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MMORPG experiences?

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I wondered whether there are Tao Bums who do or once did play massive multiplayer online games and gained insights from it, in which case I'd like to learn about them. I think it's an interesting way to do social studies, like I did as more or less a side effect some time ago.

 

My conclusion is that they are a miniature version of society, which appeared pretty futile to me, that people would try to find a counterweight to their stressful daily life by doing exactly the same online.

 

My experience with World of Warcraft was that even the people with a big heart, who enjoyed helping and just socializing and having nice people to talk to could not resist the mighty dictum of the game rules to advance, to collect better stuff. Sooner or later they all became slaves to this system. The sad thing is that you can really see all the creativity, humor and good spirit of the game designers, but all this is covered by a coating of corporate greed with all its ugliness. The fancy world could not make that invisible, but I think many people didn't realize this aspect because they behaved in the same way with their powerful ambitions.

 

It was especially frustrating to learn that a guild with a nice atmosphere did mean nothing more than that they all got along well because they were all strivers. Imagine you expect the guild leader to have a minimum of leadership quality (then learning that you got more), you are helped by the guild, try to catch up to be more 'useful', and when you try to help in thankful return for that, you are hit by a wave of until-then-hidden resentment and kicked out because of 'bad performance due to inferior equipment'.

 

And it's supposed to be a GAME!

I think one problem is that many people don't play it as a counterweight to their regular jobs, but they fail at work and try to compensate this by succeeding in the game. So in a way those games appear to me as making the decision to deal with your real problems less desirable, to lure you away from that. And I don't think that's a totally conscious thing of the companies running the games, but just part of the automatism of our social system. It's just a product of society ... like internet forums by the way. I left one some time ago because it reminded me too much of a fascist, totalitarian state.

 

I am so happy to be here at the Tao Bums, a forum that so much sticks to the principle of the Tao! :)

 

 

As a sidenote: Also interesting in a sociological way was how people were incited against each other by Funcom and "Age of Conan". They delayed the activation of trial accounts included in the game packages for months, because they lagged behind with their server capacity and wanted to provide a smooth service for paying customers (who were technically paying for the trial accesses, too, and were expecting to be able to play with their friends.) Funcom managed to cause a division of the people into two factions blaming and flaming each other, and because they were all so hyped and addicted to the game even before it came out, almost nobody blamed 'Fun-con' for their infamous business strategy.

--> Another example of self-imposed enslavement by dependencies.

Edited by Hardyg

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I tried some of them briefly but not WoW and I left it all because I learned that uncontrolled desire is the cause of all suffering whether it is in real life or computerized fantasy games. The drive for gaining levels and status just increased the intellectual addiction and distracted me from all the important things in life.

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I tried some of them briefly but not WoW and I left it all because I learned that uncontrolled desire is the cause of all suffering whether it is in real life or computerized fantasy games. The drive for gaining levels and status just increased the intellectual addiction and distracted me from all the important things in life.

 

:blink: Complete ditto here....

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It's not all bad, I haven't played one in years but I was recently doing research to see if I wanted to play one. While there is a lot of suffering and anger in the games, the is also something... interesting there.

 

First off some games just look beautiful, you can tell years of patience and craft were put into the trees and waterfalls, the sunscapes, the shadow works.

 

Then there are the non fighter classes of the games, one of the games I was looking at was Lineage 2, and the idea that dwarfs are crafters, creating items to help their guild and fellow players, and that there are suport characters and healers who can't fight too well but are needed for a groups success.

 

There are also rather interesting actions of politics, and logic at play with guild groups, you can almost see aspects of the Tao Te Ching in action when you observe the democracy of large guilds being humbled by smaller guilds so that they can protect their new members.

 

The main thing you need to know though if you are to play mmorpgs, is that, even if there is an endgame boss and such, the game play is determined by the player, if you wish to view the tao in a game then be the tao in the game.

 

I found this article on the zen of Lineage 2 when I was researching games and while I know very few people play the way this article suggest it did give a few things to consider when playing.

 

http://l2.allakhazam.com/db/guides.html?guide=243

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Yes, the zen approach is nice, and the problem with games like WoW is that they try to take the fun out of it. Opportunities for creative ideas are treated like disturbances and are 'fixed' in the next patch. The lack of individualization is one thing, but a lot more frustrating is the mentioned basic principle that forces people into standard patterns.

One time I wanted to skill my mage extremely towards warrior, making a kind of fighter monk out of it. It was nearly pointless, and became totally pointless shortly after when they removed items with random and 'unwanted' attributes like a robe with strength.

Blizzard followed its tradition. WoW is no more a role playing game than Diablo.

Lord of the Rings Online is different, and you notice that by the attitude of the players. It draws a wholly different bunch of people. A very cool feature there is that you can play musical instruments there with your keyboard, and it is so easy that I could put my musical creativity to good use, although I can't play an instrument.

 

I have many ideas about a super-cool MMORPG that encourages phantasy and creativity, but my experience tells me this will never be ... at least not without me pushing it. ;)

Ryzom ring appeared unrefined to me, but I liked the idea that you have no classes and you can wear whatever armor you like and its weight will have an effect on your abilities.

Another feature that I would implement is a natural and real-life-based skill system where you learn things and become better at them by doing them and losing skill after a while of not doing it. This would even eliminate (fixed) levels. Maybe just a total-hours-played info would be sufficient.

 

I have this theory that every aspect of an MMORPG that differs from total realism is not to make it 'more playable', but to serve the business purpose, to attract the masses of un-creative people.

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i used to play Everquest pretty obsessively years back, where I did lots of raids with my gnome rogue and had some really exciting moments killing dragons and giants with big groups

 

and then moved on to Dark Age of Camelot and got my PvP fix, well it was more RvR, Blizzard basically copied that from Camelot. same concept, but more fun because there are battle grounds and you can control/siege castles for added bonuses to your realm. much better than turning hunting grounds into battle grounds where high levels can easily kill low levels (the reason why i left Warcraft)

 

I can easily see myself getting addicted again if I ever played one of the newer ones. These games are designed to be addicting.. .but hell lord of the rings online does look pretty sweet, i always loved the movies.. maybe i can try it this summer.. just a taste...of my precious...

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From what my brother told me, in LOTRO you can actually call the gamemasters "really cool guys".

And the healers (bards) are relatively easy to play in my opinion.

 

Personally ... the terminal experience that made me quit WoW also terminated my passion for all of them. Totally died off. As long as the real world is far from being nice, I can't waste that much time for a game. The last game I played was Far Cry 2, and I did it with a trainer program, because I was only interested in the storyline ... which is pretty good ... based on Heart of Darkness. Nice to see educating stories in games and movies (Quantum of Solace).

Edited by Hardyg

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I've never played an online game like that (probably won't ever), but a friend's kid told me about how she played "2nd Life" quite a lot. She was really into it, met various people from all over the world and had interesting conversations... but also to me it was so disconnected from real life that it kinda freaked me out. But, hey, I'm here on this board an awful lot. :rolleyes: Everything is getting so so far removed from (what I see the ideal as) an organic farming community.

"Gotta get back to the land,

and set my soul free.

We are star dust,

we are golden... "

Edited by Trunk

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.. maybe i can try it this summer.. just a taste...of my precious...

 

I wish there is a FU for game addiction, I would definitely try it if need be.

 

Everything is getting so so far removed from (what I see the ideal as) an organic farming community.

"Gotta get back to the land,

and set my soul free.

We are star dust,

we are golden... "

 

I totally agree. :)

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If someone is addicted to games like LOTRO, it actually might be not that bad, because there you reach people, too, and it gives you the opportunity to reach nice people and to spread love and such. :D The means are really not so important. And when you see how LOTRO is maintained, this automatically tells a lot about with what kind of spirit Codemasters is run.

 

If I developed incredible power of spreading positivity, I might even consider resuming WoW and shed light on the 6 million shadowed beings there. :) But it's a Far Cry from that ... eh I mean such an enterprise belongs to the realm of phantasy ( no pun intended ... really! :huh: ), and after all... those people could also be reached in real-life somehow. Guess it's just my sentimentality ... or wanting to end things well, not by Crysis ... oops I mean crisis.

Edited by Hardyg

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Yeah, I played WoW for a while and observed some of the same things.

 

Eventually, I got tired of the game because it really does become all about advancement and pursuit of status, whether you want it to or not. And if you try to resist that, there isn't much to do in the game, because you can't get into the endgame content the "strivers" are doing.

 

Like our society in general, the game is set up to cater almost exclusively to the "strivers" and everybody else can either become a striver or just quit. I chose the latter option - much as I did in real life.

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Yeah. WoW. An illusory reality within an illusory reality. Probably not the best thing for anyone wishing to dispel illusion and "take the red pill." But if you are not really looking to dispel illusion then it is probably no more harmful than anything else. At least you are thinking and communicating in WoW as opposed to the mindless drooling induced by network tv.

I have a friend who is quadriplegic and 95% bedridden (due to pressure sores). If he didn't have WoW he would rarely socialize. In his case it is medicine. So like everything, the context and intent are what matters.

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I relapsed ><

 

must..stop.

 

i decided to try the EQ2 14 day trial...by the 3rd day I subscribed lol. I got to level 42 in 10 days. and today I just think I've had enough. I get addicted so easily.. because there is this purpose, this goal. the excitement of getting there. wow.. level 80. that will be so cool, such a childish thing, I remember thinking the same thoughts when I was 14 and got Everquest 1. so its the same thought pattern... I tried it just for fun and ended up being addicted again because I have a lot of free time and basically let myself get sucked into the fantasy of temporary pleasure/excitement.

 

now i'm thinking.. well, what happens when i'm the highest level? well then theres more to do.. you get Achivement points which unlock certain skills.. and theres always more equipment! so theres always goals. you knock off one goal, and then theres more. and then theres always expansions coming out every 6 months.. so thats what they do. they give you these goals and you scamper off, pretending that this goal will somehow bring you happiness. the race to get to that goal is obsessive and compulsive. they dangle a carrot infront of your face... its like a grand social experiment. putting mice in those labyrinths with cheese at the end, except the labyrinth is very pretty and decorated, and the cheese is complex. once you get the cheese, to the end, you see that theres more to go!

 

what keeps sucking me back in is my addiction to entertainment..so samsaric... hahaha

Edited by mikaelz

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I did not know EQ2 had Achivement points, Most MMORPG has them now days it seams it gives playrs some thing to do i gues and ceap them coming back for more.

 

I played Warhammer online resently but i quit when i got to lvl cap I did not see any point whit playing any more just to get bether stuff, thow i liked the pvp part of the game and enyoyed the game all the way, not like WOW whare the last part whas just a chore geting the last lvl's.

 

The biggest factor for me and I think it goes for most ppl are the once you play whit if you get in a guild that has alot of ppl and are nice and heping you will ceap on playing just for the social comfort you get from being part of a groop. I also think that alot of ppl get to learn what can be done if they work together I hope they can bring that to there life, being nice and helping and you get help when you nead it.

 

In the Star wars MMORPG game there is the entertainer class whare you lvl bye plaing music and giving buffs to other players, the music is patererns that you string togeter, its a odd class nothing like any other in any game.

The LOTRO did take the music playing part and made it so mutch more actuly plaing the instrument thats realy something.

 

All kind of games and sertenly MMO games are an escape from the ordenery life and its problem, but when it becomes an adiction and takes over one life thats when its a serious problem, thow i sure enjoy playign games and I can get a bit obsesed about that I have always seen it as a fun thing and quit when it becomes more of a problem then a fun thing.

 

I think that if you have the midset to learn about human behavour while playing you can learn alot, but i also hope ppl playing it for fun leans about working togheter and that will some how make our world a abit bether.

 

Tung.

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Yeah, I played WoW for a while and observed some of the same things.

 

Eventually, I got tired of the game because it really does become all about advancement and pursuit of status, whether you want it to or not. And if you try to resist that, there isn't much to do in the game, because you can't get into the endgame content the "strivers" are doing.

 

Like our society in general, the game is set up to cater almost exclusively to the "strivers" and everybody else can either become a striver or just quit. I chose the latter option - much as I did in real life.

Wow, what a profound post..... but society doesnt cater to the "strivers". Strivers achieve great things because they "strive" for them. Its Pereto's Law, 20% of the people do or achieve 80% of the results. That goes for sales as much as anything in life and I bet it goes for things such as Taoist Alchemy too. (Obviously, I am a Striver.)

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In the Star wars MMORPG game there is the entertainer class whare you lvl bye plaing music and giving buffs to other players, the music is patererns that you string togeter, its a odd class nothing like any other in any game.

The LOTRO did take the music playing part and made it so mutch more actuly plaing the instrument thats realy something.

That entertainer class sounds fascinating. These are details of creativity. There should be a lot more. I remember a time where not single ideas, but a whole game in itself was considered revolutionary and super-creative.

I think it's always the marketing department that acts like a dampener on the developers' creativity. If this was allowed to flow freely into a project, I think it would have a very positive effect on the world.

 

In LOTRO I really like the music idea and during my trial phase with the game I played a bard and was able to play a nice duet with someone. It sounded great and I don't know how to play an instrument. I just used seven keys and manifested a great melody that was in my mind. And another great detail: The bard heals by playing short sequences, and it actually uses the instrument you carry at that time, so when you carry a flute, you hear a flute playing when the bard heals. So the healer can alter this according to his mood or the setting/style of the action.

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I play Atlantica Online. Char Nic is Koriko. It's taken me a little over 4 months to get to level 52. As much as I love video games I don't find them addicting so much anymore. There are so many other fun things to do too. Plus I really like doing all the KAP exercises and meditation. Well...meditation is a bit more frustrating than fun but only because I suck at it. :P

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Yes striving could be very good indeed.

 

However, I would like to say that I was a monk in Guildwars, which

opened me up to the magic life of a monk! It was magic this game.

I really couldn't understand how we made our 'real' lives so boring.

So basically I learned spirituality from that game.. Besides I really

loved to "heal" other people online, I learned what it's like to give to people.

I liked the interaction with other people there too. The only problem was

that the end sucked. I like the end of real life. " merge with the God " forever. : )

Altough I do still not know if this is the real end?!

 

Love keeps me going though..

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So basically I learned spirituality from that game..

It is an example of what's said so often: Don't judge things. Everything can be a teacher to us. We all walk different paths, but on our paths, we attract and learn from the things that suit our case. When our attitude is to learn and evolve, the "how" is not so important.

I, for example, found to spirituality through intellectuality (fueled by curiosity).

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I've dabbled in a few mmo's, starting back with EQ, recently with WoW. At first I couldn't handle the downtime in eq - casters had to stare at the spellbook while meditating to regain mana, it was slooow. There were other annoyances, which all added up and made me quit twice after < month of playing.

 

Then I tried again and just went with it. I let all my dislikes go and found I really enjoyed the game. I played for about three months non-stop, had a stellar time... then couldn't handle what I was doing to my life and quit.

 

For WoW I did a similar thing, for a couple months twice, knowing I would reach a point where I couldn't continue. I suppose it taught me being picky doesn't help to enjoy things.

 

The social aspect of it does bug me. Level striving mixed with grouping leads to playing 5+ hours every day. Usually you level faster in a productive group, and have more fun, but if you don't keep up with everyone else they'll leave you behind. Add that to what Hardyg said about having good items and you end up with a fairly superficial social environment. And one that leaves no time for a real life.

 

That said, I do enjoy it with real friends. There's something very satisfying about playing a game with someone you know well. It no longer matters that you're in a superficial environment, that's the whole point.

 

The genre's evolution is pretty interesting to me.... from EQ to WoW things changed quite a bit, favoring intuitive, immersive play over realism or challenge. And games like Guild Wars that offer the mmo type experience without the time/money requirement.

 

None of it will top the metaverse though, whenever that gets here. ;)

Edited by Daeluin

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