MMORPGS: Creating new worlds online

Imagine an entire world, perhaps an alternate reality, that offers the user the ability to explore, interact, and even do battle against monsters and other users playing within the same game.  Well, that’s what MMORPGS are for.  It stands for, “Massively Mulitplayer Online Role Playing Games”, and they’re becoming even more popular than ever.

The most popular MMORPG is World of Warcraft, boasting an impressive 11.5 million monthly gamers.  It’s also estimated that 62% of the online MMORPG community are subscribers to the World of Warcraft.  Once buying the game the user must also pay a monthly subscription fee of 19.99 after their first month of play.  With 11.5 million and growing, that’s a whole lot of money this popular MMORPG is taking in.  And some of that money is going towards funding the creation of expansions.  World of Warcraft, commonly referred to as “WoW” has already released two expansions since it’s November 23, 2004 debut and Blizzard is set to release a third, “Cataclysm”.

Character creation enables the user choose a race, class, name, and edit their avatar's physical characteristics

In WoW users are able to create a character, with the option of choosing between two opposing sides, alliance and horde.  Within each side, the user is given a number of options for race and class.  Once choosing their character’s race and class, the user is able to edit such details as their characters face, hair, color, and other characteristics.  After choosing their character’s name, the online gamer is set to enter the online world.  What awaits the user is a 3D colorful world ready to explore, trade with other players, go on quests, attack monsters, other players, and gain experience.

Most MMORPG’s rely on a promotion system known as “leveling”.  Once the gamer gains a particular level of XP, their character is promoted another level based on numerics.  Avid gamers are often members of guilds, and often trade, do battle together, and gain double experience, which in effect helps their character level faster.

Not everyone is happy with the MMORPG world.  Stories of gaming addiction have been said to lead to breakups in relationships and other complications in peoples’ lives.  A site titled, “WOW Detox” has been cleverly titled, seeking to help some addicted WoW users deal with their compulsive gaming habbits.  That’s not to say that MMORPGS are evil, many good things can be overused.  A popular web series, often featured on Youtube, titled “The Guild” is based set around the lives of 6 fictitious MMORPG users and their real life experiences, caused by their gaming.

If you thought MMORPG’s were only a recent creation, nope, you’d have to go back to 1995 to find one of the first more popular ones, when Sierra Online’s “The Realm” was released.  Ever since then other mmorpgs such as Ultima Online and Everquest soon followed suit and have been gaining popularity ever since.  Some of the most popular MMORPG’s today besides WoW include Guild Wars, Runescape, Lord of the Rings Online, and Warhammer.

So if you’re ready to experience a whole nother world, where you can explore and fight, without the actual real life pain that comes with it, try an MMORPG.



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