A Strange Dilemma

April 20, 2004

It is not so much strange but haunting. Much like the addict searching for the euphoric sensation of his first binge, I am searching for that feeling of an open environment. Morrowind is guilty of creating. I speak of an environment where I make all my decisions good or bad. I had to suffer from these decisions, and in essence I was really roleplaying for the first time. I was roleplaying the very character I created. I was in charge of his direction, style, persona, every little tidbit of what I wanted my character to be. With Morrowind however came a nagging disdain for the character design. The dated models do not bother me too much; however the game designers took many liberties to create a very organic and insect inspired world. I admire vision very much, however Morrowind’s did not appeal to me, actually, and it turned me off. I turned my sights towards the open world of MMO RPGs.

Before I go too deep into my ramblings allow me to make one thing very clear. I do not log into a MMO RPG to role-play with other players. I have given up on my romantic visions of players actually roleplaying in the environment that the developers have created. Instead I am accustomed to Online Gamer in all his glory. Online Gamer and his urge to purchase a game intended for role-play and butchering it to the point of unrecognizable stature. It is not “his” fault, Online Gamer is not a role-player, he is just that, a gamer. I do understand this, and yes it still gets to me.

My fascination with MMO RPG is that I am a character in a world. A world open to do anything I feel like doing, much like the sensation that Morrowind first gave me but could not finish delivering. Perhaps this is why I ache for Fable already, so that I can have that feeling again this time in a setting that I do find stimulating. In the MMO RPG I very much quest alone, building my character to my liking. I have a vision of what I want him to look like, and how he should act. Unfortunately the MMO world is not based on a single player effecting events or attitudes but it serves as a gateway for questing only. There is not real plot or point other then leveling up, so again I feel that something is missing.

I do want to enjoy a role-play setting like I have experienced in Neverwinter Night’s Online Multiplayer Servers. I want to log in and just converse with another player who will tell me his character’s back story and maybe some tales of what he has done. Then we go and quest and share in spoils. I do think that a MMO RPG setting is a perfect chance to role-play, however I have yet to find that role-play, even in Dark Age of Camelot’s roleplaying only servers. Instead I meet a person very much playing the person PLAYING that character, and that is very different from meeting a person playing THAT very character. I don’t know why, but I do cringe when I see the player named “Crazydutchguy” or perhaps a drug reference thrown in his name. It is just, not right.

I would have to say that even to this day I not satisfied with the opportunity for real role-players to converge in a setting that is indeed truly open. I, in short, want Morrowind online with players that want to role-play in a world that reacts to the role-play. Since I can remember I have been an idealist. I do know that when I do find that that rare role-play on a MMO that it is only for a fleeting moment. Bottom line is that I want to take full advantage of what I paid for, and continue to pay for each month. I do not know if that is too much to ask.