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Author Topic: Explain MMOs to someone who's never played one..  (Read 3080 times)
OkamiGeisha
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« on: September 15, 2010, 10:19:01 PM »

I'm interested in FFXIV specifically, but I've never played an MMO and don't understand how the multi-player concept works.  I'm used to console RPGs and playing/watching the story unfolding from start to finish.  Does that happen in MMOs?  Does everyone have the same story/experience?  What happens when a bunch of people are already playing and then a bunch more sign on as will happen in this game?  Will the PS3 people jump in when the PC people are already at a higher level?  How do you know if characters are NPCs or other players?  Can you play alone or do you have to find other players? 

I'm sure these questions sound lame to everyone here.. but as you can imagine I'm pretty clueless as to how they work.  ;)   
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Sagacious-T
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« Reply #1 on: September 15, 2010, 10:24:12 PM »

MMOs are all different. They focus usually on multiplayer content.

http://www.worldofwarcraft.com/burningcrusade/trial/


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Akanbe-
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« Reply #2 on: September 15, 2010, 10:50:27 PM »

Generally speaking:

Most of the story comes from quests.  Usually the story varies by zone or who is giving the quest to you (as the quest generally relates to the quest giver).  You pick can pick them up all over the place (towns, out in the fields, almost anywhere really).

Generally, people do not have the exact same story/experience, but it's possible.  It depends on where you go to quest (usually you have multiple options on where you want to quest at that level, but that varies game by game) and what quests you end up doing.  FF14 may be different, I'm not sure.

People signing on or signing off has no impact on your game.  The only time this could really have an impact is if you are grouping with said person and they get disconnected.  Then, there character just stands there and does nothing until they character gets booted from the game.

Yes, the PS3 people will jump in when the PC people are at a higher level because the PC version is being released much earlier.

You can tell if a character is a NPC or another player just by their movements usually.  Some games will list a guildname under the character's name which makes it even more obvious.

Some games you can play alone, but ultimately it defeats the purpose of a MMO.  World of Warcraft, for instance, can be played completely alone until you hit the max level.  After that you really need some sort of group to get anything substantial done.  In FF11, you could only solo for 15 or so levels before being needing to join a group.  FF14 has placed much more emphasis on being able to solo, but to what extent they did that I have no idea.  There's a lot of people here in the beta who may be able to answer that question.
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Archendrus
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« Reply #3 on: September 15, 2010, 11:49:07 PM »

You could think of it sorta like a console RPG, but there's a ton of other people runnin' around playing too =D  If XIV is going to be anything like XI, there'll be a central story for each different race.  Each quest you do will further the story a bit and everyone can do these quests at their own pace.  Usually the major plot quests will require you to group up with a few friends.  So in the game world, everyone has their own agenda, you might find some people doing the same quest as you and decide to group together, some people will be behind you in the story, others ahead, and some people will just be hanging out, or fishing or something lol.  XI was a big grinding game, so you'd get a group together, then go out and grind your ass off to be able to tackle the major story quests.  I'm not sure if they've cut back on the grinding aspect or not with XIV.
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Hathen
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« Reply #4 on: September 16, 2010, 04:20:06 AM »

For the story and gameplay aspect, MMOs have not evolved very much over the past several years, in my opinion. Not to say they have not grown at all, but they still follow the same basic frame (That may be changed when Star Wars: The Old Republic or Guild Wars 2 comes along since they're both trying some interesting new things with the formula).

When FFXI was created, the developers wanted to go for what the original Final Fantasy felt like.

In that sense, they succeeded.

Basically, an MMO is focused more on you building your character, gearing up with shiny new gear and fighting big boss monsters in a group (Or depending on which MMO, some solo).

One thing XI did that other MMOs did not do as much at the time was more cinematic storytelling through cutscenes and the like. XIV will very likely continue this tradition, so if it's a story (not necessarily a good one, but it's there) you're looking for, XIV will satisfy. While there is a linear story to be found, there are still some very big flaws with how an MMO works that prevent you from enjoying it.

1. A lot of the difficulty curve in story-based missions is based on the fact that they are designed with a certain level in mind. But since an MMO is a very large, open-ended kind of gameplay, most people just spend their time grinding to max level/a level where it become laughably easy before tackling the objectives. If you want to get the feeling that the developers "intended" for the arena, you're going to need to find some solid people to play with on a consistent basis.
2. For the same reason, it's hard to keep up with the story because not only do you need to be at a certain level to beat them (Thus creating a problem where if you beat one mission, you need to stop and grind up levels before you can beat the next one), but many times they require groups, which can take a long time to form. Of course, the latter is a big problem with XI. With XIV, it may not be such a big issue.

As for "how does multiplayer work?"...imagine you're playing any one of the single-player FFs, except you create a single character and can only control him. You can run around the map progressing in the story, leveling up and travelling as you desire, but there's all these other people running around on the same world map, who you can party up with and tackle objectives together.
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OkamiGeisha
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« Reply #5 on: September 17, 2010, 04:14:11 PM »

Thanks guys/gals.  It makes more sense now.  I'm still up in the air about FFXIV but certainly still open to giving it a try in March.  I imagine it's even harder to review an MMORPG than a single-player RPG.

Do you generally play with the same people or find new groups every time you sign on? 
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Akanbe-
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« Reply #6 on: September 17, 2010, 04:50:15 PM »

It depends on the circumstances and MMO it is.

If you're still leveling your character, regardless of what MMO it is, I think most people play with the same people.  It may be someone from your guild or someone you leveled with and thought was pretty cool.  In my experience, strangers only group up for something that they cannot defeat alone.  Once that job is finished, they leave group.
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« Reply #7 on: September 17, 2010, 11:15:16 PM »

If you've never had experience with an MMO your best bet would be to try one of the many free trials available. Just be aware that every MMO is different. While many gamers will throw around accusations that one game steals from another, it's no different than console games in that every concept is fair game to duplication. If your interest is in FFXIV, I've written an overview of the open beta on the website, so feel free to peruse it.

The main thing in an MMO is that you have to be social. While some games like WoW will allow you to solo to the level cap, most of your most rewarding experiences in every MMO requires cooperation. You don't necessarily have to go into a new MMO with a legion of friends to enjoy the experience but it certainly helps. Though, don't be discouraged if you're going in solo because guilds/linkshells are always recruiting and you'll have the opportunity to meet and play with some great people. I've made a few lifelong friends from my years MMOing. Your mileage may vary, but the social aspect is definitely the most rewarding aspect.
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Akanbe-
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« Reply #8 on: September 18, 2010, 03:05:53 PM »

you'll have the opportunity to meet and play with some great people.

You'll also have the opportunity to meet and play with some people that are so terrible at the game you wonder how they got to where they are in the game.

Like Tenchi said though, being social helps a ton.  There are a lot of people willing to help you with the ins and outs of the game, so being social and stumbling upon these people are a great help.  Finding a good linkshell/guild can go a long way to staying away from the really, really bad people that play (but you'll still run into them no matter what).
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« Reply #9 on: September 19, 2010, 12:59:31 AM »

you'll have the opportunity to meet and play with some great people.

You'll also have the opportunity to meet and play with some people that are so terrible at the game you wonder how they got to where they are in the game.

Like Tenchi said though, being social helps a ton.  There are a lot of people willing to help you with the ins and outs of the game, so being social and stumbling upon these people are a great help.  Finding a good linkshell/guild can go a long way to staying away from the really, really bad people that play (but you'll still run into them no matter what).
Tenchi is right about there being great people to meet and play with. But Akanbe is also right, the majority of people you will come across in MMOs are immature and just bad. I think this is a bigger problem in games with big populations, but that could be said about most games.
MMOs could be a great social experience, but they are also massive time sinks if you want to take it seriously.
Good luck on whatever you decide to do.
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MindCandy
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« Reply #10 on: October 01, 2010, 10:12:51 PM »

I don't mean to hijack a thread, but this is somewhat related and I don't feel it needs to be it's own topic. Of course the admins can disagree and fix that if they want, so whatever.

I can't seem to get into MMORPGs. Despite the fact that I would REALLY enjoy sharing an RPG experience.

Tried both XI and WOW. I'm not sure why but they just don't stick with me. In both cases, I played for 3 weeks or so, then was completely over the experience.

Traditionally, I'm an old school RPG player. Think classic FF and the like. Maybe it's the lack of turns based strategy? Maybe it's the fact that the tales told are loose or sketchy at best?  I don't know, but i'd LOVE. To find one that I could stick with.
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Archendrus
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« Reply #11 on: October 01, 2010, 10:41:58 PM »

I don't mean to hijack a thread, but this is somewhat related and I don't feel it needs to be it's own topic. Of course the admins can disagree and fix that if they want, so whatever.

I can't seem to get into MMORPGs. Despite the fact that I would REALLY enjoy sharing an RPG experience.

Tried both XI and WOW. I'm not sure why but they just don't stick with me. In both cases, I played for 3 weeks or so, then was completely over the experience.

Traditionally, I'm an old school RPG player. Think classic FF and the like. Maybe it's the lack of turns based strategy? Maybe it's the fact that the tales told are loose or sketchy at best?  I don't know, but i'd LOVE. To find one that I could stick with.

I look for similar old school-ness in my RPGs, and I think I've tried almost every MMO out there. They aren't really big on story : (  FFXI really had the most story I've seen in one.  As far as turn based combat, there a couple

Atlantica Online - It's a free to play game, with a cash shop.  The combat is actually pretty cool, you have a main character, but in battle you control a party that can get pretty big and it's all turn based.  That's where the fun stopped for me though, I've tried several times to get into this one and it just doesn't stick

Wonderland Online - Another free to play.  Turn based combat and old school 2D graphics.  It's just not very well done though, it feels cheap = \

To be honest, for me it's the social aspect that makes me want to play whatever MMO.  If I meet some cool people or some real life friends are playing, then I'll usually play that game for awhile.  If not, it's on to something else because MMO gameplay - friends = boooooooring lol
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OkamiGeisha
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« Reply #12 on: October 05, 2010, 12:51:45 PM »



Tried both XI and WOW. I'm not sure why but they just don't stick with me. In both cases, I played for 3 weeks or so, then was completely over the experience.



That's also good to know because of the expense and all.  I'm also more of a classic RPG fan. 
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Fei
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« Reply #13 on: October 07, 2010, 08:09:34 PM »

Tried both XI and WOW. I'm not sure why but they just don't stick with me. In both cases, I played for 3 weeks or so, then was completely over the experience.

Traditionally, I'm an old school RPG player. Think classic FF and the like. Maybe it's the lack of turns based strategy? Maybe it's the fact that the tales told are loose or sketchy at best?  I don't know, but i'd LOVE. To find one that I could stick with.

MMO's are very unguided, free-roaming experiences.  Final Fantasy is very guided, and very personal in comparison.  Generally.

I remember first thinking that an online RPG would be like FF6, except the NPC's were all Square employees providing live roleplay text... how naive I was (and still am).

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MindCandy
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« Reply #14 on: October 07, 2010, 10:41:21 PM »

That new Korean one looks interesting. TERA. No lock on, basicly looks like an action RPG. Hybrid.
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