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
In response to “World of StarCraft” from The Escapist Forum: I watched some of these videos having been linked to them by a friend. I was impressed by the amount of muscle memory these players employ for a strategy game. The commentators refer to it as “micro”. Mad mouse skills are something I associate with twitchy fps players who want to get headshots within .08 seconds of first seeing an opponent. I never expected to see some one control RST unit movements to the extent I saw in these games.
– hamster mk 4
What fascinates me about all of this is that they don’t like Warcraft III nearly as much. Why? Sure, the 4 races are weirdly balanced but it’s certainly a rock solid RTS. They play the MMORPG as well but…not on this scale. So brand loyalty isn’t what’s going on here. The graphics were kinda dated even in 1998 but that’s not stopping them. Maybe after years of training and mastering one particular sport, one particular game…they don’t feel like learning a new one. You don’t expect a basketball player to switch into baseball, right?
Could it just be that S. Koreans picked one particular RTS and decided to stick with it?
The real test will be when Starcraft 2 hits the market. If they jump ship, then all of this is bogus conjecture. But it would be pretty funny if they just kept playing Starcraft instead.
– L.B. Jeffries
In response to “Baang You’re Dead” from The Escapist Forum: Death is inevitable. Dying doing something you love is a poetic way to go. Dying by having a stingray stab you in the gut is an accident. Dying sat on your arse for 3days in a public place playing a computer game is depressing, whether they loved doing it or not.
In the spirit of this article, let us not take this as a spurn of Korean culture. I think Russ is trying to articulate that we need to look to what we spend our time doing.
As far as gamers go, North America has equally sad stories about gaming. Destroyed relationships over MMOGs, neglected children and lost jobs. These may not be as recognizable as death, but they are equally as horrible.
I think, in general we need to consider what we do as gamers and balance our entertainment with other aspects of our lives.