Introduction to Roleplaying

I cannot recall how many times I’ve logged into an Mass Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game (more commonly referred to as an MMORPG) only to find players who have no idea what on earth they are doing. Especially when making a new character, it’s not unusual to see healing classes charging into battle ahead of their team, to see tanks running away from enemies to avoid taking damage, or to see support classes standing aside helplessly as the enemies beat on them relentlessly. To any experience player, these tactics seem ridiculous. But to the new player who has little to no previous experience with gaming, these tactics are all they know, regardless of how much these tactics seem to contradict common sense.

At this point, many of these new players become turned off by these games. The new players, if not completely oblivious, usually end up saying things such as, “There is so much to learn. How will I ever be able to figure all of this out? Nobody is willing to help me, and nobody wants me to play since I don’t know anything.” The experienced players end up just passing by these newbies, unwilling to help because it slows down leveling. This is where I come in. Through this blog, I hope to teach new gamers how to prosper on an MMORPG, and provide a resource for experienced players. No potential gamer should have to give up on experiencing what each game has to offer simply because they are unaware of how the fantasy world works.

Be aware that like any other hobby or skill, gaming requires practice. Nobody is going to wake up the next morning and be the ultimate gamer. But my goal is to thoroughly teach you how to play hard, play courteously, but also play to win. I will do my best for my part, but it will require patience from you as well.

The information presented throughout this blog is solely based upon my own gaming experiences. Other gamers may have difference of opinions or tactics in certain places, but the core information remains true. It is important to realize that as you play and experience the online world for yourself, you will develop your own style and technique for success through trial and error.

What is an MMORPG?

It would be unfair of me to begin talking about these games without a clear definition of what it is. Unless you understand what it is, it would be difficult to teach you how to play it (like trying to play a sport that you’ve never seen or heard of).

As described earlier, MMORPG stands for Mass Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game. What is unique about MMORPG’s is its interaction between players. On a first-person shooter game, the players often fight specifically against other players. There is often less motivation to work as a team since each player will respawn sometime during the match. In each match, players often play together for only a certain amount of time in a confined and clearly-defined map. In Real-Time Strategy (RTS) games, the map is seen from overhead, and units are lost much more willingly. In MMORPG’s, players must cooperate with each other to survive. The death of a team member often results in the death of the team. Depending on the game, the consequences could involve a loss of experience, the duty to retrieve gear, or even having to restart the entire objective over again. Teamwork is necessary in MMORPG’s.

Another defining quality of MMORPG’s is the map system. As described above, it differs from first-person shooters in that the map is often unconfined. In fact, the game designers encourage the players to explore the maps and find new places to explore. With such a dynamic world to explore, it is much easier to feel the role of your character, which brings us to our next definition: roleplaying.

Roleplaying

Roleplaying is a word that most people are often unfamiliar with, which means to play the role of another. Roleplaying involves taking on the role of your character, playing him or her as if you were actually that person. How would you survive? How would you handle the situation at hand? Would you engage this particular enemy? Roleplaying involves the freedom of the player to make their own decisions within the story.

An often overlooked aspect of gaming is that a game is a story, just like a book or movie. The difference is that the story is much more interactive. Many people don’t care about this, but I personally find that aspect of gaming to be the most fun. Who wouldn’t want to escape from their own lives from time to time? Roleplaying allows for an escape from your own life to adopt the role of the character in the story. Roleplaying a character can be quite fun and entertaining.

Many players take Roleplaying to the extreme, refusing to involve themselves in the game in any way. Character Roleplaying will be discussed later on in the blog.

Universal Concepts

Like any other game types, MMORPG’s have universal concepts and information that differs very little from game to game. Whether you play a fantasy game, a sci-fi game, or simply want to show your child how to hunt those purple unicorns on their childrens’ gaming network, the same concepts will remain consistent and steady between MMORPG’s. This is why I am confident that the information presented in this blog will carry over into whatever games you play. Even between a fantasy RPG and a sci-fi RPG, concepts differ very little.

Summary

This entire description of MMORPG’s may seem like quite a bit for now. Relax; I know. But I also know that as you go into the game (regardless of what it is you play), you will find all of this stuff out for yourself as well. Simply remember that an MMORPG is focused on player interaction and roleplaying. These concepts carry over into any MMORPG you will play, so don’t worry about minor discrepancies. You will know how to adjust. For any questions and information, I can be contacted here, or on twitter @Mikraken23.

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