Back to Basics

With so many different MMORPG games on the market today (and countless others on free browsers), there are bound to be some readers wondering what this information is based upon. How can this information apply universally to every game available? There’s no way I’ve played every single game, otherwise I would have something new to write about every single day!

No, I haven’t played every single game. That being said, this information may not apply to each game available to the public either. Also, with the release of games that are developing new gameplay dynamics (such as Rift, with its customizable soul system), some of this information may seem outdated. However, each individual needs to realize what applies and what does not apply to their game of choice.

The Prototype

So what is this information based upon? For the sake of discussing game mechanics, I am referring to the tabletop Dungeons and Dragons system. I choose to use this system for several reasons:

  • It is the basic form of all RPG gaming.Every RPG game that is played today can be traced back to Dungeons and Dragons because this game originally inspired the creation of online roleplaying. The mechanics are based upon this system, and each consecutive RPG bases their system upon their predecessor.
  • It is simplistic. The purpose of this blog, to the gamer, should be to get across the main point of how to play. Dungeons and Dragons allows for easy communication of universal concepts.
  • It is story-based. Granted, there are many players who just want to kill and kill and could care less about story (for those gamers, I would recommend hack-n-slash games). Sadly, the number of these players are rising to the point where storyline is no longer a determining factor of whether or not people remain with a game. I am a strong believer that storyline should be the main purpose of playing a game and not just mashing buttons.
  • It is strategic. Dungeons and Dragons covers strategy well in that it shows the players how to concentrate on key stats and how to play different tactics. A new player can play for months on an RPG game and never learn their role. But a new player in Dungeons and Dragons quickly finds their niche.
  • It is a personal favorite. I’m biased with this game, plain and simple. As the author I reserve that right too!
  • It is classic. There’s just no beating the classics, and that’s why a lot of the newer RPG games are just boring now. It’s more or less guiding the player through a wide tunnel- there’s wiggle room, but you’re basically going in one direction. With the classic RPG games there’s a myriad of choices and places to explore (which is why Everquest was so great before the Planes of Power expansion).

The 2010 Decade of Gaming

From 1994-1998, a new generation of gaming began as more dynamic RPG games began developing beyond the grid-based system of Dungeons and Dragons and Fallout 1 and 2. Game developers started to realize that it is possible to create a complete world for a player with a custom virtual character. Leading into the year 2000, dynamic RPGs began rising more and more with the advance of technology in this industry.

In our decade of 2010-2020, one can only imagine what the world can come up with. Every day, games are evolving, to the point where there is little similarity to the classic RPG games. As saddening as this is, it is an opportunity for every gamer to broaden their horizons.

With that in mind, know that I will do my best to keep the RPG information updated as the RPG games continue to evolve. The basic structure, however, will always fall back to Dungeons and Dragons, unless game developers are able to design a character system that is not based off of numbers, statistics, and is more accurate, dynamic, and customizable than our current system. Until that day comes, Dungeons and Dragons will be my prototype for communicating these concepts.

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