The shared online universe is one of the greatest inventions in gaming. Depending on the game, dozens or even hundreds of players can band together in gigantic worlds and fight against giant enemies or hordes of other players. Massively multiplayer online games (MMOs) tend to come with their own unique set of issues. From bad player behavior to armor that repetitive fetch quests, players of these games have grown accustomed to dealing with these unique quirks. Here are some of the common MMO clichés and issues you’ll run across when playing online.
The Lone Wolf
Most MMO players band together into teams, guilds or factions, depending on the game. Every now and again, you might run across the odd player who wanders around the world by themselves, or “solos.” If they see you in trouble, these wildcards may jump in to lend a hand, or they may side with the enemy. Whilst you can always trust your team, be wary of those who play alone.
I’ve already dedicated an entire article to gaming’s more amusing trolls. If you ever run across players lurking around corners where there is no reason to be, take care. Although they may actually have just “parked” their character while they are away from keyboard (AFK) they could be lying in wait for unwary players. Trolls invariably attempt to ruin the gaming experience for others. Whether they are simply kill-stealing or actually hunting down specific players, you should avoid trolls where possible.
The Chosen One
The Elder Scrolls Online is known for its large maps and unique first or third person RPG gameplay. And the plot is… well, the plot’s a joke. Thrust into a completely new world, each player is portrayed as the central figure in the story and charged with finding/killing something or other — alongside thousands of other players with the same goal. Few things shatter the illusion of an MMO quicker than sticking around after killing a quest boss, and seeing that boss spawn back into the world a few minutes later.
To be fair, this is a common issue in most MMOs with a definitive storyline. It is tough to include a satisfying conclusion or actual progression and consequences due to the nature of a shared game world. If one player destroys the ultimate evil, what else is there for everyone else to do?
MMOs require constant patching. Every time developers add new content, incompatibilities and errors spring out of the woodwork and threaten to bring the game world crashing down on its players. Usually, these bugs are minor and easy to fix, but not always. Some can be quite large and potentially game ruining. If you ever run into one, try and leave a calm and polite report with customer service or a Game Master (GM). Remember: these are the guys who make the games you’re playing and know more about their inner workings than you. Give them the respect they deserve, and understand what may be inconvenient now improves the game in the long run.
Weak Monster Quests
As a powerful warrior, there are no limits to what you and your party of heroes can do. You will be the ones saving the world, after all. As a start, you can go forth and squish some spiders in that forest. That’s right, as brave adventurers, one of your first tasks is inevitably defeating groups of weak creatures. Spiders, slimes, rats, goblins or whatever else is at the bottom of the food chain are first on your hit list in any MMO. You have to start somewhere, right?
Many MMOs include mystical gateways or public transport to cross lands in a flash. Yet nobody ever thinks to use them as a means to transport goods from point A to point B. That job falls to mighty adventurers such as yourself. Unlike the weak monster quests that you usually only find when starting an MMO, fetch quests occur throughout most games. It doesn’t matter if you’re the king of the hill or at the bottom, somebody needs you to fetch them some herbs.
All Good Things Must Come to an End
No matter how big a game becomes, newer competitors will inevitably replace it. Once-thriving cities are reduced to ghost towns and finding groups to raid becomes more difficult as players slowly funnel to other games. It’s an inevitable fact of gaming — people move on and begin the cycle over again in a new realm. At least they can count on a few familiar MMO clichés like these waiting for them when they begin their journey.