Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games or MMORPGs, as they are more commonly known, are RPGs that bring together a large number of players on the Internet.
A distinctive feature of MMORPGs is that they all offer a persistent virtual world in which to play. These worlds often support thousands of simultaneous players, who all play as a single character in the game.
What does this mean?
In an MMORPG, you take control of a character (often known as an avatar) and guide his actions within the game. Most games offer an experience-based level system: a player guides their character through certain tasks, such as killing a monster, and in return increases their ability to repeat similar tasks. This is usually represented by an overall skill level associated with the character and the sub-levels representing individual skills.
Since worlds are persistent, your skills are saved, which means that the time and effort invested in the game is permanently reflected in your character.
For example, if you have played a combat-oriented game, your overall fighting ability could be represented by one combat level; this level would increase each time you gain a predetermined number of experience points, granting more powerful skills and abilities. When you quit the game, everything is remembered, so the next time you play, you can pick up where you left off.
As MMORPGs connect thousands of players to the same virtual world, central game servers provide a synchronized experience for everyone. This means that if you kill a specific monster, it will not only disappear from your screen, but from all other players as well.
Live chat is usually available, written messages can be shown to other players inside and outside your location. Additionally, it is common for MMORPGs to allow for exchange between players, as well as combat, duels and teamwork.
Play in a group
A great aspect of playing an MMORPG is that almost all games provide a system for players to work together. This can be to form a team to take on tough enemies or to pool resources to advance team goals. These groups are known as clans or guilds.
Games in games
MMORPGs provide players with many different paths to follow, and the game’s players literally define the world they play in. This includes many elements within the games created by the players themselves using the collected resources.
This process is called Crafting and is a very popular alternative to playing a combat oriented character. Rather than physically dominating, artisans are generally very rich in game resources – they sell their wares for play money or other items.
Online or offline?
Offline games are great for relaxing and enjoying, but they can’t offer the combination of depth and social interaction that MMORPGs provide. Character progression is the essential ingredient that allows you to focus on the aspects of the game you like without worrying about the ones you don’t like.
Each character starts off with similar levels and skills, but you will quickly customize your character, which means few will be exactly like you.
If you like playing computer games, try an MMORPG. Once you start playing, you will never look back.