–> Player created. I don’t mean player submitted content. I mean role-playing. Yes, there are a few players out there that actually like role-playing. It’s a great way to escape the boundaries of a scripted story, but in existing MMOGs, the role-play is all about emoting things and pretending. Why hasn’t a game supported role-playing yet? Do you honestly think there are games that identify role-playing between players with game mechanics and choices geared specifically for that purpose? If you think making your character do an embarrassing “/dance” emote is role-playing, I think I need to explain this further.
I’m talking about interactions between characters. Perhaps I could actually, pour someone a drink… and it actually shows it happening. Maybe I could offer my hand in dance to a pretty lass… she in turn has the choice to accept the offer or decline it. Accepting would result in a waltz for the duration of the song. If someone was injured, perhaps my character could actually offer to bandage the wound carefully wrapping the injured limb. I suppose what I’m basically getting at is that the game would visually support a much wider range of character actions and cooperative actions that lend themselves to role-playing. Imagine a fallen comrade is too heavy for you to carry, but with the help of another, you could both drag him to safety. I don’t think it’s as complicated as it may sound, but then again, I do tend to underestimate things… a little.
Another idea for player created stories is that you create a mission for yourself and others to complete. You could select a series of plot options such as, mission type (rescue, assassination, escort, etc.) and choose appropriate sub-options (setting, enemy, environment, etc.) and most importantly you could choose appropriate rewards for completing the mission. So if I wanted to role-play and have a cool adventure to support my character’s dilemma, I could run up to an unsuspecting person on the street and frantically explain that my brother has just been shot and needs to get to the hospital as soon as possible. Unfortunately, my brother happens to have been shot during a gang war and the firefight is still on. Again, it sounds like a tall order, but I don’t think it has to be as complicated as it may sound. Essentially, that’s how all the missions are in the typical MMORPG. Get this item, kill this person, etc… how hard could it be to build simple missions with cool rewards by allowing the players to do it themselves?
Maybe I’m out to lunch, but I would think it would be so awesome in a game to lean in for a kiss and have the other player choose to return the favor or slap me in the face. I mean, wouldn’t it be cool to conclude a business transaction with a handshake between two characters? Or just to be standing on a street corner and light a cigarette and smoke it while gabbing with some schmuck? I don’t know, maybe it’s just me, but I’d think that more people would role-play if the game actually supported it.
Anyway, I just wanted to thank those who have contributed to this thread thus far. I’m really enjoying it and hope to continue discussing this to a point where we think there might be a viable solution to the MMOAG conundrum.
Oh yeah, one last thing… have you ever seen a cut-scene in a MMORPG? In a MMOAG, I think they’d be critical in advancing whatever plots there were for the player. You see them all the time in single-player games. They are there for a reason and MMORPGs don’t seem to understand the importance of them. My two cents.