Computers beat up my role player

Nikosandros

Golden Procrastinator
Halivar said:
Hussar said:
The fact that with the 9d6 stat gen system, you are almost guaranteed 3 18's. Certainly, your prime stats should be above 16.
Finally! I can play a paladin!
Just kidding... sort of. This seems like a good rolling mechanism for gestalt campaigns.
To elaborate on my previous post, the chance of getting 3 18's is about 0.2%... ;)
 

Col_Pladoh

Gary Gygax
Hi Dromdol,

Actually, I believe you missed the key part of the definition, and I will restate it here.

In the RPG there is a Game Master that perpares and operates the environment, ajudicates the participation of the players, alters the environment according to the players' characters actions within it, and actively responds to player role-playing by reol-playing all sentient entities encountered in the course of play. The participant Game Master is also able to answer questions and assess and ajudicate actions not anticipated in the game rules or the prepared scenario. This means that all participants can extemporaneously intersct and use innovation within an ever-mutable milieu.

Now it seems to me that WoW and Warcraft III have the lion's share of the MMO market, and neither comes close to standards required for an RPG.

Cheers,
Gary
 

Numion

Visitor
Col_Pladoh said:
Hi Dromdol,

Actually, I believe you missed the key part of the definition, and I will restate it here.

In the RPG there is a Game Master that perpares and operates the environment, ajudicates the participation of the players, alters the environment according to the players' characters actions within it, and actively responds to player role-playing by reol-playing all sentient entities encountered in the course of play. The participant Game Master is also able to answer questions and assess and ajudicate actions not anticipated in the game rules or the prepared scenario. This means that all participants can extemporaneously intersct and use innovation within an ever-mutable milieu.

Now it seems to me that WoW and Warcraft III have the lion's share of the MMO market, and neither comes close to standards required for an RPG.
Warcraft III is a real-time strategy game, so no arguments there. WoW doesn't match your definition either, but comes closer. Then again, some mind find your definition of an RPG a bit strict. And still some computer games qualify, didn't Neverwinter have possibility for DMs?
 
I would say that MMOs such as WoW could be better described as RPG Simulators. They embody most of the mechanical and thematic elements of traditional RPGs but are too limited in scope and content to be defined as an actual RPG. Some video games emulate RPGs better than others, but in the end it's not at all the same experience.

It all comes down to how much control the GM and players have over the game. Time is an obvious issue here. The GM can pause or fast forward time to skip over unnecessary elements or even go back in time and roleplay a flashback scene.

Improvisation is another issue. In an MMO you cannot be rewarded for having a clever idea. You cannot try anything that is not strictly defined within the boundaries of the game's interface. You can't really do anything but run around, find quests from two dimensional NPCs and grind through repetitive encounters trying to level up. If that's how your D&D sessions are thats fine but theres a lot more potential to roleplaying that your missing out on.

Tabletop RPGs are more than pizza and cheetos. Their more than magic items and skill points and what level you are. RPGs are about having fun with friends, telling a story and being able to look back on the game as something memorable.

I like MMORPGs and all dont get me wrong! As far as video games go their some of the best! But until they find a way to add in even a hint of the level of depth that a tabletop RPG encompasses I consider MMORPGs to stand for "Mundane Mechanical Online Restrictive Paradigm Generators."
 

Dromdol

Visitor
EightBitAssassin said:
I would say that MMOs such as WoW could be better described as RPG Simulators.
Or maybe both RPGs and MMORPGs are reality simulators? Aren't both attempting to allow you to project yourself into a fantastic world with interactivity?


You can't really do anything but run around, find quests from two dimensional NPCs and grind through repetitive encounters trying to level up. If that's how your D&D sessions are thats fine but theres a lot more potential to roleplaying that your missing out on.
Did you read my post above? I don't know your experience in an MMO, I can't comment on that, but I know my own experience. I've interacted with dozens, even hundreds, of fellow players to achieve goals. I've run afoul of powerful alliances that were capable of reacting to me in a very real fashion. Hardcore PvP isn't for everyone, but deriding MMOs as two-dimensional and repetitive grinds is dismissing a huge portion of the player base that participates in PvP activities - activities with actors and audiences, with real consequences, and with as much emotional reality and depth as the very real players on the other side of those avatars.

RPGs are about having fun with friends, telling a story and being able to look back on the game as something memorable.
So when I'm on vent doing a castle siege with fifty or sixty guildmates, coordinating and captaining divisions of players into their roles, receiving and transitting orders, living, dying, fighting, and thinking on an imagined battlefield with friends, enemies, passing acquaintances, allies, and traitors alike, I'm not having fun with my friends, I'm not seeing a good story, and I'm not developing a memorable experience? I beg to differ.

I've been in tabletop games that were little more than hack'n'slash fests with no depth. How many old 1st ed. modules were little more than a series of traps and beasties with a bare semblance of a plot, excusing rampaging dungeoneering and not much else? I know those were some of my first experiences with roleplaying thirty years ago. If they were "roleplaying" then how is an MMO any different? Some of those were immensely fun, for certain, but they had no more (if as much) depth as a good MMORPG.
 

Col_Pladoh

Gary Gygax
EightBitAssassin said:
I would say that MMOs such as WoW could be better described as RPG Simulators. They embody most of the mechanical and thematic elements of traditional RPGs but are too limited in scope and content to be defined as an actual RPG. Some video games emulate RPGs better than others, but in the end it's not at all the same experience.

It all comes down to how much control the GM and players have over the game. Time is an obvious issue here. The GM can pause or fast forward time to skip over unnecessary elements or even go back in time and roleplay a flashback scene.

Improvisation is another issue. In an MMO you cannot be rewarded for having a clever idea. You cannot try anything that is not strictly defined within the boundaries of the game's interface. You can't really do anything but run around, find quests from two dimensional NPCs and grind through repetitive encounters trying to level up. If that's how your D&D sessions are thats fine but theres a lot more potential to roleplaying that your missing out on.

Tabletop RPGs are more than pizza and cheetos. Their more than magic items and skill points and what level you are. RPGs are about having fun with friends, telling a story and being able to look back on the game as something memorable.

I like MMORPGs and all dont get me wrong! As far as video games go their some of the best! But until they find a way to add in even a hint of the level of depth that a tabletop RPG encompasses I consider MMORPGs to stand for "Mundane Mechanical Online Restrictive Paradigm Generators."
Hear, hear!

I couldn't have said it better if I spent a lot of time and effort attempting it!

Ciao,
Gary
 
Let's posit an MMO where all sentient beings are actually player characters, with only animals, golems and similar sorts of entities controlled by the computer. The environment can change from time to time due to player action for example houses can be built or dungeons opened that were previously closed. The game has a good physics engine so objects can be moved around and damaged, PCs can jump and swim and fall off high objects and ride horses.

A game like this would be quite feasible, in fact it might already exist. Is it a roleplaying game? Does there have to be a human GM adjudicating every action in order for it to be a rpg and, if so, why?
 

Col_Pladoh

Gary Gygax
Speaking of wasting time, the attempts to rationalize non-RPGs, "computor RPG simulators," as something they are not, is that as far as I am concerned...bootless.

Oddly enough, when I have been interviewed by major computer publications and mention that computer and MMO games are not actually role-playing at all I have gotten agreement, nary a hint of frantic disputatiion.

That ends my say on this matter.

Cheerio,
Gary
 
Doug McCrae said:
Let's posit an MMO where all sentient beings are actually player characters, with only animals, golems and similar sorts of entities controlled by the computer. The environment can change from time to time due to player action for example houses can be built or dungeons opened that were previously closed. The game has a good physics engine so objects can be moved around and damaged, PCs can jump and swim and fall off high objects and ride horses.

A game like this would be quite feasible, in fact it might already exist. Is it a roleplaying game? Does there have to be a human GM adjudicating every action in order for it to be a rpg and, if so, why?
If what you are asking is it possible for a video game to become sufficiently advanced to be an actual role-playing game, the answer is: maybe. The limiting factor in your example is that for all sentient beings in the game to be actual human players, that means all the blacksmiths, stable boys, farmers, harlots, beggers, as well as the king, the evil high level undead sorcerer, etc. would all have to be controlled by human players. Anyone want to sign up to play the stable boy?

Before a video game could be seriously considered a role-playing game, the game engine would have to be so advanced as to allow players to do practically anything (within constraints of the fantasy universe's physical laws and any genre emulation considerations), and have AI so advanced that the NPC actors would behave such that one could not tell they were computer controlled and scripted. The first is far more feasable than the second (and still not something that can be foreseen at the current level of development). It is doubtful that a video game engine will ever be this advanced because of the astronomical development that would be required to create it.

I love the game Morrowind, particularly how open-ended it is and how much choice there is within the game. I enjoy how I am able to "role-play" to the extent allowed by the game engine, but it is not itself a role-playing game because of its limits.

That is the difference between role-playing games and RPG style video games.

I hope my response doesn't violate Umbrian's warning to me.
 

Scribble

Visitor
I like both books and movies..

I tend to prefer books, and normally if I've read the book of the movie, I'm disappointed by the movie...

It's that whole, no matter how great a director, he or she is never going to match what I see in my head concept...

I'd wager a guess that online and video type RPGs, and tabletop RPGs function in a similar way.


There will always be those who prefer one over the other, or like them both, but the two will remain as separate entities.

At least thats my thought.
 

Brazeku

Visitor
You're probably not going to get a good story out of an MMO. You can have fun and everything, but "LOL my guild raided Ragnarosh last night it wuz EPIC!!! I got leet dropz" isn't a story.
 
Gentlegamer said:
If what you are asking is it possible for a video game to become sufficiently advanced to be an actual role-playing game, the answer is: maybe. The limiting factor in your example is that for all sentient beings in the game to be actual human players, that means all the blacksmiths, stable boys, farmers, harlots, beggers, as well as the king, the evil high level undead sorcerer, etc. would all have to be controlled by human players. Anyone want to sign up to play the stable boy?
Is there really any meaningful difference between a stable boy that is algorithmically controlled, one which doesn't appear but is understood to be there, and one which the GM describes as, "He's just a stableboy; he doesn't know anything about your quest and isn't particularly interested in the fourth band of ruffians to come through town this week; can we get back to the Duke's party now?"
 
Brazeku said:
You're probably not going to get a good story out of an MMO. You can have fun and everything, but "LOL my guild raided Ragnarosh last night it wuz EPIC!!! I got leet dropz" isn't a story.
That's a very reductionist view of the possible stories to come out of an MMORPG.

How about, "Hey, remember that time we captured Castle Horgraden and held it for an entire month against [our enemies]?"

Or, "Hey - remember Erron and Julhae's wedding at sunset overlooking the Isles?"
 

Scribble

Visitor
Patryn of Elvenshae said:
Is there really any meaningful difference between a stable boy that is algorithmically controlled, one which doesn't appear but is understood to be there, and one which the GM describes as, "He's just a stable boy; he doesn't know anything about your quest and isn't particularly interested in the fourth band of ruffians to come through town this week; can we get back to the Duke's party now?"
Well yes... Because no matter what, even if that stable boy is just a stable boy, and not supposed to offer anything very meaningful to the story, there are infinite ways the characters CAN make him a part of the story in a tabletop; the algorithmically controlled stable boy is still ultimately only able to do what it is programed to.
 

Shadeydm

Visitor
Patryn of Elvenshae said:
That's a very reductionist view of the possible stories to come out of an MMORPG.

How about, "Hey, remember that time we captured Castle Horgraden and held it for an entire month against [our enemies]?"
QUOTE]

You mean hey remember that time we captured Castle X and held it for 5 minutes before the soldiers started to respawn. That the guild X came along and started to greif us because they wanted the Kings drops just like we did. That son of a gun playing the Thief snuck up and looted the King's corpse after we did all the work clearing up to the fight and beating the encounter.
 

Brazeku

Visitor
Shadeydm said:
Patryn of Elvenshae said:
That's a very reductionist view of the possible stories to come out of an MMORPG.

How about, "Hey, remember that time we captured Castle Horgraden and held it for an entire month against [our enemies]?"
QUOTE]

You mean hey remember that time we captured Castle X and held it for 5 minutes before the soldiers started to respawn. That the guild X came along and started to greif us because they wanted the Kings drops just like we did. That son of a gun playing the Thief snuck up and looted the King's corpse after we did all the work clearing up to the fight and beating the encounter.
Yeah that's pretty much par for the course. If this is what a person's tabletop roleplaying experience is like, well then by all means, they should play an MMO.
 
Shadeydm said:
Patryn of Elvenshae said:
That's a very reductionist view of the possible stories to come out of an MMORPG.

How about, "Hey, remember that time we captured Castle Horgraden and held it for an entire month against [our enemies]?"
You mean hey remember that time we captured Castle X and held it for 5 minutes before the soldiers started to respawn. [Etc.]
Look, while that is one possibility (say, EQ), it's not the only possibility.

Specifically, I'm thinking more of an NWN server or a battleground in a more PvP-oriented game [where the only other participants are other players; AIs need not apply!].

The fact that you immediately assume that this is the only possibility leads me to believe that you don't have a lot of experience in modern MMORPGs.
 

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