Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games. They’re all over the internet, and even real life. I remember how MMOs were all the rage back when I was in elementary school. The popularity has died down a bit, but there are still some rabid fans that you can *gasp* meet in places such as school. Aside from mainstream FPSes, MMOs are probably the most well-known genre of games in my school. You actually don’t need to go to specially organized events to meet people who know what the hell you are talking about (unlike the RPGs I play, which are pretty unpopular in my area). I used to be in the rage of MMOs too. I was completely obsessed for some time in elementary school, and actually became popular with classmates because of them. I haven’t been playing any online games for a long time, especially after seeing how most people act in them. Just for fun though, I’ll write an overview of some MMORPGs I’ve played.
RuneScape – This was probably the first online game I’ve ever tried. Not the first one that got me hooked, but I tried it since no download was required. Haven’t touched it for many years, and from what I remember, the graphics were pixelly and laggy, and the fights were really boring and just had animations of characters slashing monsters or each other. Granted, that is the whole point of regular attacks, but there are still ways to make them interesting. The graphics just weren’t my cup of tea. When I played MMOs, I actually put great value into aesthetics as they have no story. RuneScape’s environment seemed dull and uninteresting to a girly kind of girl who never played video games before (yes, I was a girl like that once).
MapleStory – Ahhh…MS sure brought back some great memories. Even if I forget all the other games I’ve played, I’d probably remember MapleStory. It brought the start of my gaming interest and held some big social impacts for me at school. No kidding. It gets bashed 24/7 these days and is full of 10-year-olds and jerkasses, but I swear people were nicer back when I started (or maybe it was because I was one of the 10-year-olds and had no problem with kids my age). I started as soon as sign-ups were available, since I missed the beta testing that my classmates were in. I was hooked in by the colorful graphics, chibi art style (something I really liked back then; it’d be more of a turn-off for me now) and the lack of 3D. It seems that even back then, I preferred 2D over 3D. Anyways, long story short, I made friends at school and online (and they were genuinely nice, too) due to MapleStory. It was really fun when I was 10, but when I tried to go back to it and start fresh last year, I got bored pretty quickly since I didn’t like many of the new features. I remember when they called people level 50 and over “pros.” Nowadays, you have to reach the level cap in order to be considered anything, and pretty much suck without cash shop. Also, it seems Nexon is trying to incorporate a plot into MS, and releasing jobs that have to do with the plot. I tried the Cygnus Knights and Aran, but I decided to stick with the old classes for nostalgia. I wanted to remember how hard it was levelling an archer in the early stages–always out of arrows and getting KSed.
Flyff – Also known as Fly for Fun, Flyff was a 3D MMORPG. I didn’t like 3D, but I gave it a try due to the manga-styled graphics. I was mainly drawn in my the fact that you could fly, but I got bored of this rather quickly. I never even got to the flying part. It wasn’t a bad game or anything, but I didn’t quit MS at that time yet so I concentrated on that.
Pangya – Not an RPG, but a online golf game with the moe style graphics that most Korean MMOs have. I think I recieved an email from Asiasoft (site I had to sign up for in order to try out MapleSEA) about this game and decided to try it after MapleStory got a bit stale. I had fun with it for a bit, but at the end I preferred fighting monsters to playing golf, so I quit. Plus, most outfits were unlocked through paying real money, so I pretty much had nothing to do. I really liked dressing up my characters in MMOs; it was probably one of my favorite things to do. Anyways, the character designs (especially girls) were cute, and I thought the backgrounds were astonishing since my experience with 3D models and backgrounds began with RuneScape. This game proved that moe really works for trying to get female non-gamers into gaming.
Trickster Online – Another MMO with cute 2D graphics and chibi-fied characters. However, the heads aren’t ridiculously huge like in Maplestory so I thought the art direction was better. This is the second MMORPG that I actually stuck with for a while, and I was actually obsessed to the point of spending money for the My Shop items and events. I think I spent around $80-$100 on Trickster using Ultimate Game Cards. I played as a pure AP Bunny with a 4123 build. The world is vibrant and large, and the game actually has a some sort of story in the form of various connected quests where you must get stickers. I liked partying a lot in TO, and most of the people I played with weren’t dicks and I could actually get along with them. The controls were convenient, and it was something like a second MapleStory (but more enjoyable) to me. My computer couldn’t handle the game after a while, as I always disconnected or shut down in popular training maps. At the end, I quit because my shitty computer couldn’t take it anymore and shut down whenever I started the game. From what I’ve heard in some forums, the game is pretty much dead these days because too many people quit due to the importance of My Shop and spending real money. I’m glad I quit earlier, because I probably wouldn’t be able to resist the urge to spend moar for events and gacha.
…And that’s about it for the major ones I remember. I’m pretty sure I gave some smaller games a try but never stuck with them. For a lot of the games I played, the Cash Shop (shop in game where you pay real money to get items) ended up being too important to the gameplay. I remember how when the Cash Shop was first launched in MapleStory, they said “it won’t interfere with gameplay and it will only have fashion items). I guess “free to play” actually means “free to play, pay to have fun.” I haven’t played any MMOs in the past year or so due to my crappy computer and addiction to console/handheld games. Maybe I should give some newer MMOs a try. Or a game with non jerkass community. There are so many floating around these days…and moe anime art isn’t as effective in attracting me as it used to (not for Korean MMOs at least, since almost all of them are drawn cutely). I’ll stick with my Persona 3 and other single-player RPGs for now; sometimes 2D characters really are more tolerable.