Ah I think the catchy named massively multiplayer online role-playing game, will always have a special place in my heart. One of the first games I ever played was Runescape at least 10 years ago. It was my first introduction to fantasy games and one of the first games I played after being introduced to it by my friend.
The MMO as a genre was one of the first truly multiplayer game modes ever released, and was one of the first games to have thousands (or rather millions) of people playing it across the world at one time. The biggest MMORPG is of course World of Warcraft (WOW) and while I have never played WOW it has certainly made an impact on pop culture.
RPG’s are popular for their immersion and exploration as well as the ability to create your own character to play. Many gamers would be familiar with the age old decision of which class do I play? At the start of most RPG’s. The combined MMORPG is a classic genre that many who have never played will still have some awareness of. The stereotypical NPC with a giant golden ‘!’ over their head being one of the most well known features of the game.
I think the MMORPG is loved for its satisfying progression as you upgrade your skills and hope to become like the higher level characters roaming the world in some of the most awesome gear. The questing and worlds are also some of the most fun to explore with the multiplayer allowing for you to interact with new people (much to the fear of news broadcasters everywhere). These games encourage cooperation and team work to tackle difficult dungeons and bosses.
That’s not to say the MMORPG is not without fault, there has been very few new comers to the series with the now 10 year old World of Warcraft still on top. There has been very little innovation it feels like with a number of newer comers failing to stick around and often relying heavily on a pay to win type system.
Saying all this the MMORPG is still one of my favourite genres of game. By far my favourites in the genre would be:
Runescape, a classic free to play MMORPG it was the first of its kind that I played with a great free to play offer and some great payed subscription benefits.
Elder Scrolls Online, after a rocky start and mixed opinions (including from myself) ESO has become a great MMORPG. Its one of the few I’ve seen to offer first person (something I love) and the quests, story, exploration and world its worth exploring.
Video Game genres come and go, they lose popularity and regane it with time. The MMORPG is still a popular genre of gaming with millions of users across WOW, ESO, Runsecape and other eastern RPGs. And while to myself and many it feels like we’re waiting for the next big MMORPG to come along, the next WOW. For now atleast the genre is still engaging, expanding and worth exploring.