Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Concerning Roleplaying Hobbits

So I haven't posted about LOTR:O yet. To be honest, it was mostly becasue my initial experience with the game was less than positive and I didn't want to rain on everyone else's parade. Everyone seemed to be having so much fun and I didn't want to bother folks with the fact that I wasn't. Besdies I was sure I'd finde my niche and start enjoying the game sooner or later.

Well, I've found that niche, or rather I found that I was in a niche that did not fit well with me. Since switchingto Tarqwin I've had a new zeal for the game and have been putting in far too many hours. But that has led me to think about how I got down the road with Shelwin to begin with and what I think it comes down to is this...

Roleplaying =/= MMO
I had a great time when I played Shelwin in a table top Roleplaying game. He was a lot of fun to play. But as I think back on the game, it was the roleplaying moments that I liked. In the game Shelwin did the last 4 points of damage to a dragon and killed it. In the roleplaying game it was magnificent fun. Everyone talking about the hobbit bard who slayed the dragon. We still laugh about it. But in an MMO that 4 points of damage would just be 4 points of damage. It's just bad DPS.
All the things I like about Shelwin were roleplaying things. Like his obsession with food. I could translate it into the game, but it wasn't the same. When grinding on Goblins does one really care that your title is Master Journeyman cook or that I can play desperado on my harp? The roleplaying aspects that I enjoyed tabletop, quite frankly, were pretty boring in the MMO. Ultimately the roleplaying aspects I tried o port into the game did not make up for the lack luster MMO experience. I just never liked the feel of minstrel, combined with the slower questing of the shire, and my system crashes it made for a slow painful experience.
Tarqwin however is a better MMO character for me. I've always liked the ranged dps role and he dishes out pain. His crafting professions I find useful and much easier to manage. I'm also hoping they may end up profitable.
So in the end, the lesson for me is don't try to make a game into something it's not. MMOs can be a lot of fun but while they are similar to roleplaying games, they are not. Approaching the game with the right attitude and expectations go a long way to enjoying the game a lot more fully in the long run.

1 comment:

Nord said...

Kevin, your experience echoes mine so much it sounds like a repeat performance.

Back in the day, when I created Ellote for MERP, I rolled her as a bard. Thus, when I came to LOTRO for the free trial, I decided that minstrel was the class for her. Thus I began to play through the starting zone with a min.

I hated it. Not because I thought the class was uninteresting; I felt min had some very unique mechanics compared to anything I'd played in WoW. But it was boring. I wasn't enjoying myself and it soured me on the entire LOTRO game.

Fast forward to our switch two months ago. I came into this with some reluctance also, but that quickly faded as I began to play other class/race combinations. But I clung to Ellote as min for about two weeks because that was what she was supposed to be. Roleplaying was tying me into a class I disliked.

I eventually deleted her and rerolled her as a hunter, since MERP Ellote's other "tag" was an archer. I have not regretted the change in the least. She is a blast to play.

I think your overall point is a good one. There are limits on how much roleplaying you can really do in an MMO. Trying to play a toon whose original roleplaying "tag" was not combat, as Shelwin's wasn't, doesn't work.

That said, there are still plenty of roleplaying opportunities in game. I know I find myself constantly thinking of my MMO character and my old MERP character as one and the same, in terms of motivations, desires, hopes, etc. RP is far more important to me here than it ever was in WoW. It's all in how decide to manifest it.