Posts archived in Darren Brent Blogosphere MMORPG Dungeon Crawl

And strangely enough everyone is talking about something that applies to what I do. Although I’m probably a bit late to the party, sorry for taking the time to get my thoughts in order.

Echoes of Nonsense – Circle Strafe the Moon by Ardua brings up something that really has me piqued. Of course it’s not that it’s said once, it’s that Tobold and a few others seem to be bent on repeating it. Actually now that I think about it, perhaps Sid67 at Serial Ganker said it first.

What they’ve said is this, “Brent [et all] don’t want to play an MMORPG“. I’d like to say something along the lines of ‘no offense but you’re wrong’, but instead every time I hear it I want to reach through the internet and slap someone. You see, none of us, Brent, Darren, Adam, I or any of those of our general opinion have any problem with MMOs, we don’t even have any problem with MMORPGs. What we have a problem with is MMO dungeon crawls.

There is absolutely nothing revolutionary about creating RPGs that aren’t dungeon crawls. Ever heard of the Storytelling Adventure System? Trollbabe? Call of Cthulu?

We’ve built a whole generation who only knows online multiplayer RPGs as being dungeon crawls. I tend to side with one of Jonathan Blow’s recent talks on how games are conflicted when it comes to MMOs. We’ve built every inch of the gameplay dynamics around one thing, killing foozles to collect xp and loot. Why on Earth SHOULD anyone pay any attention to quest text when we literally reward players for getting through them as fast as possible. There is almost no reward for taking the time to smell the roses as it were, and only the players innate ability to find their own reward in activities seems to propell them towards actually doing anything even remotely resembling role playing.

All of this doesn’t add up to make WoW or WAR or any of them bad games… but lets be perfectly honest, we’ve been dungeon crawling for almost 30 years now. Don’t some people have every right to be bored out of their freaking minds.

Rant out of the way, I’m going back to the work I started with the Multiverse engine tonight and tomorrow. Someone clued me in to a great way to implement airships for an idea I was toying around with, so that may be the project I work on while I’m still teamless. All of this discussion has convinced me of one thing though, this project will not have any combat. NONE! We have spent so long developing combat as we move through these dungeon crawls, even if I’m not working on something that will be particularly succesful, I do want to focus on the creation and implementation of the non-combat aspects for a change.

And maybe… I just miss the real magic.