In response to "My Korean Fantasy Life" from The Escapist Forum: Ah, see! The point, I believe, isn't as simple as "I should have made friends", but really IS as basic as a difference between Eastern and Western philosophies regarding MMO design.
I tried Mabinogi after having seen it advertised on Penny Arcade. I usually steer clear of Koren MMOs; I've tried a few, and I had never found any aspect of any of them which appealed to my interest. Korean MMOs seem to revolve around PvP (which, I admit, is a social activity). While Eastern MMOs do FEATURE PvP, very few successful Western titles exist that focus on this gaming style ahead of PvE (some Westerners may only play FOR the PvP in games like WoW, but the majority of the content is still PvE).
I had technical issues with Mabinogi at first, and once I landed in the game, I had the same experience as the author did; There were quest-givers that I was told to speak with, but beyond that, it seemed that there was no real impetus to DO anything structured.
I think that there's a lot of good ideas that Western designers can take from Eastern titles to get out of the "WoW Clone Rut", but as far as I am concerned, there will always be a stark dividing line between the Western and Eastern design goals for regional MMOs.
In response to "Gamer Nation" from The Escapist Forum: I would love to have their broadbandconnection :) Here in Belgium it's €30 a month for 20GB download.
I also think it's a smart move of the Korean government to focus on games. It's a big and booming industry with a lot of potential. Every country should encourage the videogame industry, just as they would do with the movie industry.- in_95