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How writing is not an MMO

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Jsc

Disney's Princess
Writer
How writing is not an MMO

I meet a lot of RPers who like to tell me about how their character is like a video game. They tell me about their character's Class Specializations, Skill Trees, Legendary Items, Crafting Proficiencies, and Strength or Dexterity Ability Scores. I smile and nod. I've played DnD. I've played WoW. I know what they mean. But one of the great things about writing RP is suddenly discovering that you need not use any of these terms. You need not go back to High School where every person needed a label, a uniform, and a sterotype just to exist in the social spectrum. We can grow up just a little. Your character can seriously just be... A character. They need not be defined by their level, their gear, or their skill progressions. They can seriously just be: A person.

Understandably. These conversations can often devolve into two people agreeing to disagree. I tend talk about plot and drama. They tend to talk about points and stats. Neither of us is wrong. Nah. We just like different things. We just play different ways. And that's okay. Roleplaying isn't about being 'right'. It's just about goofing off and having fun.

Now, that said. I'm going to compare a few tid-bits on how writing is not like an MMO. Just to visualize so that all those min/max-number-crunchers out there can see a new perspective. Lol.

  • Hit Points
    In an MMO, your character has a finite number of health statistics. This number represents your characters ability to remain fighting fit and able bodied. When your HP runs out? Your character usually stops fighting. Maybe even gets KO'd or dies. The end. (Until you get rezzed. lol.)
  • Writing does not have HP. Writing has everything. Writing has healthy people, sick people, wounded people, tired people, limping people, stunned people, insane people, creepy people, sneaking people, coughing people, etc. etc. etc. Any of these things can be a reason to stop fighting. Or? Even to start fighting again!? Haha. You just never know.

[*]Skill Powers
  • In an MMO, your character has buttons you press to generate an onscreen action. Such as swinging a sword, shooting a fireballs, or jumping up and down. Every time you press this button you get the same action. Its repeatable, predictable, and generally forms a linear animation. These have even gone so far as to be associated with static so-called 'Force Powers' in Star Wars games.
  • Writing does not have Skill Powers. Writing has everything. Writing has non-linearity. Writing has custom animations. Writing has the unpredictable, the imaginative, and the down-right confounding. Writing has heart. Not button mashing.

[*]Winners & Losers
  • In an MMO, your character either wins or loses. These are often displayed onscreen in bright bold letters too. Such as: Level UP! Quest Complete! Duel WON! Dungeon PAWNED! etc. etc. etc. These stepping stones let you know when to be satisfied. They let you know when you have permission to pat yourself on the back. To say good job and move on. And they generally come with an in-game rewards of some kind too. Like a shiny new item, gold coins, or a note that says your awesome. Losing is exactly the same. GAME OVER. Rezz to Town. You LOSE. Gold lost. Item broken. etc.
  • Writing does not have winners and losers. It just has writers. Writing isn't fair, predictable, or even rewarding by nature. There are no banners, trinkets, rewards, rezzes, or other such gizmos to let you know that you should be having fun now. Winning can sometimes bring sorrow to your character and death can literally be the end of their adventure. Dead.


The moral of the story is that writing is not an MMO. So while you might hear a good deal of video game terminology floating around out there? Don't be confused by it. You don't have to let your writing turn into six-second turns of +4 Vorpal Lightswords. You can do something new. Something unexpected. Something crazy, or silly, or weird. You can use your imagination and you can have fun whenever you want. You are not a Sprite trapped between four-walls of Developer balanced content. You are a Pioneer of the Imagination.

Imagine greater. :D
 
In the Cold
Writer
Best thoughts on this I have seen so far. I very much like the WoW games and such like you mentioned and I like the idea of having a unique character. Some games you are stuck in one direction like in CoD or some starwars games, However here on this site I have a character that uses primitive tech and kicks butt, I have a Master that runs around playing games with his alias on people to get more than he probably should, and my current character that I just made Zack thinks he is from another world!

All of these could not be re created on any platform game or even a PC game Here I have the imagination to mix up said classes. Morna is very talented in the force and with a bow mixing the Ranger/hunter with the mage/sage classes. While Darren has the Bersker/warrior mixed with Sage/mage and alittle sprinkle of commando soldier. I don't have a definite line of play that I have to stick to like jay said, I can do just about what ever I want on here. Thats why I love roleplaying.
 

Jsc

Disney's Princess
Writer
Fabs imma gonna need the + bonus to that bra your wearing? This is Star Wars. Not magical High-Fantasy unicorn land. 4REALZ woman! :D :p
 
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