Massively multiplayer online role-playing game

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Massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs) are a combination of role-playing video games and massively multiplayer online games in which a very large number of players interact with one another within a virtual world.

A role-playing video game is a video game genre where the player controls the actions of a character immersed in some well-defined world. Many role-playing video games have origins in tabletop role-playing games and use much of the same terminology, settings and game mechanics. Other major similarities with pen-and-paper games include developed story-telling and narrative elements, player character development, complexity, as well as replayability and immersion. The electronic medium removes the necessity for a gamemaster and increases combat resolution speed. RPGs have evolved from simple text-based console-window games into visually rich 3D experiences.

A massively multiplayer online game is an online game with large numbers of players, typically from hundreds to thousands, on the same server. MMOs usually feature a huge, persistent open world, although some games differ. These games can be found for most network-capable platforms, including the personal computer, video game console, or smartphones and other mobile devices.

A player of a game is a participant therein. The term 'player' is used with this same meaning both in game theory and in ordinary recreational games.

Contents

As in all role-playing games or RPGs, the player assumes the role of a character (often in a fantasy world or science-fiction world) and takes control over many of that character's actions. MMORPGs are distinguished from single-player or small multi-player online RPGs by the number of players able to interact together, and by the game's persistent world (usually hosted by the game's publisher), which continues to exist and evolve while the player is offline and away from the game.

Role-playing game Game in which players assume the roles of characters in a fictional setting

A role-playing game is a game in which players assume the roles of characters in a fictional setting. Players take responsibility for acting out these roles within a narrative, either through literal acting, or through a process of structured decision-making regarding character development. Actions taken within many games succeed or fail according to a formal system of rules and guidelines.

Player character fictional character in a role-playing or video game that can be played or controlled by a real-world person

A player character is a fictional character in a role-playing game or video game whose actions are directly controlled by a player of the game rather than the rules of the game. The characters that are not controlled by a player are called non-player characters (NPCs). The actions of non-player characters are typically handled by the game itself in video games, or according to rules followed by a gamemaster refereeing tabletop role-playing games. The player character functions as a fictional, alternate body for the player controlling the character.

Fantasy world a world in a fantasy setting

A fantasy world is an author-conceived world created in fictional media, such as literature, film or games. Typical fantasy worlds involve magic or magical abilities, nonexistent technology and sometimes, either a historical or futuristic theme. Some worlds may be a parallel world connected to Earth via magical portals or items ; a fictional Earth set in the remote past or future ; or an entirely independent world set in another part of the universe.

MMORPGs are played throughout the world. Worldwide revenues for MMORPGs exceeded half a billion dollars in 2005, [1] and Western revenues exceeded a billion dollars in 2006. [2] In 2008, the spending on subscription MMORPGs by consumers in North America and Europe grew to $1.4 billion. [3] World of Warcraft , a popular MMORPG, has over 10 million subscribers as of November 2014. [4] World of Warcraft's total revenue was $1.04 billion US dollars in 2014. [5] Star Wars: The Old Republic , released in 2011, became the world's 'Fastest-Growing MMO Ever' after gaining more than 1 million subscribers within the first three days of its launch. [6] [7]

<i>World of Warcraft</i> video game by Blizzard Entertainment

World of Warcraft (WoW) is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) released in 2004 by Blizzard Entertainment. It is the fourth released game set in the Warcraft fantasy universe. World of Warcraft takes place within the Warcraft world of Azeroth, approximately four years after the events at the conclusion of Blizzard's previous Warcraft release, Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne. The game was announced in 2001, and was released for the 10th anniversary of the Warcraft franchise on November 23, 2004. Since launch, World of Warcraft has had seven major expansion packs released for it: The Burning Crusade, Wrath of the Lich King, Cataclysm, Mists of Pandaria, Warlords of Draenor, Legion, and Battle for Azeroth.

<i>Star Wars: The Old Republic</i> 2011 video game

Star Wars: The Old Republic is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) based in the Star Wars universe. Developed by BioWare Austin and a supplemental team at BioWare Edmonton, the game was announced on October 21, 2008. The video game was released for the Microsoft Windows platform on December 20, 2011 in North America and part of Europe. Early access to the game began one week before release, on December 13, 2011, for those who had pre-ordered the game online; access opened in "waves" based on pre-order date.

Common features

Although modern MMORPGs sometimes differ dramatically from their predecessors, many of them share the same basic characteristics. These include several common features: persistent game environment, some form of level progression, social interaction within the game, in-game culture, system architecture, membership in a group, and character customization.

Themes

The majority of popular MMORPGs are based on traditional fantasy themes, often occurring in an in-game universe comparable to that of Dungeons & Dragons . Some employ hybrid themes that either merge or replace fantasy elements with those of science fiction, sword and sorcery, or crime fiction. Others draw thematic material from American comic books, the occult, and other genres. These elements are often developed using similar tasks and scenarios involving quests, monsters, and loot.

<i>Dungeons & Dragons</i> Fantasy role-playing game

Dungeons & Dragons is a fantasy tabletop role-playing game (RPG) originally designed by Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson. It was first published in 1974 by Tactical Studies Rules, Inc. (TSR). The game has been published by Wizards of the Coast since 1997. It was derived from miniature wargames, with a variation of the 1971 game Chainmail serving as the initial rule system. D&D's publication is commonly recognized as the beginning of modern role-playing games and the role-playing game industry.

Science fiction Genre of speculative fiction

Science fiction is a genre of speculative fiction that has been called the "literature of ideas". It typically deals with imaginative and futuristic concepts such as advanced science and technology, time travel, parallel universes, fictional worlds, space exploration, and extraterrestrial life. It often explores the potential consequences of scientific innovations.

Sword and sorcery genre of fantasy fiction

Sword and sorcery (S&S) is a subgenre of fantasy characterized by sword-wielding heroes engaged in exciting and violent adventures. An element of romance is often present, as is an element of magic and the supernatural. Unlike works of high fantasy, the tales, though dramatic, focus mainly on personal battles rather than world-endangering matters. Sword and sorcery commonly overlaps with heroic fantasy.

Progression

In nearly all MMORPGs, the development of the player's character is the primary goal. Nearly all MMORPGs feature a character progression system, in which players earn experience points for their actions and use those points to reach character "levels", which makes them better at whatever they do. [8] Traditionally, combat with monsters and completing quests for non-player characters, either alone or in groups, are the primary ways to earn experience points. The accumulation of wealth (including combat-useful items) is also a way to progress in many MMORPGs. This is traditionally best accomplished via combat. The cycle produced by these conditions, combat leading to new items allowing for more combat with no change in gameplay, is sometimes pejoratively referred to as the level treadmill, or "grinding". The role-playing game Progress Quest was created as a parody of this trend. Eve Online trains skills in real time rather than using experience points as a measure of progression.

A non-player character (NPC) is any character in a game which is not controlled by a player. The term originated in traditional tabletop role-playing games, where it applies to characters controlled by the gamemaster or referee, rather than another player. In video games, this usually means a character controlled by the computer via algorithmic, predetermined or responsive behavior, but not necessarily true artificial intelligence.

In video gaming, grinding is performing repetitive tasks, usually for a gameplay advantage or loot but in some cases for purely aesthetic or cosmetic benefits. Many video games use different tactics to implement, or reduce the amount of grinding in play. The general use of grinding is for "experience points", or to improve a character's level. However, the behavior is sometimes referred to as pushing the bar, farming, or catassing.

<i>Progress Quest</i> video game

Progress Quest is a video game developed by Eric Fredricksen as a parody of EverQuest and other massively multiplayer online role-playing games. It is loosely considered a zero-player game, in the sense that once the player has set up their artificial character, there is no user interaction at all; the game "plays" itself, with the human player as spectator. The game's source code was released in 2011.

In some MMORPGs, there is no limit to a player's level, allowing the grinding experience to continue indefinitely. MMORPGs that use this model often glorify top ranked players by displaying their avatars on the game's website or posting their stats on a high score screen. Another common practice is to enforce a maximum reachable level for all players, often referred to as a level cap. Once reached, the definition of a player's progression changes. Instead of being awarded primarily with experience for completing quests and dungeons, the player's motivation to continue playing will be replaced with collecting money and equipment.

Often, the widened range of equipment available at the maximum level will have increased aesthetic value to distinguish high ranking players in game between lower ranked players. Colloquially known as endgame gear, this set of empowered weapons and armor adds a competitive edge to both scripted boss encounters as well as player vs player combat. Player motivation to outperform others is fueled by acquiring such items and is a significant determining factor in their success or failure in combat-related situations.

Social interaction

MMORPGs almost always have tools to facilitate communication between players. Many MMORPGs offer support for in-game guilds or clans, though these will usually form whether the game supports them or not.

In addition, most MMOGs require some degree of teamwork in parts of the game. These tasks usually require players to take on roles in the group, such as protecting other players from damage (called tanking), "healing" damage done to other players or damaging enemies.

MMORPGs generally have Game Moderators or Game Masters (frequently referred to as GMs or "mods"), who may be paid employees or unpaid volunteers who attempt to supervise the world. Some GMs may have additional access to features and information related to the game that are not available to other players and roles. [9]

Relationships formed in MMORPGs can often be just as intense as relationships formed between friends or partners met outside the game, and often involve elements of collaboration and trust between players. [10]

Roleplaying

Most MMORPGs provide different types of classes that players can choose. Among those classes, a small portion of players choose to roleplay their characters, and there are rules that provide functionality and content to those who do. Community resources such as forums and guides exist in support of this play style.

For example, if a player wants to play a priest role in his MMORPG world, he might buy a cope from a shop and learn priestly skills, proceeding to speak, act, and interact with others as their character would. This may or may not include pursuing other goals such as wealth or experience. Guilds or similar groups with a focus on roleplaying may develop extended in-depth narratives using the setting and resources similar to those in the game world. [11]

Culture

Over time, the MMORPG community has developed a sub-culture with its own slang and metaphors, as well as an unwritten list of social rules and taboos. Players will often complain about 'grind' (a slang term for any repetitive, time-consuming activity in an MMORPG), or talk about 'buffs' and 'nerfs' (respectively an upgrade or downgrade of a particular game mechanic).

As with all such cultures, social rules exist for such things as invitations to join an adventuring party, the proper division of treasure, and how a player is expected to behave while grouped with other players. [11]

Debate rages in various gaming media over the long-term effect of video game overuse. The On-Line Gamers Anonymous forums are filled with stories of players that have neglected social, employment and/or family responsibilities in favor of their virtual lives.

System architecture

Most MMORPGs are deployed using a client–server system architecture. The server software generates a persistent instance of the virtual world that runs continuously, and players connect to it via a client software. The client software may provide access to the entire playing world, or further 'expansions' may be required to be purchased to allow access to certain areas of the game. EverQuest and Guild Wars are two examples of games that use such a format. Players generally must purchase the client software for a one-time fee, although an increasing trend is for MMORPGs to work using pre-existing "thin" clients, such as a web browser.[ citation needed ]

Some MMORPGs require payment or a monthly subscription to play. By definition, "massively multiplayer" games are always online, and most require some sort of continuous revenue (such as monthly subscriptions and advertisements) for maintenance and development purposes. Some games, such as Guild Wars have disposed of the 'monthly fee' model entirely, and recover costs directly through sales of the software and associated expansion packs. Still, others adopt a micropayment model where the core content is free, but players are given the option to purchase additional content, such as equipment, aesthetic items, or pets. Games that make use of this model often have originated in Korea, such as Flyff and MapleStory . This business model is alternately called "pay for perks" or "freemium", and games using it often describe themselves with the term "free-to-play".

Depending on the number of players and the system architecture, an MMORPG might actually be run on multiple separate servers, each representing an independent world, where players from one server cannot interact with those from another; World of Warcraft is a prominent example, with each separate server housing several thousand players. In many MMORPGs the number of players in one world is often limited to around a few thousand, but a notable example of the opposite is EVE Online , which accommodates several hundred thousand players on the same server, with over 60,000 playing simultaneously (June 2010 [12] ) at certain times. Some games allow characters to appear on any world, but not simultaneously (such as Seal Online: Evolution), others limit each character to the world in which it was created. World of Warcraft has experimented with "cross-realm" (i.e. cross-server) interaction in player vs player "battlegrounds", using server clusters or "battlegroups" to co-ordinate players looking to participate in structured player vs player content such as the Warsong Gulch or Alterac Valley battlegrounds. [13] Additionally, patch 3.3, released on December 8, 2009, introduced a cross-realm "looking for group" system to help players form groups for instanced content (though not for open-world questing) from a larger pool of characters than their home server can necessarily provide. [14]

History

MUD1, an early multi-user game MUD1 screenshot.gif
MUD1 , an early multi-user game

MMORPG is a term coined by Richard Garriott to refer to massive multiplayer online role-playing games and their social communities. [11] The link between Garriott and the MMORPG term has been recognised by many scholars. [15] Previous to this and related coinages, these games were generally called graphical MUDs; the history of MMORPGs traces back directly through the MUD genre. [16] [17] Through this connection, MMORPGs can be seen to have roots in the earliest multi-user games such as Mazewar (1974) and MUD1 (1978). 1985 saw the release of a roguelike (pseudo-graphical) MUD called Island of Kesmai on CompuServe [18] and Lucasfilm's graphical MUD Habitat. [19] The first fully graphical multi-user RPG was Neverwinter Nights , which was delivered through America Online in 1991 and was personally championed by AOL President Steve Case. [20] Other early proprietary graphical online RPGs include three on The Sierra Network: The Shadow of Yserbius in 1992, The Fates of Twinion in 1993, and The Ruins of Cawdor in 1995. Another milestone came in 1995 as NSFNET restrictions were lifted, opening the Internet up for game developers, which allowed for the first truly "massively"-scoped titles. Finally, MMORPGs as defined today began with Meridian 59 in 1996, innovative both in its scope and in offering first-person 3D graphics, with The Realm Online appearing nearly simultaneously. [20] Ultima Online , released in 1997, is often credited with first popularizing the genre, [20] though more mainstream attention was garnered by 1999's EverQuest and Asheron's Call in the West [20] and 1996's Nexus: The Kingdom of the Winds in South Korea.

The financial success of these early titles has ensured competition in the genre since that time. MMORPG titles now exist on consoles and in new settings. As of 2008, the market for MMORPGs has Blizzard Entertainment's World of Warcraft dominating as the largest MMORPG, [21] alongside other titles such as Final Fantasy XIV and Guild Wars 2 , though an additional market exists for free-to-play MMORPGs, which are supported by advertising and purchases of in-game items. This free-to-play model is particularly common in South Korea such as MapleStory , Rohan: Blood Feud , and Atlantica Online . Also, there are some free-to-play games, such as RuneScape and Tibia , where the game is free, but one would have to pay monthly to play the game with more features. Guild Wars and its sequel avoid some degree of competition with other MMORPGs by only requiring the initial purchase of the game to play.

Development

The cost of developing a competitive commercial MMORPG title often exceeded $10 million in 2003. [22] These projects require multiple disciplines within game design and development such as 3D modeling, 2D art, animation, user interfaces, client/server engineering, database architecture, and network infrastructure. [23]

The front-end (or client) component of a commercial, modern MMORPG features 3D graphics. As with other modern 3D games, the front-end requires expertise with implementing 3D engines, real-time shader techniques and physics simulation. The actual visual content (areas, creatures, characters, weapons, spaceships and so forth) is developed by artists who typically begin with two-dimensional concept art, and later convert these concepts into animated 3D scenes, models and texture maps. [24]

Developing an MMOG server requires expertise with client/server architecture, network protocols, security, and database design. MMORPGs include reliable systems for a number of vital tasks. The server must be able to handle and verify a large number of connections, prevent cheating, and apply changes (bug fixes or added content) to the game. A system for recording the games data at regular intervals, without stopping the game, is also important. [25]

Maintenance requires sufficient servers and bandwidth, and a dedicated support staff. Insufficient resources for maintenance lead to lag and frustration for the players, and can severely damage the reputation of a game, especially at launch. Care must also be taken to ensure that player population remains at an acceptable level by adding or removing servers. Peer-to-peer MMORPGs could theoretically work cheaply and efficiently in regulating server load, but practical issues such as asymmetrical network bandwidth, CPU-hungry rendering engines, unreliability of individual nodes, and inherent lack of security (opening fertile new grounds for cheating) can make them a difficult proposition. The hosted infrastructure for a commercial-grade MMORPG requires the deployment of hundreds (or even thousands) of servers. Developing an affordable infrastructure for an online game requires developers to scale large numbers of players with less hardware and network investment. [26]

In addition, the development team will need to have expertise with the fundamentals of game design: world-building, lore and game mechanics, [27] as well as what makes games fun. [28]

Non-corporate development

Screenshot of an event in the MMORPG Ryzom, an open source and free content game (2014). Ryzom screenshot 4.png
Screenshot of an event in the MMORPG Ryzom , an open source and free content game (2014).

Though the vast majority of MMORPGs are produced by companies, many small teams of programmers and artists have contributed to the genre. As shown above, the average MMORPG development project requires enormous investments of time and money, and running the game can be a long-term commitment. As a result, non-corporate (or independent, or "indie") development of MMORPGs is less common compared to other genres. Still, many independent MMORPGs do exist, representing a wide spectrum of genres, gameplay types, and revenue systems.

Some independent MMORPG projects are completely open source, while others feature proprietary content made with an open-source game engine. The WorldForge project has been active since 1998 and formed a community of independent developers who are working on creating framework for a number of open-source MMORPGs. The Multiverse Foundation has also created a platform specifically for independent MMOG developers. [31]

As there are a number of wildly different titles within the genre, and since the genre develops so rapidly, it is difficult to definitively state that the genre is heading in one direction or another. Still, there are a few obvious developments. One of these developments is the raid group quest, or "raid", [32] which is an adventure designed for large groups of players (often twenty or more).

Instance dungeons

Instance dungeons, sometimes shortened to "instances", are game areas that are "copied" for individual players or groups, which keeps those in the instance separated from the rest of the game world. This reduces competition, and also reducing the amount of data that needs to be sent to and from the server, reducing lag. The Realm Online was the first MMORPG to begin to use a rudimentary form of this technique and Anarchy Online would develop it further, using instances as a key element of gameplay. Since then, instancing has become increasingly common. The "raids", as mentioned above, often involve instance dungeons. Examples of games which feature instances are World of Warcraft , The Lord of the Rings Online , EverQuest , EverQuest II , Aion , Final Fantasy XIV , Guild Wars , Rift , RuneScape , Star Trek Online and DC Universe Online .

Player-created content

Increased amounts of "player-created content" is another trend. [33]

Use of licenses

The use of intellectual property licensing common in other video game genres has also appeared in MMORPGs. 2007 saw the release of The Lord of the Rings Online , based on J. R. R. Tolkien's Middle-earth. Other licensed MMORPGs include The Matrix Online , based on the Matrix trilogy of films, Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning , based on Games Workshop's table top game, Star Wars Galaxies , Star Wars The Old Republic , Champions Online and Age of Conan .

Additionally, several licenses from television have been optioned for MMORPGs, for example Star Trek Online and Stargate Worlds (which was later canceled).

Console-based MMORPGs

The first console-based MMORPG was Phantasy Star Online for the Sega DreamCast. [34] The first console-based open-world MMORPG was Final Fantasy XI for the PlayStation 2. EverQuest Online Adventures , also on the PlayStation 2, was the first console MMORPG in North America. Although console-based MMORPGs are considered more difficult to produce, [35] the platform is gaining more attention.

Browser-based MMORPGs

With the popularization of Facebook and microtransactions has come a new wave of Flash and HTML5 based MMORPGs that use the free to play model. They require no download outside of a browser and usually have heavily integrated social media sharing features. An example of a browser-based MMORPG is Freewar .

Smartphone-based MMORPGs

Smartphones with their GPS capabilities (amongst others) enable augmented reality games such as Ingress and Pokémon Go . The games are enhanced by location and distance based tracking, bench marking goals or facilitating trade between players.

In society and culture

Psychological effects

Since the interactions between MMORPG players are real, even if the environments are virtual, psychologists and sociologists are able to use MMORPGs as tools for academic research. Sherry Turkle has found that many people have expanded their emotional range by exploring the many different roles (including gender identities) that MMORPGs allow a person to explore. [36]

Nick Yee has surveyed more than 35,000 MMORPG players over the past several years, focusing on psychological and sociological aspects of these games. Recent findings included that 15% of players become a guild-leader at one time or another, but most generally find the job tough and thankless; [37] and that players spend a considerable amount of time (often a third of their total time investment) doing things that are external to gameplay but part of the metagame. [38]

Many players report that the emotions they feel while playing an MMORPG are very strong, to the extent that 8.7% of male and 23.2% of female players in a statistical study have had an online wedding. [39] Other researchers have found that the enjoyment of a game is directly related to the social organization of a game, ranging from brief encounters between players to highly organized play in structured groups. [40]

In a study by Zaheer Hussain and Mark D. Griffiths, it was found that just over one in five gamers (21%) said they preferred socializing online to offline. Significantly more male gamers than female gamers said that they found it easier to converse online than offline. It was also found that 57% of gamers had created a character of the opposite gender, and it is suggested that the online female persona has a number of positive social attributes. [41]

A German fMRT-study conducted by researchers of the Central Institute of Mental Health points towards impairments in social, emotional and physical aspects of the self-concept and a higher degree in avatar identification in addicted MMORPG players, compared to non-addicted and naive (nonexperienced) people. [42] These findings generally support Davis' cognitive behavioral model of Internet addiction, which postulates that dysfunctional self-related cognitions represent central factors contributing towards the development and maintenance of MMORPG addiction. [43] The high degree of avatar identification found by Leménager et al. in the addicted group of this study indicates that MMORPG playing may represent an attempt to compensate for impairments in self-concept. Psychotherapeutic interventions should therefore focus on the development of coping strategies for real-life situations in which addicted players tend to experience themselves as incompetent and inferior. [42]

Richard Bartle, author of Designing Virtual Worlds , classified multiplayer RPG-players into four primary psychological groups. His classifications were then expanded upon by Erwin Andreasen, who developed the concept into the thirty-question Bartle Test that helps players determine which category they are associated with. With over 650,000 test responses as of 2011, this is perhaps the largest ongoing survey of multiplayer game players. [44] Based on Bartle and Yee's research, Jon Radoff has published an updated model of player motivation that focuses on immersion, competition, cooperation and achievement. [45] [46] These elements may be found not only in MMORPGs, but many other types of games and within the emerging field of gamification.

In World of Warcraft , a temporary design glitch attracted the attention of psychologists and epidemiologists across North America, when the "Corrupted Blood" disease of a monster began to spread unintentionally—and uncontrollably—into the wider game world. The Centers for Disease Control used the incident as a research model to chart both the progression of a disease, and the potential human response to large-scale epidemic infection. [47]

Economics

A user browsing the market for items in Eve Online Evemarketscreen.png
A user browsing the market for items in Eve Online

Many MMORPGs feature living economies. Virtual items and currency have to be gained through play and have definite value for players. [48] Such a virtual economy can be analyzed (using data logged by the game) [48] and has value in economic research. More significantly, these "virtual" economies can affect the economies of the real world.

One of the early researchers of MMORPGs was Edward Castronova, who demonstrated that a supply-and-demand market exists for virtual items and that it crosses over with the real world. [49] This crossover has some requirements of the game:

The idea of attaching real-world value to "virtual" items has had a profound effect on players and the game industry, and even the courts. [51] The virtual currency selling pioneer IGE received a lawsuit from a World of Warcraft player for interfering in the economics and intended use of the game by selling WoW gold. [52] Castronova's first study in 2002 found that a highly liquid (if illegal) currency market existed, with the value of Everquest's in-game currency exceeding that of the Japanese yen. [53] Some people even make a living by working these virtual economies; these people are often referred to as gold farmers, and may be employed in game sweatshops. [54]

Game publishers usually prohibit the exchange of real-world money for virtual goods, but others actively promote the idea of linking (and directly profiting from) an exchange. In Second Life and Entropia Universe , the virtual economy and the real-world economy are directly linked. This means that real money can be deposited for game money and vice versa. Real-world items have also been sold for game money in Entropia, and some players of Second Life have generated revenues in excess of $100,000. [55]

Bots spamming a communication channel in RuneScape to advertise illegitimate market websites. RuneScape spammers.png
Bots spamming a communication channel in RuneScape to advertise illegitimate market websites.

Some of the issues confronting online economies include:

Linking real-world and virtual economies is rare in MMORPGs, as it is generally believed to be detrimental to gameplay. If real-world wealth can be used to obtain greater, more immediate rewards than skillful gameplay, the incentive for strategic roleplay and real game involvement is diminished. It could also easily lead to a skewed hierarchy where richer players gain better items, allowing them to take on stronger opponents and level up more quickly than less wealthy but more committed players. [59]

See also

Related Research Articles

<i>EverQuest</i> video game

EverQuest is a 3D fantasy-themed massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) originally developed by Verant Interactive and 989 Studios for Windows PCs. It was released by Sony Online Entertainment in March 1999 in North America, and by Ubisoft in Europe in April 2000. A dedicated version for macOS was released in June 2003, which operated for ten years before being shut down in November 2013. In June 2000, Verant Interactive was absorbed into Sony Online Entertainment, who took over full development and publishing duties of the title. Later, in February 2015, SOE's parent corporation, Sony Computer Entertainment, sold the studio to investment company Inception Acquisitions and was rebranded as Daybreak Game Company, who develops and publishes EverQuest to this day.

A virtual economy is an emergent economy existing in a virtual world, usually exchanging virtual goods in the context of an Internet game. People enter these virtual economies for recreation and entertainment rather than necessity, which means that virtual economies lack the aspects of a real economy that are not considered to be "fun". However, some people do interact with virtual economies for "real" economic benefit.

A multiplayer video game is a video game in which more than one person can play in the same game environment at the same time, either locally or online over the internet. Multiplayer games usually require players to share the resources of a single game system or use networking technology to play together over a greater distance; players may compete against one or more human contestants, work cooperatively with a human partner to achieve a common goal, supervise other players' activity, co-op. Multiplayer games allow players interaction with other individuals in partnership, competition or rivalry, providing them with social communication absent from single-player games.

Twinking is a type of behavior in role-playing games which involves deceiving other players about one's playing abilities or achievements in the game. A player who engages in such behavior is known as a twink. The precise definition of twinking varies depending on the variety of role-playing game:

Player(s) versus player(s), better known as PvP, is a type of multiplayer interactive conflict within a game between two or more live participants. This is in contrast to games where players compete against computer-controlled opponents and/or players, which is referred to as player versus environment (PvE). The terms are most often used in games where both activities exist, particularly MMORPGs, MUDs, and other role-playing video games. PvP can be broadly used to describe any game, or aspect of a game, where players compete against each other. PvP is often controversial when used in role-playing games. In most cases, there are vast differences in abilities between experienced and novice players. PvP can even encourage experienced players to immediately attack and kill inexperienced players. PvP is sometimes called player killing.

Scott Jennings, also known as Lum the Mad, is an American commentator on MMORPG games. He is best known for creating a website, The Rantings of Lum The Mad, a pioneer blog, which existed from 1998 to 2001, when Jennings was hired by MMO developer Mythic Entertainment, where he remained until 2006.

An online game is a video game that is either partially or primarily played through the Internet or any other computer network available. Online games are ubiquitous on modern gaming platforms, including PCs, consoles and mobile devices, and span many genres, including first-person shooters, strategy games and massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPG).

PvE, player vs environment, is a term used in online games, particularly MMORPGs, CORPGs, MUDs, and other online role-playing video games, to refer to fighting computer-controlled enemies—in contrast to PvP.

In role-playing games, an alternate character, often referred to in slang as alt, alt char, or less commonly multi, is a character in addition to one's "primary" or "Main" player character. Players are generally not secretive about their alternate characters, unless having multiple characters is illegal, or in a role-playing environment where alternate characters might be judged by the actions of the primary character. In games where multiple characters are illegal, enforcement of this restriction can be difficult, especially without specialized tools.

Virtual crime or in-game crime refers to a virtual criminal act that takes place in a massively multiplayer online game (MMOG), usually an MMORPG. The huge time and effort invested into such games can lead online "crime" to spill over into real world crime, and even blur the distinctions between the two. Some countries have introduced special police investigation units to cover such "virtual crimes". South Korea is one such country and looked into 22,000 cases in the first six months of 2003.

Mudflation, from MUD and inflation, is an economic issue that exists in massively multiplayer online games. Mudflation occurs when future additions to a game causes previously acquired resources to decline in value. This can take many forms and have many causes, including new items introduced by an expansion pack, fundamental imbalances in the in-game economy, or even spread of information that allows a previously rare resource to be acquired more easily.

Bartle taxonomy of player types

The Bartle taxonomy of player types is a classification of video game players (gamers) based on a 1996 paper by Richard Bartle according to their preferred actions within the game. The classification originally described players of multiplayer online games, though now it also refers to players of single-player video games.

The history of massively multiplayer online games spans over thirty years and hundreds of massively multiplayer online games (MMOG) titles. The origin and influence on MMO games stems from MUDs, Dungeons & Dragons and earlier social games.

A raid is a type of mission in a video game where a number of people attempt to defeat either: (a) another number of people at player-vs-player (PVP), (b) a series of computer-controlled enemies in a player-vs-environment (PVE) battlefield, or (c) a very powerful boss (superboss). This type of objective is most commonly seen in massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs), and usually, but not necessarily, occurs within an instance dungeon in that genre. On the other hand, in military real-time strategy (RTS) games like StarCraft, the term is used differently.

Virtual goods are non-physical objects and money purchased for use in online communities or online games. Digital goods, on the other hand, may be a broader category including digital books, music, and movies. Virtual goods are intangible by definition.

Dragon kill points or DKP are a semi-formal score-keeping system used by guilds in massively multiplayer online games. Players in these games are faced with large scale challenges, or raids, which may only be surmounted through the concerted effort of dozens of players at a time. While many players may be involved in defeating a boss, the boss will reward the group with only a small number of items desired by the players. Faced with this scarcity, some system of fairly distributing the items must be established. Used originally in the massively multiplayer online role-playing game EverQuest, dragon kill points are points that are awarded to players for defeating bosses and redeemed for items that those bosses would 'drop'. At the time most of the bosses faced by the players were dragons, hence the name.

GamePal is an online platform for players of massively multiplayer online (MMO) games to buy, sell and trade digital assets such as in-game currency, items, accounts, and power leveling services. The site is a neutral marketplace that supports player-to-player as well as direct selling for popular MMOs.

Massively multiplayer online first-person shooter game (MMOFPS) mixes the genres of first-person shooter and massively multiplayer online games, possibly in the form of web browser-based games, in which a very large number of players interact with one another within a virtual world. In other words, an MMOFPS is a real-time, online gaming experience to be played within a massive in-game area which features a large number of simultaneous players in a first-person shooter fashion. These games provide large-scale, sometimes team-based combat.

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Further reading