This may have been last weeks NBI 2016 writing prompt, but it’s been a busy week and not a lot of writing has been done here. I really need to stop telling myself I’ll write tomorrow, because that doesn’t happen.
Thank you Faeldray at Lair of the Wolf Dragon for coming up with the prompt.
1. No Mini Map
One thing I notice myself doing a lot in RPGs and MMOs is spending more time watching the little arrow cross the mini map when traveling than actually looking at the character and scenery in front of me. I think ESO’s compass bar to show you which direction the objective is really helps to limit map starring.
2. Training Skills By Using Them
I’ve always liked when skills have to be used to make them more powerful. It makes more sense that if my character never uses a skill then it shouldn’t get more powerful when he levels up or puts an ability point into it. Games like FlyFF used to have this and it’s one of the reasons I enjoyed Runescape so much. While I can see how some could see it as a grind or a time sink, it’s another enjoyable layer of progression for me.
3. Voice Acted Quests
I’ve seen arguments against the voice acted quest. That people can read faster than the character can talk, that it ruins immersion, that it’s usually poorly done. If I have an option between reading or voice acting I’m going to choose voice acting every time..It’s not that i don’t like to read, I love to read, but in a game I’d rather the characters talk to me, it feels more alive that way. I noticed when I was playing FFXIV that I’d read through the quest dialog or story dialog and by the end of it I had no idea what I just read. Maybe I’m just lazy when I play a video game.
In MMO’s I do prefer the silent protagonist though. In Guild Wars 2 it irks me that every player character sounds exactly the same. I like the Secret World’s approach where the NPC’s are voice acted and my character asks questions via text
4. In-depth Gathering Classes
If I could play a game completely and utterly as a gather I would. I love to gather. I love going into the world, finding the resources, and
hording collecting them. Runescape had this to some extent, it wasn’t super in depth but a lot of the skills weren’t either, you leveled up and could collect different things and use different tools. I wasted many a summer day cutting down yew logs. Finaly Fnatasy 14 has some pretty fun gathering classes as well. I kept hearing they were a grind but when I finally tried them out, I spent almost as much time leveling them up as I did running dungeons with my combat class.
5. Classes Advancements with Branching Specializations
I first experienced this in Flyff. You started out as a vagrant, after level 15 you chose a more specialized class like a mercenary or a magician, at level 60 you picked an even more specialized class like a Knight or an Elementalist. It added this carrot on a stick that if I grind out a few more levels I can wield a new weapon or get some better skills. I wouldn’t have had so much fun though if the title didn’t change. Outside of Korean grinders I’ve only seen this in Final Fantasy 14. I’ve been eying Tree of Savior because of their immense class system but haven’t heard great things about the game so far.
6. Robust Wardrobe System
Let’s get to the real reason to play MMO’s dressing up virtual dolls. It’s odd, it bothers me knowing everyone has the same voice in a game but it doesn’t bother me that everyone looks the same. I have no problem looking like the guy next to me as long as the armor looks awesome. Through Diablo 3, I have found the joys of transmoging and mixing and matching armor. I like the way Diablo 3 saves the style of the armor/weapon when you pick it up and it can be applied like a skin whenever you’d like later on. One of the strong points of Trove for me was collecting different weapon, hat, and face styles to mix and match later on. I also want some vanity items to drop even if their stuff like extra hair styles or slightly different looking armor, or weird outfits, but then I guess there would be nothing to sell in the cash shop.