Defining Goals in MMORPGs
Out of any MMORPG I’ve ever played, World of Warcraft definitely had the clearest goal for me when I first started playing it: Titan’s Grip. As soon as I read about Patch 3.0.2, I was intrigued and excited. The idea of dual wielding two-handed swords was exceedingly appealing to me in terms of gameplay and roleplay. Suffice to say it was so appealing, I gave up on Warhammer Online and started playing WoW instead.
Usually I continually try out new alts until I find one that fits and then make it my main. This was the case with Everquest, Everquest 2 and every other MMORPG I played for a long period of time but with WoW I started a Warrior and he’s still my highest level character to date. I also played him solidly until the mid 60s before I made my first alt. Considering I’m an altaholic, that’s pretty darn good going.
So what have I learnt from that experience? Defining your own goals is a good idea and a neat way of providing a point to your gameplay. Of course, developers are very much aware of this too and have been astutely creating player goals and targets since the very first computer games were invented. Sometimes it’s about getting to the next level, sometimes about completing the game itself and sometimes it’s about unlocking a certain spell or ability. Regardless of what it is, MMORPGs in particular have them in spades and it’s possibly one of the reasons they are so addictive – we constantly need to achieve, never quite able to get a full sense of completion.
Playing (sorry, that’s not the right word – the term embarking on a space odyssey is more appropriate) EVE Online has been a very interesting experience for me. Unlike most other MMORPGs, there are no obvious step-by-step goals. Sure, there are BIG goals like conquering the known galaxy but there isn’t that classic path of goals and achievements to follow. Thus, we’re left to create our own, a somewhat daunting task.
My goal in EVE become clear to me when I was browing the EVEWiki yesterday though. It’s big, it’s mean and it’s name sounds a little bit like ‘Megatron’. Cue the drum roll as I introduce you to the Megathron, battleship extraordinaire. My goal is simple. Obtain one of these bad boys, equip it, learn how to fly it, and bust some balls. It will be mine. Oh yes – it will be mine.
It’s curious. This one simple little goal has increased my enthusiasm towards EVE by ten-fold and I now eagerly spend my time mining ore and training skills to eventually be able to buy and fly the Megathron. Until then, although I was enjoying the game, I didn’t really have much of a direction to my activities or a point to my existence in the game world. But now I do. I want to fly a big ass ship and shoot people down. Plus, it looks awesome. Simple pleasures for simple minds.
So, anyone else have any MMORPG goals (or heck, even real life goals even while we’re at it) they want to share?