[MMO] O que são?

Massive Multiplayer Online Roleplaying Games - ou MMORPGs - são o próximo passo lógico para aqueles jogos de computador que desde sempre seguiram a tradição do roleplay tabletop, jogos que sempre tiveram quests para fazer, XPs para ganhar e níveis para subir. Mais recentemente, os melhores têem até uma história fabulosa, caracterização de personagens e grande liberdade de movimentos. Passar tudo isto para uma comunidade online é agora o último sucesso:

May 2003 saw the release of Eve Online, produced by Crowd Control Productions, which had players taking the role of spaceship pilots and had gameplay similar to the cult series Star Control. Though not the first space MMORPG ("Earth and Beyond" was released in September 2002), Eve was able to achieve lasting success. One of the reasons for its success may have been the game's design, in which all subscribers play in one unsharded universe, rather than the population being split across multiple shards as used by other games, as well as a heavy emphasis on player versus player interaction.

In October 2003, Lineage II (NCsoft's sequel to Lineage) became the latest MMORPG to achieve huge success across Asia. It received the Presidential Award at the 2003 Korean Game awards, and is now the second most popular MMORPG in the world. As of the first half of 2005 Lineage II counted over 2.25 million subscribers worldwide, with servers in Japan, China, North America, Taiwan, and Europe, once the popularity of the game had surged in the West.

The most recent generation of MMORPGs, based on standards of graphics, gameplay, and popularity, is said to have launched in April 2004 with NCSoft's City of Heroes, which was based on a comic-book superhero theme instead of the usual fantasy or science-fiction. This was followed in November 2004, with Sony Online Entertainment's EverQuest II and Blizzard Entertainment's World of Warcraft (WoW).

At present, WoW is one of the most played games in North America, and the most played MMORPG worldwide, with a total of over 7.5 million customers. With the release of these newer games, subscriptions began to decline for many older MMORPGs, even the year-old Lineage II, and in particular Everquest 1. The current MMORPG market has World of Warcraft in a position similar to the position of Dungeons & Dragons in the tabletop RPG market, with both games' market share being greater than 50% of the overall market.

Com esta rápida evolução, o que é que todos eles têem em comum?

[quote=Wikipedia]Though MMORPGs have evolved considerably, many of them share some basic characteristics.

  • Traditional Dungeons & Dragons style gameplay, including quests, monsters, killing monsters, and loot.
  • A system for character development, usually involving levels and experience points.
  • An economy, based on the trade of items such as weapons and armor, and a regular currency.
  • Guilds or clans, which are organizations of players, whether or not the game actively supports them.
  • Game Moderators or Game Masters (frequently abbreviated to GM), which are sometimes-compensated individuals in charge of supervising the world, though in most games they are unable to completely moderate the game.

As most MMORPGs are commercial, such as EverQuest and World of Warcraft, players must either purchase the client software for a one-time fee or pay a monthly subscription to play. Most major MMORPGs require players to do both. By nature, "massively multiplayer" games are always online, and require some sort of continuous revenue (such as monthly subscriptions, advertisements) for maintenance and development. The alternate term MMGS (Massively Multiplayer Gaming Service) is also appropriate for describing MMOGs in general and MMORPGs in particular.[/quote]

Com uma população de jogadores cada vez mais expressiva, o rolepay em ambientes MMO tem despertado suficiente interesse académico para a realização de vários estudos de economia e psicologia, entre outros. Mais sobre isso pode ser consultado aqui.

Um dos exemplos desse tipo de abordagem é o site The Daedalus Project em que podem também encontrar um glossário completo dos muitos termos que vão nascendo do jogo online. Alguns exemplos são:

Verb. To be ganked is a term referring to one player being overwhelmed and killed by a large group. Can be either by a group of other players doing player-kill or a group of NPC monsters. Used in a sentence, "I got ganked yesterday in Fel." Typically has the connotation that the other people had an unfair advantage (in number or level).
An AI controlled monster. 'Mob' originally comes from the MUD era, where it was short for 'mobile', to differentiate monsters that would patrol a set of rooms as opposed to monsters which would stay in one place until killed.
At certain high levels in some games, you are given the chance to “respec” your character. When you respec, you recreate your character from level 1 until the present level in terms of skills/powers/abilities/etc.