Better Raise Some of My Class Skills

So here’s a topic I haven’t really touched in a while: MMOs. What? That’s all I talk about? Nonsense! I simply don’t tend to post other things on here!

As a busy student, I really do not have time to dedicate to MMOs anymore. Lately, I have just been focusing on time-killer games on the PSP or elsewhere. A few days ago, my room mate asked me why I bother with MMOs. While they too were a gamer, they simply could not understand my fascination with MMOs compared to other games such as first person shooters. Their rationale was that in MMOs, becoming “better” consists more of leveling/grinding rather than actually improving one’s skill. Thus, it is not easy to tell just how much one is getting “better” at the game.

While I believe this a valid point, I also believe this argument to be a narrow one. If you think of a game like Bioshock or Half-life 2, can you honestly say you are getting “better” at the game? What I mean is, isn’t fighting splicer after splicer or combine after combine “grinding” in itself? Sure there are no experience points or numbers, but isn’t picking up a new weapon or something the equivalent of leveling up?

Ok so maybe it is a little difficult to juxtapose the two. What I am saying is this: Skill level-wise, it is difficult to judge one’s skill level since in both cases, the character himself is getting stronger– Be it though experience points or new weapons. The real test of skill comes when you go against other people in multiplayer mode or *cough* in PvP in MMOs.

The argument my room mate presented that MMOs don’t let a gamer’s skill increase is thus really too narrow a statement in scope: In any game, the real test of skill level starts when one is faced against human opponents.

MMOs tend to be more tactical oriented, especially since large groups need to have plans for different scenarios against different monsters. While other multiplayer (versus) games require teamwork, the objective is largely to survive and kill the opposing team. Each requires skill… They just require different types of skill.

Perhaps the biggest difference between MMOs and other games (gameplay-wise) is the lack of validation of one’s accomplishments. In most games, you have a score or mission you need to clear in order to gain progress. I’m sure that for a lot of people, such checkpoints are real ego boosters that illustrate how far that they have come. In MMOs, you don’t really get such things, making the grind seem more tedious than it really is. If one requires such validation, they can usually go find a field boss or spawn that they would not beat  before and defeat it to see how far they have come, but most people don’t do this solely for that purpose. Perhaps since I am the type of person who rarely needs their ego stroked or who tends to look at many things in a black/white set of rules, I don’t require such validations and can thus enjoy an MMO far more.

Of course, there are various other aspects of an MMO that must be utilized if one truly wants to enjoy it. Too many people try to solo an MMO and go “this sucks!” a few hours later. It’s astonishing how few people understand that the whole point of an MMO is to be social and team up to face challenges. Only when one battles together in a group can one see the skill and tact required to effectively play an MMO.


One Comment

  1. Draco
    Transfer Student
    Class 2-D

    I understand what you're getting at when it comes to determining skill levels in games. Though human vs human aspect is a good measurement for skill level, player vs game itself can be a measure too. Like in any game, you can get really good at certain aspects of the game that you can beat it in a significantly shorter amount of time compared to how you use to play it before. Speed runs are always fun to watch since you clearly see how much skill/level memorization a person has done in order to pull off what needs to be done at the shortest amount of time possible. Heck even the guiness book of records have an entry for speed runs and I believe thats a huge accomplishment. Other measure for skills in games is having the ease to beat a game even at the hardest difficulty setting. Sure it doesn't really do much but to be able to tell your friends you can do it is always a plus.

    As for MMOs though, being able to trek through difficult dungeons solo is good enough measure of how good you've become at the game. Heck some MMOs are pretty hard to solo forcing you to group with other people, and to be able to reach the level where you can solo those dungeons is pretty much a huge accomplishment. Another thing for MMOs that leave you a sense of accomplishment, beating storyline missions the get you engrossed to the point of caring about the story. There are MMOs that have the story aspect but a good number do not. Grind MMOs are a plenty and honestly they can wear you out pretty fast.


    As for PvP in MMOs, keep in mind most of the time people who have PvP builds will suck at PvE and they suck big time. So they can have something accomplished when going head to head with other people, but to actually play the rest of the game they fall short of skill really fast.

    But if you think about it, don't we all play games just to enjoy them? Regardless if its a casual game or a grindfest MMO, the point of playing is to have yourself enjoy playing the game whatever it is. Kinda sad how some people take it too seriously to the point where they will argue with anyone who disagrees with them on w/e topic that don't agree with their way of playing. Oh well, to each their own.


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