Wednesday, December 05, 2007

RPG Dreams

I'm an RPG-kind of guy. Drop me off to a fictional world with black and white goals, give me freedom to fashion fantastic characters I will develop on my own, allow me to immerse these characters in magic and mayhem, and you'll make me a happy man.

The original Diablo game introduced me to the genre. It's sequel and its concurrent expansion set, Diablo II, remains as one of my all-time favorite hits. Microsoft's Dungeon Siege I was yawn-inducing; fortunately they improved on Dungeon Siege II. Neverwinter Nights I welcomed me into the more traditional class-level type of RPG. The sequel, Neverwinter Nights II, continued the joy and enabled easier access to prestige classes. I have also played a host of other RPG games I cannot recall now, and some hybrid para-RPG types such as StarCraft, Warcraft III, Dragon Shard, and Heroes of Might and Magic (1, 3, 4, 5).

Any gamer familiar with the titles I have mentioned would realize that as games go, these are already old. The current dry spell only whets my appetite. Admittedly, there are two critically-acclaimed RPGs I haven't played: the Elder Scrolls' Oblivion, and Blizzard's World of Warcraft.

Oblivion is supposed to be the pinnacle (so far) of the elder scrolls series -- all the goodies without the boring hour-long walking from town to town. The problem is that I can't play first-person games. Something in my equilibrium (my eye?) goes crazy when playing those games and I end up throwing up.

World of Warcraft is an MMORPG employing a persistent world based on the Warcraft series. It is currently the closest thing to an RPGamer's wet dream -- a whole world (well, now 2 worlds with the Burning Crusade expansion) to explore, guilds to join, monsters to kill, treasures to plunder, and characters to level up and up and up and up and up...

But even WoW isn't perfect for my taste. For one, it only allows one playable character to be controlled. I'd rather have control (with nominal AI assistance) of a whole party, especially since there are certain areas and quests only achievable by teams. Another thing is its lack of world-changing events. Players may feel that they keep going on mission after mission without a tangible effect on the Warcraft world, but with millions of subscribers, I guess it would be hard to have a player-malleable world.

Nevertheless, that is my current dream game. Give me an RPG where I could create my party at once (and not get me stuck on pre-selected allies); provide an unimaginably large world with various unique continents, characters, and monsters; make it persistent, yet affected by players' (or factions') actions; and provide an engaging plot that would keep the players playing for months.

And yeah, make it free too.

That's not too much, isn't it?


the addict said...

waaaaaaaay too much time on your hands. hehehe.

the addict said...

Now I remember.

I told you about EVE Online, di ba?
They have a player-malleable world that RPG gamers can only dream of. Of course, you control a interstellar ship there, not a character. You can be as micro as to go dogfighting or go macro--join a clan that plans to put up a monopoly of any of 17 given resources. Or do espionage.

But then, you don't have swords and stuff--in exchange, you upgrade your ship and prepare for the next dogfight. And yes, there are "creeps", NPCs that are there for the killing, money, and XP. That's why it's still one of the top MMORPGs state-side. But there's no sword. hehehe.

Can't have everything.