Massively Multiplayer (EVE, Stormreach, World Of Warcraft, CCP + White Wolf)

I’ve been intrigued by the massively multiplayer games for a long time. I’ve played some Anarchy Online and tried free demos of a couple of others, but haven’t really gotten into any of them, mostly due to the grind of the games being such a bore: the games don’t properly start until you’ve invested dozens of hours and made friends with other players.

These games are commonly called massively multiplayer online something-or-other, usually roleplaying games. The “massively” is just needless gloating, and “multiplayer” says the same as “online”, really. If it’s an RPG, I like to stubbornly call them net-RPGs or something of the sort, as I feel just stupid saying “MMORPG” aloud. Don’t you? If it’s not an RPG, can’t we just say it’s an online game? Or a net-game?

There is one game in which the “massively” part rings true, which is one of the reasons I’m itching to try it out. Eve Online’s players truly are all in the same world, running it in unison. It’s a grand social and economical experiment, hailed by some as the ultimate game and by others as the, well, ultimate bore. There’s been a lot of cool stuff done in Eve, like the way the economy actually works and the way the players have set up the world’s allegiancies on their own, without GM intervention. We intend to check out EVE with my wife in the Christmas holidays.

Then there’s World Of Warcraft. It’s massive in the sense that everyone and their cats have played the game and there’s a truly massive amount of players at it at any given time, regardless of how many separate servers they inhabit. The games has one thing going for it: it’s visually so pleasing that I find it hard to resist jumping in whenever I see it running on-screen. We had already decided against ever trying it out, wary of some of our friends’ regret over the time they’d put into it, but last weekend the fever hit again.

I really don’t want to spend all my spare time on a (single) game. However, there’s nothing wrong in playing something for a while. There’s another online RPG I’d really like to check out, Dungeons & Dragons Stormreach, but I always thought that I shouldn’t touch it as I wouldn’t have the time it required, anyway. But so what if I only played for a couple of months, as with other games? If the game can’t offer proper gameplay during the opening moments, it’s probably not worth my time anyway.

As I had pondered about these things and settled on rying out at least the free demos of these games, the news hit that CCP, the company behind EVE, had agreed on a merger with White Wolf, the company behind my beloved Vampire tabletop RPG. Something good is bound to emerge from this union.

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