure.

As for how that translates to MMO gameplay in general, well that's a bit harder to nail down. Sometimes it's a group effort… like beating that super-crazy-hard raid boss after a dozen full party wipes. Other times it might be more of a personal accomplishment, like discovering a great character build that really synergizes with my playstyle.

Imagine succeeding at a game of tug-of-war while walking a tightrope. That would make me feel pretty darn epic.

Posted: Jul 13th 2011 9:34AM Irem said

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Finding some way to differentiate myself makes me feel epic. It's easy to be faceless in an MMO, even if you're at the top of the raiding or PvP totem pole. I like to be the person who finished the impossible rep grind, tamed the unique pet, finished the obscure quest line, camped the rarest spawn, can craft the hardest-to-find item, ect. It may not make me more powerful or important (in fact, it usually ends up making me something of a woodland-dwelling shunner of civilization), but ferreting out the things that nobody else bothers to do makes me feel like my character is more part of the world than just an extension of me, the player.

Posted: Jul 13th 2011 9:44AM DarkWalker said

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Beating seemingly impossible odds, while having to actually work for it.

Unfortunately, I don't get this kind of feeling from raid content at all. In a raid, I feel like I'm ganging up on some hapless boss, and even wipes feel more like someone was stupid than like the boss is actually such a worthy opponent to require plenty of players.

I guess it's the fact that raid gameplay, for each individual player, needs to be quite easy, otherwise the raid wipe rate rapidly goes from challenging to frustrating.

(On the other hand, I wouldn't be able to stand raid content where each player's part was actually challenging enough for me to get that epic feeling. I can't take many wipes if I either feel like someone else is making me wipe, or, worse yet, if I feel like I failed the group - so, in a group setting, I can't stand many wipes at all.)

Posted: Jul 13th 2011 9:57AM MagnetHead said

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Questing for 5 hours to get my lvl 20 warrior armour in World of Warcraft. First blue item I had ever gotten at that point. Felt pretty epic at the time.

Posted: Jul 13th 2011 9:57AM Beau Hindman said

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Forget killing monsters or bosses -- after all, there is always someone else who has done it before me. What makes a game feel epic, truly epic, to me is travel. Large spaces, grand vistas, all that.

If it takes me 3 hours to get around in the game (if I choose to, of course) then that feels epic. I like the sense of travel.

Beau

Posted: Jul 13th 2011 10:05AM CaptKillsteal said

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Maxing my engineering and mining skills in WoW with my first character, or finally gathering the 5000 gold to unlock Artisan flying made me feel pretty epic.

Or maybe the first time I crafted Jeeves. Popping that out in a dungeon made me feel epic. every. time.

Then cataclysm launched and I no longer felt epic. Sad face.

Posted: Jul 13th 2011 10:19AM fallwind said

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@Tempes Magus I agree totally on the customization. What makes me feel epic is being able to have a cool, unique look from level 1. I don't want to have to wait 50, 70, 80 however many levels it takes to make end game just to get gear that doesn't look like rags or stuff I picked up at the second hand robe store.

I love games that separate stats from look. If I like the look of X set, but the stats of Y, I should be able to take the look I want!

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