Wednesday, May 4, 2011 | 2Have you ever heard someone criticize officiating in professional sports? Some people even go so far as to reasonably suggest that officials could be easily replaced by basic technology! The human element in officiating is a fairly accurate metaphor for the bullshit that MMORPG developers have been feeding their users for nearly a decade now.
The human element in sports could be solved fairly easily, but the human element is the only thing that keeps people hooked on sports. If you didn't have anyone to blame for your team's performance, you'd be blaming the team and stop supporting them. If your opponant didn't have the purple Sabre of Horse-Hats, then it would only be your shitty skills responsible for you losing all the time.
Epics were the second worst thing to happen to MMORPGs.If you're not sure what I think is the worst thing to happen to MMORPGs, check out this article.
The contradiction of MMORPGs trying to cater to casual gamers while ensuring that if you spend a child-neglecting amount of time playing you will be rewarded with certain victory is one of the many reasons why this website needs to exist. In this very specific instance, it wasn't the developers who ruined MMORPGs, but instead it was the carebears who couldn't handle a game being actually balanced.
The idea that a person has to invest hundreds of hours in a game to remain competitive week to week is giggle-worthy.
The Real ProblemIf you're not a person who believes that PvP drives the game-play of a MMORPG, stop reading here. The problem with a equipment-centric MMORPG is that it simply doesn't work in a open PvP environment.
If you don't realize it by now, like all smart people, I believe that the whole point of a MMORPG is to have content generate itself with the erratic and random behavior of real players. PvP is the ultimate example of this. Creating an environment where the outcomes of PvP are pre-decided by how much time you spend doing things that don't require adaptation to a highly social environment, you're making a mockery of the whole premise.
The SolutionUltimately, there is no simple solution to fix the glaring issues that reside in a epic-centric mindset. The sad fact is that people now expect to have increasingly spikier and glowier shoulder pads every 2 hours of game-play, and the only way to make a 'good' game would be to completely eliminate this phenomenon from the game. This simply can't be done in any modern MMORPGs. Not only is this the case, but people are no longer even receptive to any alternative equipment systems where there is a deemphasizing of high-grade necessity.
Using Ultima Online as the standard (per usual) people didn't require top of the line equipment, and in some cases it was less desirable because it made you a walking target for PKs. A system like this, where you only get to keep what you can protect yourself is preferential to a system where you perpetually flaunt your Epic Codpiece of Destruction and Berries +8.
What does a gamer need a codpiece for anyway?