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  1. #1

    What actually is an MMORPG?

    This proposition pops up all the time (im assuming in every sub thread). So lets discuss it. Why would a single player play an MMO when the literal definition of an mmo implies grouping.

    I come to read this megathread every few days when I m bored at work and to this day I still see people come in to say they loathe having to do a small group activity to progress the story IN AN MMO.
    Like you full knowingly downloaded and installed a game with the tag "Massive Multiplayer role playing game" and just went like "I m going to play this even though I dont like interacting with people".
    That would be like me complaining I cannot group up with my friends to do side quests in the Witcher 3.
    Can we be chill and just explain this? Or is it a massively loaded (with assumptions) question where we bicker relentlessly about nascent defin...

    Heres why i play an mmo as a single player: Avatar permanence.
    Last edited by ippollite; 2021-09-17 at 12:11 PM.

  2. #2
    Scarab Lord Darththeo's Avatar
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    MMO does not imply grouping at all.

    The game is Massive Multiplayer Online. You do not require "grouping" to have that be true. Grouping is just a common trait of the genre, but not a requirement.

    It requires interaction, but that it. That interaction can be seeing others out in the world, competing with others, etc ...

    And I find that the loathing of grouping is more along the lines of being forced to group as oppose to it being in the game. People don't like being Forced to group.
    Peace is a lie. There is only passion. Through passion I gain strength. Through strength I gain power.
    Through power I gain victory. Through victory my chains are broken. The Force shall set me free.
    –The Sith Code

  3. #3
    Just to be clear my post was not meant to be hostile but I was rather surprised at how many people actively play MMOs and yet loathe grouping activities. Even easy ones like 4-5 man dungeons.

  4. #4
    I get that. Genuinely. This is a question (elephant in the room) a long time coming though. Hang on... (you can edit your point after this as well... im not trying to drag any names into this, but im super drunk and didnt think through the basics). You will find equal support though. My aim is to give rise to all the diffuse perspectives so we can understand one-another.
    Last edited by ippollite; 2021-09-17 at 12:18 PM.

  5. #5
    Because an MMO might be fun to them even without grouping? An MMO isjust a game with lots of players in a persistent open world.

    It's a very black and white viewpoint "Why would you play a social game if you just want to play by yourself"

    Currently there doesn't exist a single player Warcraft game that isnt a decade or two old. Someone might enjoy the Warcraft universe and have no substitue.

    Someone might enjoy the classes available

    Someone might enjoy the primary gameplay loop of right click mob and press buttons 1 through 6.

    Someone might enjoy things like world quests, rep grinds, mount farming and so on.

    Just because MMOs are inherently social doesn't mean they can't be enjoyed by solo players, and since they pay the same sub as the rest of us they should be catered to same as the rest of us.

    Someone's reasonings for paying a sub does not and should not matter. To the best of Blizzard's capabilities everyone should be catered to.
    Last edited by LarryFromHumanResources; 2021-09-17 at 12:26 PM.
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  6. #6
    Elemental Lord Santti's Avatar
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    Massive amounts of people, hosted on the same game world. That's the MMO part.
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  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by ippollite View Post
    I get that. Genuinely. This is a question (elephant in the room) a long time coming though. Hang on... (you can edit your point after this as well... im not trying to drag any names into this, but im super drunk and didnt think through the basics).
    No problem mate. I think if people dont derail this it is a topic that can make for an interesting discussion.

  8. #8
    Then lets have at it.

    For me, im going to give you a random example from my vanilla wow days (its more about open world rvr/pvp but it makes a point).

    I remember my level 19ish hordie running through silverpine forest. I did all the things, then got a quest sending me to alterac. I remember this moment clear as day: I crossed the boundary line, i saw the announcement "Alterac Mountains (contested zone)" and before the notification disappeared i was dead to a skull pally who just happened to be traversing the opposite direction. I've no idea who he was. All i know is that the world was much more dangerous and exciting (and unfair) than a scripted pve game could ever be. This was the literal hook for me. I had no relationship with this dude. I dont know or remember him from adam. But i got an experience no single player rpg could ever give me (i mean, it literally could with a scripted encounter... but then i'd just learn to cheese it somehow (or if i couldnt, just accept it as part of the story)). This was utterly random, though. Ninety nine times out of a hundred, id have happily carried on. But this one event taught me to be ever wary and always on my guard even with the most well meaning, nicest, most gentle members of the opposite faction.

    Did you ever save your cds in vanilla JUST IN CASE there was a stealthy stalking you?
    This isnt even grouping. PVE is boring. Grinding mobs (you can easily clear) is a huge decision tree. This is the first thing i love about the game. Sure, i could beg guildies to come protect me and act as bait... but they also had stuff to do.

    So theres a solid difference between mmos and sprpgs. I just cant get that experience with a single player rpg. That's literally point 1.
    Last edited by ippollite; 2021-09-17 at 12:44 PM.

  9. #9
    MMORPGs imply group content or interactions with other players the same way as FPS implies I have to shoot something and it's in first person.

    If it's an MMO, then obviously there is going to be content for multiple players.
    It doesn't have to be co-op content, but the game mechanics involve multiple players in some way or another.
    The RPG part post "MMO" also implies that the world I travel and do stuff in is part of that. I travel around, and I'll see other players and they might be able to help me or they might be an inconvenience.

    If someone dislikes that, they shouldn't play MMOs... or at least they shouldn't try to deform it into a SPRPG.
    It doesn't matter if they have an alternative or not.
    I'm not going to complain that Doom is a shooter instead of an RTS.

    You can still enjoy the doom "lore" in an FPS however... so maybe the FPS are just good enough to keep you interested. So they have to deal with the FPS part, doesn't matter if they like it or not. It's an FPS.
    Last edited by KrayZ33; 2021-09-17 at 12:52 PM.

  10. #10
    You can go "Ironman" in most MMOs and many people who do that get a lot of enjoyment out of it. Just because you are running solo and doing almost every aspect alone doesn't not mean you are not competing against every other player on the server, competing for resources, fighting against them etc

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by ippollite View Post
    Then lets have at it.

    For me, im going to give you a random example from my vanilla wow days (its more about open world rvr/pvp but it makes a point).

    I remember my level 19ish hordie running through silverpine forest. I did all the things, then got a quest sending me to alterac. I remember this moment clear as day: I crossed the boundary line, i saw the announcement "Alterac Mountains (contested zone)" and before the notification disappeared i was dead to a skull pally who just happened to be traversing the opposite direction. I've no idea who he was. All i know is that the world was much more dangerous and exciting (and unfair) than a scripted pve game could ever be. This was the literal hook for me. I had no relationship with this dude. I dont know or remember him from adam. But i got an experience no single player rpg could ever give me (i mean, it literally could with a scripted encounter... but then i'd just learn to cheese it somehow (or if i couldnt, just accept it as part of the story)). This was utterly random, though. Ninety nine times out of a hundred, id have happily carried on. But this one event taught me to be ever wary and always on my guard even with the most well meaning, nicest, most gentle members of the opposite faction.

    Did you ever save your cds in vanilla JUST IN CASE there was a stealthy stalking you?
    This isnt even grouping. PVE is boring. Grinding mobs (you can easily clear) is a huge decision tree. This is the first thing i love about the game. Sure, i could beg guildies to come protect me and act as bait... but they also had stuff to do.

    So theres a solid difference between mmos and sprpgs. I just cant get that experience with a single player rpg. That's literally point 1.
    This is a fair point. I remember my early TBC days when I decided to reroll Horde with a friend of mine and started our own guild. We literally camped outside of undercity and started asking random people if they wanted to sign our charter and be part of the guild. It was then that we met 2 of the people which we played with until the very end of TBC. I dont think I have ever gotten such an experience today.
    The only social experiences that even match this these days have all come from FFXIV. Plenty of times when sitting in a main hub city I will hear a bard playing a familiar song and sit around them to enjoy before going to do other activities. This has often resulted in conversations with either the bard or the surrounding players. It is elements like these that I would love to see in modern MMORWPGs. XIV somehow manages to keep modern elements that I m not 100% fond of like automated dungeons finders, realm hoping etc and yet also keep the social and community aspects of an MMO.
    I only hope WoW one day also goes back to a more social environment.

  12. #12
    Mmo is massively multiplayer online. Rpg is role-playing game. I could use oxfords/websters dictionary for each word for ya if ya want me to.
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  13. #13
    Scarab Lord Darththeo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KrayZ33 View Post
    MMORPGs imply group content or interactions with other players the same way as FPS implies I have to shoot something and it's in first person.

    If it's an MMO, then obviously there is going to be content for multiple players.
    It doesn't have to be co-op content, but the game mechanics involve multiple players in some way or another.
    The RPG part post "MMO" also implies that the world I travel and do stuff in is part of that. I travel around, and I'll see other players and they might be able to help me or they might be an inconvenience.

    If someone dislikes that, they shouldn't play MMOs... or at least they shouldn't try to deform it into a SPRPG.
    It doesn't matter if they have an alternative or not.
    I'm not going to complain that Doom is a shooter instead of an RTS.

    You can still enjoy the doom "lore" in an FPS however... so maybe the FPS are just good enough to keep you interested. So they have to deal with the FPS part, doesn't matter if they like it or not. It's an FPS.
    Technically group content is "interactions." As you have to interact with people to do it.

    I personally don't like forced group content, I like if I can experience the story solo, but have the option to group and play with people for either main story or side fun. It annoys me say I do 90% of a quest line solo, only to then without warning or hinting at require the last mission to be completed in a group. It was one of the more annoying things about Legion is that many zone quest lines ended in a dungeon, the fact that you were able to push back or chase this person solo to all of a sudden go "You cannot do it alone, gather your friends and chase him down."

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by caractacus View Post
    You can go "Ironman" in most MMOs and many people who do that get a lot of enjoyment out of it. Just because you are running solo and doing almost every aspect alone doesn't not mean you are not competing against every other player on the server, competing for resources, fighting against them etc
    I have tried the Ironman challenge in wow a few times. It is fun. I think the highest I got to was 36. Then I got overconfident and died.
    There is also other challenges where you cannot use quest rewards, you must craft (and/or loot) your gear.

    There are a lot of ways to play an MMO without grouping. And in some cases it can be more fun than grouping.
    Peace is a lie. There is only passion. Through passion I gain strength. Through strength I gain power.
    Through power I gain victory. Through victory my chains are broken. The Force shall set me free.
    –The Sith Code

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Darththeo View Post
    Technically group content is "interactions." As you have to interact with people to do it.

    I personally don't like forced group content, I like if I can experience the story solo, but have the option to group and play with people for either main story or side fun. It annoys me say I do 90% of a quest line solo, only to then without warning or hinting at require the last mission to be completed in a group. It was one of the more annoying things about Legion is that many zone quest lines ended in a dungeon, the fact that you were able to push back or chase this person solo to all of a sudden go "You cannot do it alone, gather your friends and chase him down."
    The fact that you can do 90% and 90% even *excludes* other players (who are champions as well) just shows that WoW is a bad MMO in that regard.
    But the thing is, you shouldn't be suprised that group-stuff/player interaction is a thing. That was basically most of my point, since it's an MMORPG.

    When you can do everything solo and shut yourself out from that kind of group content or interaction fully, then it's a failure as an MMORPG.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by KrayZ33 View Post
    When you can do everything solo and shut yourself out from that kind of group content or interaction fully, then it's a failure as an MMORPG.
    Is it, though?

    Giving people the OPTION to play solo for a large portion of content doesn't seem like a "failure" to me. As long as group content is central to the game and supported to the max, I don't see a problem with ALSO offering people the option of doing less/no group content. Variety is usually a good thing, and it becomes a problem only if and when it infringes upon other aspects of the game - and even in WoW, I don't really see that being the case.

    Some people are just less gregarious than others, and I see little wrong with catering to a wide variety of player preferences.

  16. #16
    Scarab Lord Darththeo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KrayZ33 View Post
    The fact that you can do 90% and 90% even *excludes* other players (who are champions as well) just shows that WoW is a bad MMO in that regard.
    But the thing is, you shouldn't be suprised that group-stuff/player interaction is a thing. That was basically most of my point, since it's an MMORPG.

    When you can do everything solo and shut yourself out from that kind of group content or interaction fully, then it's a failure as an MMORPG.
    Me: I don't like when the MMO surprises with group content on quest line where 90% can be done solo.
    You: YOU SHOULDN'T BE SURPRISED THAT THERE IS CONTENT IS GROUPED.

    I am not saying there shouldn't be group content or that all content must be solo. I am saying that if I do 90% of a particular quest line solo only to be told at the end "LMAO, Nah, you need friends now" it is annoying because it just comes off as bad writing. I love the various Arena quests WoW (ie Ring of Blood) has where the entire questline in group content, I like dungeons. I just don't like long ass questlines that you do most of it solo, only to be thrown out of no where the need to group to finish it.

    For example, look at how the story with the raids are handle in Shadowland. The story line leading up to it is about gathering allies or fighting together, therefore the need to group flows into the story of the quest line as opposed to just throwing it there at the end for having group content for the sake of having group content.

    I am not against group content. I know that it is a feature in most MMOs. I am against forced or mandatory group content that isn't clearly outlined to the player prior to them getting involved in a questline.
    Last edited by Darththeo; 2021-09-17 at 01:43 PM.
    Peace is a lie. There is only passion. Through passion I gain strength. Through strength I gain power.
    Through power I gain victory. Through victory my chains are broken. The Force shall set me free.
    –The Sith Code

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Darththeo View Post
    Me: I don't like when the MMO surprises with group content on quest line where 90% can be done solo.
    You: YOU SHOULDN'T BE SURPRISED THAT THERE IS CONTENT IS GROUPED.
    Yes. Not sure how that contradicts with anything, but: Yes.
    You are probably reading more into my answer than I stated.
    It's an MMO, you should expect group content at all times, or interaction with other players - that's my point.
    I also didn't use capslock, so not sure why you play the "yOu ArE So ReTarDed" card or put so much emotion into my statement when it was basically void of it.


    Quote Originally Posted by Biomega View Post
    Is it, though?

    Giving people the OPTION to play solo for a large portion of content doesn't seem like a "failure" to me. As long as group content is central to the game and supported to the max, I don't see a problem with ALSO offering people the option of doing less/no group content. Variety is usually a good thing, and it becomes a problem only if and when it infringes upon other aspects of the game - and even in WoW, I don't really see that being the case.

    Some people are just less gregarious than others, and I see little wrong with catering to a wide variety of player preferences.
    I think the option itself to do it to such a degree as WoW means the game itself is failing in the MMO department.
    You should work together and interact a lot more with each other. It shouldn't be an option to such an enermous part as it is in WoW currently.
    Otherwise it's just some co-op nonsense on top of what should be a SPRPG.
    You won't really get much of an MMO feeling if everyone around you is just doing his thing and you basically never do something together or against each other.
    The world quest are laughable compared to dynamic public events other games offer. Just to name one example.
    When Shadowlands launched, you saw a lot of players, but you didn't do anything with them other than that one dungeon at the end.
    It's bad game design for an MMO imho. What's the point of it being an MMO then.

    Having THIS and THAT is fine as long as the content is matching the game description.
    Having puzzles in FPS is nice but I think some people would actually like to shoot more, since they bought an FPS after all.

    MMO implies playing with other people. That's why I look for MMOs instead of single player games when I want to play with other people.
    Last edited by KrayZ33; 2021-09-17 at 02:27 PM.

  18. #18
    Scarab Lord Darththeo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KrayZ33 View Post
    Yes. Not sure how that contradicts with anything, but: Yes.
    You are probably reading more into my answer than I stated.
    It's an MMO, you should expect group content at all times, or interaction with other players - that's my point.
    I also didn't use capslock, so not sure why you play the "yOu ArE So ReTarDed" card.
    Bold applies to you more than I.

    And you didn't use caplock yes, but I used it to show that you were misrepresenting my point and argument.

    Your point is "You should always expect group content." doesn't even relate to my argument that they should not tack group content at the end of a questline that has no indication group content will be involved. It is a non-argument built on you reading more into my point than is there.
    Yes, you should expect group content in an MMO, but you should also be treated with respect at knowing group content is part of the questline you are dealing with.

    Solo content is required for an MMO to survive. If you cannot play the game at all without grouping, it is going to die quickly.
    Last edited by Darththeo; 2021-09-17 at 02:22 PM.
    Peace is a lie. There is only passion. Through passion I gain strength. Through strength I gain power.
    Through power I gain victory. Through victory my chains are broken. The Force shall set me free.
    –The Sith Code

  19. #19
    There is literally nothing in the definition stating that it's about grouping, or even having to be social.

    A) An online role-playing video game in which a very large number of people participate simultaneously.
    B) As in role-playing games, the player assumes the role of a character and takes control over many of that character's actions

    Done. People reimagining the definition because they don't like a particular MMORPG, or don't like people playing it differently from themselves, can go sit on a stick.

  20. #20
    An MMO is literally any game that allows many players to exist in any given instance.

    Lobbied games are not MMOs.

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