2.17.2010

To boldly go... Or not to boldly go...


MMORPG.  It stands for Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game.

I'm not a fan. Why? Let's go down the list:

Role-playing games as a rule generally require an investment of time I'm not willing to offer to a video game.  A great deal of time is spent leveling.  This is boring to me.  I prefer to be given the tools I need to defeat more difficult areas as I progress through the quests of the earlier areas.  I DON'T want repetitive tasks like defeating weaker enemies for an hour plus. I prefer balanced gameplay that properly equips me along the way. When I arrive at the boss, I hope for a test of skill, not patience.  Maybe in high school, or even my 20s, but those days are over.  Or so I thought.  Let's continue.

I hate people.  Despite my apparently amazing ability to deal with people on a daily basis, I generally don't like them.  To quote Randal Graves from Clerks 2, "I hate everyone and everything seems stupid to me." Couldn't have said it better myself, Kevin Smith...  Don't think I'm going to sit here and badmouth MMORPGs without having tried them, I have.  I've also done online gaming that wasn't RPG.  Games like Street Fighter and Metal Gear have online modes.  Most of my online meetings with fellow gamers have met with disaster.  Give a person anonymity and a headset and he becomes a douchenozzle.

Most MMOs are for PC.  Not a PC gamer, I'm a console gamer. In my mind, personal computers are for personal computing, and game consoles are for playing games. I'm not interested in buying a $500 video card. I don't wanna have to make sure my system requirements measure up to sloppy programming. I don't want my game interrupted by "New Windows Updates"! I want to put a disc in, pick up a controller and play. That's how I was raised, with a controller in my hand, not a keyboard and mouse.

So I've done just about everything in the nerd realm.  Online Gaming, MMORPG, I've even done a substantial amount of tabletop RPG.  Tabletop is a different animal.  Take away that anonymity, and things become a bit more civil.  Nobody is screaming obscenities at you from across the table or laughing at your death, at least not in my experience.  About the only thing I haven't tried is live-action role playing, the last shreds of dignity I have simply won't allow it.  More power to anyone who LARPs!  My point is, you can't say I didn't give RPGs or MMOs a fair shake.

What I AM a fan of is Star Trek.  So a bunch of jerks got together at a meeting. The lead jerk says, "Our task is simple gentlemen. We will make an MMORPG that Ray will want to play."  The others all look at each other in disbelief. "But sir, he hates MMOs, What you ask is impossible!" The lead jerk turns his back and walks to the window. He strokes his chin and smiles, "Two words gentlemen..." He turns and slams two hands on the table, "STAR TREK." The others all stand and applaud him. Two years later, Star Trek Online was released, and I've been pissed off ever since.

What's so bad about a Star Trek MMO? NOTHING, and that's the problem.  I'm supposed to hate MMO, and these jerks at Cryptic and Atari make a game I can't resist.  The more research I do, the more awesome it looks. One review I read criticized the game for being "...basically a single player game with some online elements." Sounds like the perfect MMO for me. Check this out: You get your own starship, you customize your ship and crew, go on away missions, starship combat, set 30 years after the last Next Generation movie making me want to see what's happened in the Star Trek Universe since then...  YOU MANIACS, YOU FINALLY DID IT, DAMN YOUS ALL TO HELL!

So I'm trying to decide if it's worth the $15 monthly investment and the time it will take to progress through the story, dealing with internet morons along the way.  Is being captain of my own starship, and learning the fates of my favorite races and people in Star Trek really worth dealing with "LovesToSpooge69" and "FlacidSnake82"?  Is engaging in combat with Klingons and Borg really worth the time and money it will take to boldly go where no man has gone before? What do you think?  Comments below. You don't need a Facebook account.


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