Some people already know exactly what they find so appealing about MMORPGs. Short for massive multiplayer online role-playing games, this acronym contains most of what people need to know to understand the trend. These games offer the opportunity to explore new, often more powerful, roles in an online setting with other real people.
The MMORPG genre is also one of the most diverse in the gaming world, which means players can always find something new to try. Even within the most popular games, players who are able to get ahead can find popularity and success as well as other new ways to play. Of course, for those who want shortcuts, there’s also game boosting services. Check out https://kboosting.com/ for more on that subject.
One of the great things about MMORPGs is that the fun of playing doesn’t come from just getting ahead and winning, as in many types of online games. Good MMORPGs have a lot of excitement to offer along the way too.
Themes and Lore
Most games tell a story on some level, but modern-day MMORPGs go above and beyond when it comes to storytelling. They incorporate entire worlds with both internally consistent themes and overarching lore. Of course, World of Warcraft (WoW) is one of the best-known examples of this. The hugely popular game has established an entire online universe complete with its own lore and traditions, which is part of what makes the gaming experience so immersive.
WoW’s original designers were also smart about how they constructed their online universe. As anyone who has even heard of the game likely already knows, it contains a universe replete with fantasy creatures and recognizable themes. The result is an engaging game that also feels approachable to its target audience, even those that have never played WoW or MMORPGs.
The Old Republic is another excellent example of this technique for world-building. The game is based in the Star Wars universe, which means it came factory-made with a huge fan base. Many people across the globe were already heavily invested in the Star Wars series before the game came out thanks to its well-developed characters and internal lore in addition to the series’ attention-grabbing plot twists.
Given the overlap between Star Wars and gaming cultures, developing an MMORPG that takes place in the same world was a surefire way to catch consumers’ attention and get them excited to play. The proverbial birth of Darth Vader in the series was the icing on the cake, as his inclusion in the game allowed players to experience multiple perspectives and essentially play for both teams. Creating an opportunity to engage with the Star Wars universe’s most substantial stories and lore in this way is what made The Old Republic really stand out.
Active Psychological Engagement
Storytelling isn’t the only thing that successful MMORPGs get right. These games also require substantial player buy-in, in both literal and figurative ways, which means they must compel substantial, active psychological engagement. In most cases, this goal is accomplished using what are known as microtransactions.
Some people assume that the switch from profiting primarily off of hard copies of games to charging small amounts of money for in-game goods and services only benefits the gaming industry. In fact, it’s also designed to grab players’ attention and appeal to the modern consumer’s lust for growth.
If the developers get this detail right, their games appeal to both younger players that enjoy the slow progression of gameplay and adults that already have the expendable cash to simply buy power-ups and items instead of grinding for hours.
Multiple Modes of Play
MMORPGs generally allow gamers to play either against each other or against the game itself. The ability to choose between two different forms of play helps to keep things exciting for a wider number of people, but only if game developers get the details right.
Player-vs-player (PVP) game design requires careful consideration of what options are offered in the course of gameplay. Entertaining PVP MMORPGs aren’t created by offering an ever-increasing number of choices. Rather, they offer properly balanced options that allow players to cater to their strengths and weaknesses without detracting from gameplay or the storyline.
Each choice made in a PVP MMORPG affects not just other decisions and options but also how a player’s character develops, which is very important in this type of game. As a result, an entertaining and well-designed MMORPG balances choice and consistency as a means of offering greater character definition.
In player-vs-environment (PVE) gameplay, the elements of entertainment are somewhat different. Players are generally presented with a scenario that involves working together to solve problems or overcome obstacles, giving them the chance to collaborate instead of competing with each other. As a general rule, successful PVE MMORPGs rely on complexity to create obstacles that require both teamwork and individual skill.
Inherent complexity isn’t enough to create a truly entertaining PVE MMORPG, though. Games that rely exclusively on this component often wind up dividing the player base, as some people will get frustrated.
Creating a diversity of obstacles that require different sets of in-game and real-world skills to resolve is a good way to maintain engagement without alienating players, so it’s common to see PVE MMORPGs with many different skills, challenges, and ways to experiment.
Heavy Focus on Team Play
Every game will eventually be beaten, and while MMORPGs are typically large in scale and take longer to complete than standard single-player games, they’re no exception.
To draw out gameplay and make sure players get their money’s worth in the form of ongoing entertainment, MMORPGs usually include a heavy focus on team play, requiring gamers to find ways to cooperate and work together effectively to progress in the game.
Focusing on team play also offers the opportunity for adding complexity without alienating players. While it’s true that just about every popular MMORPG has its clans of heavily invested and highly skilled players determined to beat others to the finish line, most groups of players consist of people with varying skills and skill levels.
Steep learning curves mean it takes longer to gain true mastery of any skill in the game, but working with others means that less-skilled players can still progress as they learn so that they don’t get bored.
Keeping new MMORPGs exciting for avid gamers is more of a challenge than appealing to the general masses. Games that do so successfully incorporate challenging gameplay mechanics at the higher levels to make sure that people who enjoy improving their skill and dexterity have opportunities to do so. This aspect of games doesn’t matter to everyone, but there are enough avid gamers out there that need extra challenges to stay interested, the best MMORPGs incorporate complex skill learning to meet their expectations.
What About the Role-Playing?
Role-playing is an integral part of MMORPGs. In fact, it’s right there in the name. The aspect of exploring different roles and personalities is a major part of what keeps people engaged and entertained, but it’s a little-discussed factor because of some negative associations that have popped up over the years in popular culture.
While those who are strictly into the role-playing aspect of gaming tend to prefer tabletop games because of the welcoming and accepting culture around those experiences, there’s still plenty of entertainment value to be found in computer games.
What most people don’t realize is that even the elitist gamers who claim not to be into role-playing tend to forget all about their criticisms when they encounter an MMORPG with a good storyline. Games with established lore tend to appeal more to role players than do alternatives that have strict story progressions, but any MMORPG can offer the tools and environments required to keep these players entertained.
Most MMORPGs appeal to role players by incorporating these elements essentially as metagames. Attempting to incorporate role-playing fully into the thematic design tends to limit possibilities and make games less appealing and entertaining to players who enjoy this aspect of gaming.
Games that successfully appeal to avid role players without alienating other online communities often do so by incorporating extra cosmetic tools such as skins and costumes that keep people immersed and engaged and typically find ways to reward engaging in these aspects of play.
Social Aspects of MMORPGs
For many people, the most entertaining aspect of MMORPGs isn’t gameplay or the story but social engagement. All MMOs are designed to bring gamers together, and online RPGs are no exception.
Plenty of games succeed more because they are effective at helping players adapt to the online social environment that has been created than because they offer anything particularly unique or new in terms of gameplay mechanics, aesthetics, or world-building. There’s nothing wrong with enjoying a relatively simple MMORPG simply because it offers a good outlet for social interaction even without getting all of the factors described above right.
Find a Better Gaming Experience
There’s no one reason to love MMORPGs any more than there is one game that will appeal to everyone. Gamers need to keep trying new things to figure out exactly what they are looking for.