Correct me if I’m wrong, but weren’t MMORPGs supposed to be huge dynamic worlds where anything and everything could happen. Yet instead it seems that they are becoming just like single player RPGs, except you can play along with friends. Think about it. In a single player RPG, you create a character out of a half dozen or so choices and then build them to become the type of warrior, mage or whatever else you want. When you start the game there is a beginning and end, with a few hundred quests in between, some part of the main storyline some optional. Now stop me if I’m wrong, but doesn’t that sound like nearly all the MMORPGs that have come out over the last few years? There are obviously a few exceptions to this, but for the most part they are.
You start your character and complete quests to get XP and since quests give you the most XP players tend to do all the quests possible to level up quickly. Now by doing all these quests you are following a straight line, go here and do this. Go here and bring this back, go deliver this. Nothing dynamic about this at all. Yes you can choose if you want to skip a quest and in what order you do the quests, but the main point is that everyone is doing basically all the same quests. Everyone is basically playing a single player RPG online with a few hundred other people at the same time.
Now once you complete all the quests and reach the level limit at least now the game should become more dynamic, and it does for many games. However it only does if your playing a MMORPG with PvP. If your playing a game that does not offer this than you are stuck in a lifeless linear game, nothing to do except what the developers tell you to do. Yes you can chat and explore where ever you want, but you are confined to what the developers allow you to do. Once you have completed the game and maxed your character out, theres really nothing to do except start a new character or play a different game until an expansion or patch with new content is released. Sorry, just not my thing.
However most RPGs do have some PvP which offers some dynamic interaction. Fighting against other real people offers a much greater challenge to gamers which enhances the game play. However even todays PvP are watered down. You can’t loot, no penalty for PK and no penalty for dying. Basically it has become bragging rights. “Haha I pwn u”. Again there are games out there that are exceptions to this, but most of them are many years old at this point. There really hasn’t been a new MMORPG that has taken PvP to the next level and we desperately need one.