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.

Megathron Ship in EVE Online

Megathron Ship in EVE Online

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?

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22 Comments

  1. Did you just call the goal of flying and fitting a Megathron a “simple goal”? You are in for some heavy skill training to get that baby well-equipped…

    Personally, I could probably fit it well by now, but I just know I will never be able to afford one. Still suck at the whole ISK-making. But they do look awesome. Have you seen the Navy Version? Just seeing one of those hanging at a gate makes my jaw drop…they are beautiful.

    • Gordon says:

      Heh, yeah OK, maybe simple isn’t the right word for it :) Still, I gotta have a dream right?! I’ve got my eye on the Thorax cruiser first and then I’ll probably stick with that and save up for the Megathron. I reckon I just need to mine grind a ton until I get the cash.

  2. Longasc says:

    I set my goals in EVE continuously higher… :)

    My first goal was to get an Apocalypse Battleship. Shiny Golden Amarr stuff. The next was to get an Assault Frigate, a Retribution.

    After I got a “Sacrilege” Tech 2 Heavy Attack Cruiser, and collecting tons of faction shisp like the Succubus, Dramiel and so on… I wanted a “Nightmare” Faction Battleship: http://wiki.eveonline.com/wiki/Nightmare – and I got it. It was not a very powerful ship, despite some serious cross faction skill requirements, but it looked really cool.

    Then I learnt Minmatar Battleship just to get a Machariel http://wiki.eveonline.com/wiki/Machariel , but I never had the money to buy one or luck to get one. My corp CEO Tychon got one though.

    He lost the Machariel in a Corp War after I left. But my Nightmare was still intact last time I asked. :)

  3. Longasc says:

    P.S.: My next MMO goal is to get to level 25+ before Saturday evening and test the hell out of Aion “PvPvE” – I want to see if it is really that good.

  4. Marchosias says:

    I’ve already got my battleships. They are shiney and fun to blast stuff with (Maelstrom – big guns, Raven – big missiles, and Scorpion – EWAR).

    Currently I’m spec’ing up my industrials in hopes of getting a second Hulk pilot and an Orca for my Mining Director. (I multibox 3 accounts, btw) If my plans stay on track, I should have that Orca and two Hulk pilots sometime in August. And then it will be back to my command ship training – I think I’m a couple weeks away from a Claymore or a Sleipnir. Actually I can float a Claymore, but not yet a Sleipnir…

    I’ve just finished training up my EWAR pilot in Covert Ops and I’ve been playing around with probes/scanning. Pretty cool – I haven’t found any worm holes yet, but plenty of “hidden” rat bases, drones, ships (in missions), and other goodies.

    I’m currently mining out in Amarr (Kador region usually), look me up if you’re around – “Markosias” in-game.

  5. fazerboy says:

    The Megathron is a good place to aim…. i have a pvp fit one although i do use its big brother for missioning … the Kronos, the other day i was messing about with one of my members with his Nightmare …. the pvp mega pretty much destroyed him…. think he needs a few more skill points to get one up on me yet :)

    my target at the moment is trainging for the fittings on the Machariel… i can fly and fit all Gallente and 90% caldari ships so time to move across to fly this beast :) might even be brave enough for some pvp action with it …..its a costly price for the loss though .. thats the only thing :)

    • Gordon says:

      I’m hoping the insurance will cover the majority cost of any idiot things I attempt in it – like traversing into someone else’s territory and getting my ass handed to me. I’m dumb like that :) Erm, I mean brave!

  6. [...] of a game is to log in, have some fun, and then go about your life? Gordon of We Fly Spitfires feels the same way, and instead of working on other people’s goals, getting Titan’s Grip in WoW and a [...]

  7. Twan says:

    wow goals: mountain of mounts
    fitness goals: get back to my fighting weight that I was at 1 year ago right before I got married.
    misc: move outta apartment and buy home.

  8. Rob says:

    I agree about how having personal goals is very important. Right now I am hellbent to get the “Loremaster” achievement in WoW. I has me doing hours and hours of soloing extremely low level quests, but for whatever reason, I am loving it.

    I am a total EVE online noob. However, I was under the impression that it was folly to become attached to a ship in eve since you can so easily be shot down and the ship is gone forever. Is this the case? Could you spend weeks, months or even years earning this Megathron, only to have it blown away, leaving you at square one? I suppose you would retain your skills and such, but once a ship is gone is it gone forever in EVE?

    • Gordon says:

      Yeah, everyone says it’s just a plain bad idea to buy ships you can’t afford or become too attached to them. Still, I just can’t help it :) I’m gonna barely save up enough cash to afford the Megathorn, take out a loan with EBANK to pay the insurance, and then only ever take it out of the hanagar on Sundays :)

  9. Rob – yeah, that’s life in EVE. That’s why most people are quick to point out that you should never, ever, fly a ship you can’t afford to replace. A lesson I’ve never been able to learn.

  10. JC says:

    Fortunately, Megathrons are cheap to lose, though. They’re a Tech 1 Battleship, so they’re fully insurable. Fit with cheap named modules or even Tech 2 and there’s not a whole lot of cost there either, so while losing one would hurt a little, it wouldn’t be that big a hit either.

    Someone was blogging last week that he killed a 16-day old character that was already in a Megathron. It was extrememly failfit, but the kid was able to be in it. Hopefully Gordon will train his support and fitting skills all to a minimum of 4 before trying his ‘Thron, though.

    I totally agree that they look very sexy. On your way to training it, don’t neglect the Battlecruiser skill — the Myrmidon is completely sexy too.

    • Gordon says:

      Ah… yeah good advice :) I was just going to be an idiot and try to get one as quickly as possible. Hmm, maybe not so wise eh? :)

      • JC says:

        The certificate system has a few problems, but in the “Core” and “Defense” arenas, they’re pretty good. If you get all your “Standard” level Core and Armor Tanking certs, plus get your Battleship Hybrid Turrets to standard also, then you should be more or less good to go.

        I hope you’re using EVEMon — it can give you an idea of how much time the project you’ve set yourself on will take to really get going. You might be surprised at how short a time it will actually take.

  11. Longasc says:

    Rob, players usually have a full set of replacement frigates or even battleships in various locations. You get rich in EVE over time, later missions and rare resources provide you with money new players cannot even imagine.

    This is why the not so powerful battleships are still very popular, and the expensive T2 battleships rather rare:

    You are not X-times more powerful in a Paladin for instance than in an Armageddon, but you can buy a lot of Armageddons for the price of one Paladin.

  12. Jesse says:

    The Dominix is what hooked me into Eve. I’ve hit that goal and even have Gallente Battleship to 5, but every time I’ve completed a goal in Eve I start losing interest until I find something new to shoot for. My current goal is a nicely fitted stealth bomber. *pew *pew *pew

  13. Tesh says:

    My goals tend to be a little more abstract. I want to explore and master the game mechanics, and get a lot of cool screenshots. I want to go places that are rare and unusual and take pictures of them. Usually that lasts longer than mastering the mechanics. Sometimes I even just dig into the mechanics in wikis so I don’t have to bother with paying for the game. Then almost all that’s left is to take screenshots, should I happen to play the game.

    Of course, that’s in the current crop of games. If there were more MMOs like the ones I theorize about, I’d have a whole new crop of goals, like establishing a name for myself in crafting, or being a master strategist, making things happen in the world by exerting just the right bit of force at the right time with the right leverage. A plot well-executed is far more interesting to me than loot ever will be.

  14. ElitistGeek says:

    Try Perfect World, it’s a great MMO I recently got into. I’d be interested to know your thoughts on it.

  15. Xoduz says:

    Goals? Hmm.

    One goal I seem to have in every MMORPG I play, is to get hold of the best possible equipment I can get my hands on for any particular level I’m at – or alternatively the best looking equipment – something which often puts a hamper on my character progression speed.

    Other times I set out to play characters in a particular way, and stubborn as I am I don’t change those ways even if they are revealed to be totally ineffective. =P Rangers/archers should use bows, not crossbows! Rogues/assassins should use daggers and backstab people! etc.

    More often than not, though, I have no clearly defined goal and find myself just doing what the game tells me to do next, or alternatively walk/jog around, jumping onto stuff and off of them again, turn on the spot, and so forth.

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