How MMO Players Are Scientists In A Way
By Kei Beneza (dividelife), OnRPG Journalist
Is it true that MMO games are a no-brainer activities? Does it only depend on a player’s agility when handling the mouse and keyboard? I have been plagued by continuous claims regarding this, that MMOs in general are the same as brainless beat em’ up games like Fighting Force and Final Fight. In my defence, MMO players are scientists in a way, constantly exploring the vast world of the game while calculating imaginary stuff to progress further. Let me explain…
Since most MMOs contain various areas that need exploring, players venture into the world’s unknown parts to seek treasure. Being an archaeologist has its perks and it’s quite important to some players to unlock achievements and various items in the game. As a World of Warcraft player, I was able to see hidden areas through exploration. For those who are interested, some of the items you’ll find while venturing into the unknown can be sold for a high price. Lore-wise, those who are interested in the game’s storyline can learn various things just by running around.
Archaeology is cool!
No dumdum! Not the alchemists found in Japanese animes! Anyway, crafting is one of the most explored aspects of the MMO world, allowing players to produce and upgrade in game items. Rogues or thieves also find this form of science useful as it allows them to produce poison and other substances to boost their weapon’s capabilities.
Yeah, that’s right! Mathemagics! One factor most MMO players need to get used to is lag. Unless you live in a first world country with super high speed internet, this problem is most likely a part of your everyday gaming life. Though annoying, most players need to rely on skill to keep up with gaming lag, especially when playing MMO FPSes. Take Quake Live for example. Since my net connection is not really capable of having a ping of 40ms, I tend to anticipate my opponents’ moves and act accordingly. Calculating imaginary distances may be troublesome for players but nothing can compare to that epic feeling once you see your name on top of the match’s leader boards after competing with non-lagging players. Pre-emptive lag-dodging is awesome.
Mathe-Magics In Raids
Other than lag computation, Mathemagics is also crucial for group raiding, especially when facing scripted dungeons and bosses. Since some bosses require specific timing and intense calculation, players must coordinate when DPS-ing these bosses down to prevent the boss from retaliating.
For Example: Some bosses mirror attacks once their lifebar/HP reaches a certain point. If the players are not careful, they might find themselves wiping all the way back to level 1 LOL. Aside from this phase, other bosses have a certain pattern that requires players to keep track of how many actions he/she has performed. Not being able to satisfy this requirement often leads to a group wipe.
People pick their classes to suit their desired play style, but in the end it’s all about math. Computing stats and gear pluses is inevitable, unless you want to be a scrub. Players must always know what particular stat to work on and what gear they must attain to satisfy this requirement. Some games give players less computing by removing the stat program, but that doesn’t mean that you’re off the computing hook completely. In the end, it’s all about balance. Having one strong attack is great and all, but it won’t do you much good when your follow ups or other spells are as crappy as hell. Knowing what’s right for your character is a must. It’s not that hard to compute skill points, really.
The most common science involved in MMO games is physics. Everyone and I mean EVERYONE is a Physicist in the MMO world, constantly testing the laws of physics to unlock more options for their everyday adventure. In MMO games, the first thing players try to test is the physical limitations of the game, observing the possibility of flight, clipping through walls (bugs LOL), and going beyond the average human/elf/orc/robot/chibi speed. This form of science is very helpful for both the players and developers as it often gives them hints on how to optimize the game further.
Masters of physics
It’s also helpful in various circumstances like escaping from monsters or players who are out to kick your ass. From personal experience, it always pays to know that that big leap to the rocky pits below won’t kill you. It’s not my fault they were afraid that it would kill them. Yep, knowing these simple things can aid you well in your journey, especially if you have the Feather Fall ability and they don’t XD.
Innovation and Improvisation
Although illegal, bug exploiters are also scientists in a way as they try to tweak our mundane MMO lives to make things easier for everyone. This includes money hacks and using the training dummies in Orgrimmar to produce free soul shards XD. It also allows players to discover different types of combinations they can achieve to enhance their character’s overall performance (example: gear upgrades). Developers don’t usually spoon-feed their players with the necessary information to be the best character around. There are a lot of things to discover and definitely more things to experiment on. Being the best character on the server is one thing, but being the innovator of that class tweak is just downright awesome.
Brainless activity? Pffft! That’s the last thing an MMO is, at least for biased people like us LOL. I mean, come on! Mashing that stick in Tekken is a lot more brainless than going from one town to another <_<. Anyway, MMO players are indeed scientists in a way. It’s not as complex as in real life, but at least you know your brain is still making progress while embarking on your fantasy adventure. I hope you guys liked this article as much as I enjoyed writing it.