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Opinions on Different MMORPG Mechanics

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I've been scrolling through this subreddit for a while and a lot of what I've seen is… disappointment. So many people are dissatisfied with the current games out in the market. There are so many different ways to approach a MMORPG and yet it feels like so many game developers and companies get it wrong.

As someone who has watched hundreds of hours of different MMORPGs (and honestly have just played a TON of Wow herself), I've seen a lot of different mechanics and systems used within each game that has gotten lots of love and/or hate. My love for MMORPGs came back when I started taking classes for game design in college this semester. I wanted to come to a dedicated subreddit to get the opinions of people who play the kind of games I hope to work on one day.

I'm just looking for any sorts of opinions and discussion at all. I provide short examples of my own experiences as well as raise questions for us all to think about. If you want to skip through, questions to spark your imagination are usually at the end of each paragraph. You're welcome to provide an answer to one, two, all, or none of these if you'd like, or even raise a question of your own. I'm looking for any sort of discussion!

Firstly,

Map Size — I've always loved the pure massive size of World of Warcraft's map. There are plenty of things to do in almost every single area. Each little bit of land, whether it holds the great Alliance Capital of Stormwind or the quiet yet mesmerizing Caverns of Time, has something to explore or discover. This begs the question: how big is too big? Does too big exist? Or would you prefer a smaller and compact map, like one big cybernetic city?

Questing — Everyone knows about the repetitive fetch quests: get this and bring it to this person. While those can be fun for quick and easy mindless XP grinds, they really aren't that engaging for someone looking for… more than that. Some people look for a storyline to get engaged; something to laugh at; something to tear up at; a morally questionable questline with consequences; or even just a simple heartfelt questline about a farmer and his lost cat. What has been your favorite questline you've ever done? What kinds of quests are you a sucker for? What sort of questline would you DIE to experience or run through in a MMORPG?

Lore — As someone who gets easily attached to characters and locations, seeing big purple trees get burned down in a war or my favorite NPC get betrayed really pulls on my heartstrings. How many people have played an MMORPG just because the story was good? WoW has an extensive and massive lorebook and tons of videos and websites dedicated to its history, as well as plenty of books dedicated fans can read through. Do you, as a player, get distracted by huge amounts of lore? Disheartened by all that you DON'T know, or excited to find a storybook about a random king who lived 3,000 years ago? I know it might be a dumb question, but is there such thing as too much lore? What's your favorite random bit of lore you know?

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Professions — I love, love, love things like tailoring, enchanting, gathering, leatherwork, etc… the thought of a system between characters that encourages an in-game player based economy that relies on players relying on each other's advanced skills in certain professions is very satisfying. I was never incredibly impressed with the way WoW did it: it felt hard to get into and slow moving. Maybe I never really understood it. Should professions be tied in directly to gameplay? Should it be a thing that you could potentially go 100 playthroughs and never touch? What game does it best? Should professions be an easy way to earn money and do off jobs, or a challenging and hard-to-grind mechanic within a game?

Player Impact on Story — Feeling like your choices actually mean something within the story can create an individual and unique experience for each player. How much of the world should be controlled by the players? In game economy and prices should be controlled entirely by the player, but could a player potentially take over an entire kingdom within an individual server, meaning that every server within a game is different? Could people go to war with each other? How much individual player impact is too much within an MMO?

Combat, Art Style, POV — Turn based combat is a huge turnoff for me. I can also appreciate a simple and cute, as well as a graphic and detailed art style. What is your preferred art style, type of combat, and POV to experience a game in? Do you prefer a wide view like Wow, or a 1st person view, like in ESO? What game does combat best for YOU/What style of combat is your favorite? Do you experiment with weird builds, or do you strictly min max and run all the best gear? PvP or PvE?

Role Play — I am not sure I've ever genuinely role played in an MMORPG. Am I missing out on something? Have you ever RPed in a game? Is there a game that encourages it and does it well?

Character Customization — How detailed do you wanna go? Are you a "let me just change the character's hair color" kind of person, or a "let me adjust my junk size and put a random scar on my left shoulder blade" kind of person?

Events — What in game carnival, celebration, or festival have you ever been genuinely excited for? Would you find cities with unique and different event calendars exciting and fun to attend, or annoying and repetitive?

Classes and Skill Trees — I honestly loved vanilla WoW's skill trees. A question was raised in my mind of the different kinds of customization paths one could go down. Do you prefer a vague initial starting point (like just picking Melee, Ranged, or Magic) and then having massive amounts of customization later? Or would you rather have 11 different classes to start with and then pick feats and go down smaller skill trees as you level?

And finally: what's your favorite MMORPGand which one have you put the most hours into (if they're different)?

These questions and bits of my opinion are formed out of my own curiosity and desire to learn about other people's experiences and opinions with MMORPGs. I know I've played a lot of Wow and it's where 80% of my experience with these kinds of games come from; but that's one of the reasons I'm branching out and looking for discussion and thoughts on many different kinds of games. <3

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