A Toon’s Got to Know His Limitations

I have only played a little bit of LoTRO this past week.  Most of my gaming time has been dedicated to beating Dragon Age: Origins into submission.  What has struck me the most is the limitations of a game due to the type of product.

CRPGs like Dragon Age allow you to interact with NPCs much more, thus giving the computer-controlled characters a depth of personality not seen in a MMORPG.  Quests can have more than one possible outcome.  Depending on the game, even failing a quest os a resolution of sorts.  CRPGs offer a more dramatic experience, though I hesitate to call them more immersive.

MMORPGs tend to have wonderfully detailed and more accessible environments.  Generally, if a developer believes that a player will try to explore an area, they will make it accessible.  While the NPCs have more detail and personality in a CRPG than in a MMORPG, the detailed environment and the storyline of a MMORPG can be compelling enough to make it equally immersive as a CRPG.  Of course, CRPGs usually have one feature that all MMORPGs lack: an ending.

I have to say that I enjoyed Dragon Age, and I’ll probably play it at least once more as a character of a different race and class.  I also want to have a crack at Mount and Blade and Torchlight, eventually.  However, I love exploring the eye-popping panoramas that you get in MMORPGs, and they are going to remain my entertainment of choice for some time to come.

Now, I did mention that I played a little game called Lord of the Rings Online this week.  I didn’t do much, but I did work on the Volume I epic quest line.  My friends and I are really enjoying the Inspired Greatness buff.  Or, as we like to call it, the “Hulk SMASH” buff.  What if we encounter elite master boss mobs?  No problem – now we are elite master bosses ourselves!


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