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R P G A M E R . C O M   - R O U N D T A B L E

Real-world Effects in MMORPGs
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Liv: Ok! Next topic!

Liv: What do you think of the real-world effects, such as the real-money trading, the companies dedicated to farming, and the social problems generally associated with constant MMORPG playing?

Neill: Not a problem whatsoever. Let me explain why:

Neill: If you spend time on something, you're spending money on it. They're the same thing.

Neill: If I can buy something for $20 and earn it working an hour at a real job, I've come out ahead of someone that spent 50 hours in-game trying to get it.

Curtis: I kind of agree. I think that rather than companies fighting it, they should endorse and centralize it.

Curtis: I think EQII has started something like this?

Rebecca: Personally, I am not as annoyed with someone selling their account on Ebay than some n00b bugging me.

Ross: Item and money duplication are bigger problems. These can cause problems with the in-game economy.

Rebecca: Curtis: Sony Online's done it.

Curtis: But I know other MMO's have it - money shops and whatever.

Ross: EQII has, but it's limited to specific servers.

Curtis: Yeah... I think that greatly helps deter it.

Curtis: It doesn't bother me though, I mean, companies have to hire more employees to monitor it, which raises my monthly cost, so I just assume forget it.

Curtis: Let them do it - I don't care how much money people have. Money is money.

Neill: Socially, I think RPGs have done a lot to make hardcore 20 hours-a-day games more sociable, not less.

Rebecca: I wonder, has anyone ever, personally, BOUGHT from a money shop? I get the weird feeling from seeing all these "Get 10 million Gil" ads that most of what they're advertising is a scam.

Derek: In some games, the camping done by farmers can really cause other players problems though.

Ross: Rebecca: I haven't. I'm not that desperate for money in an online game.

Liv: I don't really mind people having a lot of money, since it doesn't effect me in the game.

Liv: I just go about my own business, lol.

Neill: I spent money on items in Diablo II a few years back, but nothing since then. I just couldn't stand wasting all my time trying to find something instead of actually playing.

Neill: It was only around $25 though.

Curtis: Rebecca: I have.

Curtis: Well, I did game currency trading.

Curtis: I traded SWG credits into FFXI, then from FFXI into Guild Wars.

Curtis: They took a HUGE tax out - I felt hugely ripped off, but I couldn't complain. It was the ONLY company who did that, and I really liked the service overall.

Rebecca: So all in all, it was an okay experience?

Curtis: It was nice to just trade my money around to the different games.

Rebecca: Was this going through official channels?

Curtis: No, It was IGE I think.

Rebecca: Interesting.

Curtis: Yeah, I mean, who can resist that urge.

Curtis: I was picking up a new MMO, done with my old one... why not transfer the money over?

Curtis: Who cares how little I get, it's something I didn't have before, and I didn't have a use for the old credits anyway.

Neill: My experience was definitely a positive one - made the game a lot more interesting to play.

Neill: Exactly, which is probably why the rates sucked.

Liv: That would be pretty convenient.

Curtis: Oh yeah, exactly. The rates were horrible, but I couldn't shop around - it was the only company doing it.

Ross: I don't know... it almost seems like cheating to me.

Rebecca: Was this due to popularity?

Curtis: No, a monopoly.

Derek: I personally prefer working from the bottom up when starting new games and giving my items to my in-game friends that I leave behind.

Curtis: No way - that initial grind is so boring for me in most MMOs.

Liv: A lot of times, money isn't much of an issue to me since you have to be at a certain level to buy new equipment anyway, at least, in FFXI, and by then I usually have all the money I need.

Curtis: Except, back to my old PSO - I *loved* every bit of PSO from start to finish.

Derek: Liv: Exactly.

Rebecca: If you've done the initial grind before, you can remember your mistakes and tweak your new character.

Neill: Working up from the bottom is great, but when the only difference between you and the guy kicking your ass is that he's had more time to look for stuff than you, it gets really annoying.

Curtis: Yeah.

Neill: Which, again, is why I love Guild Wars.

Curtis: Eh, Guild Wars if blah in my opinion.

Curtis: I used to like it a lot - the missions were VERY unique.

Ross: I've never tried Guild Wars. I tend to avoid games that use a lot of instancing.

Curtis: Thats the thing, the fact that GW is instanced, allowing missions to be a LOT more in-depth than other MMOs.

Curtis: I remember one mission where you had to escape an entire monster army. And when I say "entire" I mean "entire." There were freaking 200+ monsters, it seemed like.

Ross: The D&D Online game uses a lot of instancing, too.

Curtis: UGH, don't get me started. What a backward trend - D&D Online.

Curtis: One city and a thrawl of dungeons... I mean, I think gamers - 99% of gamers at least - want to be able to explore the world and visit different, interesting locales.

Ross: Mmm, I'm one who hates big cities.

Liv: I always get lost in big cities! ^^

Curtis: Me too. Haha.

Ross: EQ2, for instance, has two big cities... that have something like 11 zones each.

Neill: I love big cities. I grew up in Seoul, so I guess that's why.

Liv: Ok, a little bit more, and then I think we're gonna call it quits.

Liv: So everyone say everything they wanna say. =D

Rebecca: I had the most fun in MapleStory flying from the mainland to Ossyria.

Derek: I like exploring worlds, though I like having fast means of transportation in large worlds.

Neill: Grinding is the bane of my existance!

Rebecca: I've been hearing rumors of a Harvest Moon Online.

Ross: Didn't Graal already try something like that?

Jordan: That WOULD be fun.

Curtis: If I had to pick out one Single Player game to transfer into the MMO arena, I would probably have to say the Zelda series. I think a Zelda MMO would be great fun.

Curtis: Of course, not everyone would play as Zelda. I just think a battle system like Zelda and dungeon puzzles like Zelda...

* Jordan would enjoy Zelda

Derek: They had an unofficial Zelda MMO a while back - Graal.

Curtis: Yeah, but that was horrid. I would like to see an MMO in the style of OoT.

Curtis: It could very easily be done I think.

Derek: Yeah.

Curtis: You could have instanced dungeons for puzzle dungeons and other non-instanced dungeons with no puzzles.

Derek: If they were smart, they'd make it.

Rebecca: How about Pokemon Online? Does it seem feasible?

Curtis: Ehhh, I don't know. I never was a huge fan of "Gotta Catch 'Em All."

Neill: I'd like to see an MMORPG set in the Silmarilion - in a world where songs can hold great power. I think the Entertainers idea from before would fit well there too.

Liv: Ok - any last comments summing up the whole Roundtable?

Curtis: YES - I have a question.

Curtis: Time periods. What is everyone's preferred time era for an MMO?

Curtis: Medieval? Sci-Fi? Prehistoric?

Derek: It doesn't matter to me so long as I can have some type of sword.

Ross: I prefer Medieval.

Curtis: I would like to see a Sci-Fi/Medieval mix. Final Fantasy series comes to mind.

Liv: I would prefer some kind of Medieval, probably, as long as there's cute fantasy characters.

Neill: Well, sword narrows it down a bit, unless you want to be super unrealistic about it...

Ross: I can play Sci-Fi, as long as it doesn't involve flying ships.

Rebecca: I'd like to see something more in the modern day, with a little bit of sci-fi mixed in.

Ross: YES, I MEAN YOU EVE ONLINE!

Ross: Sorry, I've had some friends thinking of picking up EVE. :P

Curtis: Oh, I just thought of something - Space Sim MMOs. Is there a market?

Derek: Neill: I don't mind beam swords or anything, just some kind of nice melee weapon.

Curtis: I was always intrigued by SWG:Jump to Lightspeed - it seemed like such a unique experience - being able to go on bombing runs and what-not...

* Ross hands a light saber to Derek

Neill: Beam swords are so fake though, unless you invent some kind of 'force' that allows you to negate projectile weapons.

Liv: OK! Everybody gets one more summarizing comment!

Rebecca: I'm really deprived...

Neill: Grinding is evil, buying items is not, and one day trading in MMORPGs will have hopefully evolved beyond shouting really loudly in cities.

Ross: I would say to go read my column, but I won't finish it until at least Friday.

Curtis: Well, my summarizing comment would have to be MAJOR combat overhaul to the MMO formula. I, personally, would like to see a Zelda battle system MMO, but I'm not picky.

Liv: Ok!

Liv: Annndddd...

Liv: we're done.

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