The Age of Suffering: The Torture of MMOs
By Kei Beneza (dividelife), OnRPG Journalist
Tired of walking? Is the game being unfair for not granting you a mount until level 30? Are you running out of quests with seventy percent of your experience bar to fill? Well, suck it up, because you are now in the age of suffering O_O.
MMOs tend to make your character suffer during their early stages. This makes creating a new character a bit troublesome for most people, especially if they are used to riding jetpacks or mounts to cover more ground. Where’s that pet when you need it? How much more XP to the next level? Sorry my friend, but you’ll just have to keep going until you can train your new skills. Join me as we point out the underlying torture schemes of the MMO world, shedding some light at what makes players squirm for progress.
BEWARE FOUL CREATURES! I HAVE SLAIN 10 THOUSAND OF YOUR KIND DURING MY QUESTING DAYS!
Although the whole idea of grinding is welcomed by some players, it does make character progress (level-wise and financial-wise) a bit slower than usual. Most games tend to lack enough quests to fill your experience bar, leaving you to grind on monsters until the next level quests become available. It really gets annoying at times especially when KSers (Kill Stealers) hog the leveling grounds. A good example would have to be RF Online. The game grants you quests each time you reach a level. After fulfilling the requirements and receiving your quest rewards, you see that you still have 80% of your experience bar to finish, meaning you will have to jump into the KS moshpit until you move on to the next area along with the other high level KSers.
KIND SIR! PER CHANCE YOUR GIGANTIC MAMMOTH CAN LIFT ME TO MY DESTINATION?
MMO games that features mounts in general often make their players crawl in their early levels, making them walk great distances, while at the same time being passed by other players who have achieved their mount-level (CURSES!!!). Some games also make it extremely hard for players to earn one, charging them a silly amount of gold or even making them acquire it through the low probability of crafting (“Here it comes! Pray that this succeeds… I spent 20k gold for the materials!”… FAIL). I’m just guessing, maybe it’s the same as people getting their driver’s license, but it’s not like the characters in the game are that young, so that’s just being cruel. Other than mounts, some MMOs also charge you just so you can travel to your current leveling grounds, forcing you to buy tickets for something mandatory in your character’s progress.
“YOUR DAYS ARE NUMBERED KOBOLD! I HAVE REACHED LEVEL 15!” “YOU SEEM TO FORGET YOUNG ONE, WE ARE ARMORED KOBOLDS! LEVEL 16!”
One thing you just got to hate with MMOs is that they never really let you see how powerful you are. Yes they do increase your skill level, giving you more gimmicks to help you in battle, but things always get harder every time you get stronger. Why can’t they just let you enjoy killing monsters at your level instead of making you grind on higher mobs after leveling up? Great! They increased our arsenal, now let’s band together because they are much stronger than us now. You also have the option of farming the monsters you used to level on, but that wouldn’t do you much good as they now offer a crappy amount of experience.
4. Realizing your worth
“I HAVE FINALLY REACHED THE MAX LEVEL! LET’S WIN THE EMPERIUM!” “UHH… DUDE… YOUR GEAR SUCKS”
If you must know, reaching the highest level in the game only takes you to where everyone is striving. No sir, you are not that strong yet, for as they say in WoW “Life starts at 80”, which is true since reaching the highest level in the game only prepares you for the most extreme form of grinding. This is perhaps the hardest phase your character will have to go through, for the next steps you are about to take are a mixture of both numbers 1 and 3 (Grinding and lack of power). Actually, even though you’ve managed to reach the endgame content, you will also need to strengthen up your skills since nothing is worst than a player who doesn’t know how to use his tools (no pun intended). Is there a way to ride a fast mount to progress cause’ things are getting slower by the minute.
I AM NOW 10 LEVELS AWAY FROM BEING THE STRONGEST PLAYER IN THE GAME! NOW, ALL I NEED IS TO BUY THE NEXT EXPANSION SO I CAN FINISH MY JOURNEY!
After all the grinding, the walking and the power struggles, some games actually block your progress until you purchase the expansions. It’s actually the same as console gaming, where they stated that upgrades will be done through online updates but will eventually have another game launched with a few minor tweaks.
“BUY SUPER STREET FIGHTER 4! We have extra characters and a cool SUPER logo next to the words STREET FIGHTER 4!”
Let’s just say that it’s the same as F2P (Free to play) and P2P (Pay to Play) service. F2P players enjoy the game but will never really win as much as those who actually pay for premium service. For those games that feature nothing but P2P subscriptions, it really is that big of a hassle to purchase expansions for your characters to move forward, let alone pick new characters that are cooler and stronger than what they have provided so far (Until they tweak them down after everyone buys the expansions LOL).
NO MORE! PLEASE! NO MORE!
Too much suffering for you? Each game really has their own torture method to make players strive harder in reaching the endgame content. It definitely works well with P2P games, especially if they have more than one expansion for your character to continue his or her progress. The good side of things is that there will always be challenges holding you back from achieving your rewards. Since the game is a Massively Multiplayer Online Game (focusing on Massively), these challenges encourage players to work together, thus creating a band worthy of slaying the strong monsters that inhabit the place, so grind hard, get that mount, power up your character and GO FORTH you poor thing!