Well met, crusaders!
Today’s topic will be about Questing! Yes, those big yellow markers on NPCs heads where you go to pick up wonderful descriptions on what to do for a reward. Questing has been in MMORPGs for some time. While the current Questing System is a good way for players to progress through the world it can also hurt social interaction. Why? You might ask. Well…
Questing Affects Social Interaction
MMORPGs with the current Questing System guide players in a linear path to progress with little to no help from other players. While this Questing system provides players with an easier understanding of how to progress, it also eliminates the need to interact with others players. This type of Questing System encourages players to progress by themselves which affects Social interaction.
According to Wolfshead, “…MMO companies have long neglected to design the need for player interdependence into their game worlds” (Wolfshead).
This has become common in current MMORPGs and has changed how players play together. You see, MMORPGs weren’t always using this current Questing System. In fact past MMORPGs didn’t even have big yellow markers on NPCs heads! Instead you had to interact with other players in order to find them. Players were encouraged to interact with other players in order to progress through the game. Some might say that the Questing System is just a small part of what MMORPGs are but it doesn’t change the fact that it can still affect Social Interaction. Instead, what developers need to focus on is creating a Questing System focused on Social Interaction.
How to Improve Social Interaction
We need change. Developers must realize that current MMORPGs have become easier to access but at the cost of social interaction. Players and developers must speak out and understand that MMORPGs are meant to be social and a multiplayer experience. To improve social interaction, the developers need to pay attention to the design. By creating mechanics and gameplay focused on social interaction, MMORPGs can become more social then they are now. Introduce a new questing (progression) system that depends on social interaction amongst players. Let players ask questions and seek help when needed. Let the MMORPG build a community that new players can rely on. By presenting opportunities for players to interact with one another, it will help improve social interaction in MMORPGs.
MMORPGs will always have social interaction but it can decline over time if not carefully designed. Questing is a good example of this that has changed how MMORPGs are meant to be played. Past MMORPGs were much more challenging which lead the player to interact with others for help. Instead the current Questing System guides the player with a direction and in return affects the interaction between other players. It is up to us to spread the word and take action! Ask yourself; is the MMORPG that I am currently playing encouraging social interaction?
The truth is in the design!
Join my crusade and together we can find the truth!
For those that have just joined, I go by the name Raistmere. Just like you, I am a MMORPG player. My passion lies in the design of MMORPGs. As a student of video game design, I seek to bring back the roots of what MMORPGs were design for.
Wolfshead. (2011, February 9). MMOs were originally designed to be shared social experiences. Wolfshead Online: MMORPG Design and Commentary. Retrieved from http://www.wolfsheadonline.com/mmos were-originally-designed-to-be-shared-socialexperiences/#a3ac3