Massively Multiplayer Role playing Games – Then and Now
Players began to interact through online role playing games in 1979, when Roy Trubshaw along with Richard Bartle developed the first text-based multi-user dungeon. These multi-user dungeons originated from the tabletop fantasy role-playing game Dungeons and Dragons and allowed multiple users to log on as characters and explorer a series of rooms and objects. Advancements in technology through the 1989’s, online role-playing games evolved from text-based MUDs to graphical and auditory worlds. In 1991, the first graphical MMORPG ‘Neverwinter Nights’ was released, followed by ‘The Shadow of Yserbius’ in 1992. They were followed by Ultima Online that was considered the first modern MMORPG and is credited with popularizing the genre. In 1999 we saw Ever Quest and Acheron’s Call; these three were considered the Big Three of the 90’s. These were the roots for the monstrous MMO titles to follow.
Modern MMORPGs are now at the forefront of graphic technology, providing rich, immersive worlds that can now support up to thousands of players at a time. But what makes MMORPGs offer a unique game experience that facilitates socialization and fosters the formation of close relationships and communities. For me personally, I have always loved playing games that are social over single player experiences game experience that facilitates socialization and fosters the formation of close relationships and communities. For me personally, I have always loved playing games that are multiplayer social experiences over solitary single player experiences. The fact that I can meet new people online when playing in this virtual world coupled with the friends I play with make this experience extremely enjoyable. I have been a part of one of the top 25 ranked guilds in the World of Warcraft where I met some gamers online that became really good friends in real life. However, social interaction is the differentiating factor between MMORPGs and conventional single player games.
Customers need to perceive cooperative game play as necessary
One of the key goals for a successful Massively Multiplayer Online Game has been the core idea of building community. But that should not discourage you to remove the single player opportunities in game. Internet games, even more than in the real world, are populated by introverts; and introverts desire activities that they can enjoy alone until they are ready to interact with others.
You may find the above statements contradictory; how does one balance a game’s challenges to support cooperative play while still maintaining a viable single-player environment? The answer is a simple one; rather than attempting to make every aspect of game play equally accessible to solo or cooperative play, create instead a variety of activities. Some of which are oriented toward playing alone, while others are oriented toward cooperative game play; together they serve toward a balanced social environment.
Take for instance World of Warcraft’s Questing system. As a player in the vast expanse of Azeroth, Outland and the alternate Universe of Draenor, players experience a wide array of things to do. There are a lot of daily quests offered to the players. Some of the quests are soloable while others require you to band together with multiple players marked as group quests. This is a nice blend of single vs social setting. At times people even group up to do the soloable quests just to increase the efficiency. This time however they have a choice to do so.
Another example would be the raiding system in WoW, which is the epitome of Player vs. Environment setting I have seen in any MMO; this is the best example of cooperative game play in an MMO setting. Now take a look at the garrison system implemented in the current patch of Warlords of Draenor, the player has his own instance where he plays the role of a commander in a garrison that acts as a base of operations for the Alliance or Horde in this new world. Both are extremities, but as a player who loves cooperative game play – there are times where even I need some time off the fast pace of raiding, this is when I turn to single player elements of the game. This is one of the major reasons why people just can’t keep off MMOs.