The difference between an RPG and an MMO: the essence of a good RPG

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I've figured out what makes an RPG fundamentally different from an MMO. I hope considering this will make DnDN a good RPG.

I've played several RPGs, MMOs and MMORPGs including every edition of DnD, and they all have rules for combat, gear and seem superficially very similar. The fundamental difference is in the freedom given to the player.



  • In an RPG every character is unique and has unique interactions with the world.



  • In an MMO there are only a few types of characters and you can find thousands of virtually identical characters doing identical things.


You need rules and mechanics to make it a game, otherwise it's a story. But within those contraints I think it's important to give a player a lot of freedom and options. Not everything needs to be "balanced". But it's vital that you can easily make totally unique characters.


I think that's the essence of a good RPG.

5e should strongly stay away from "I don't like it, so you can't have it either."

 

I once asked the question (in D&D 3.5) "Does a Druid4/Wizard3/ArcaneHierophant1 have Wildshape?". Jesse Decker and Andy Collins: Yes and the text is clear and can't be interpreted differently. Rich Redman and Ed Stark: No and the text is clear and can't be interpreted differently. Skip Williams: Lol, it's worded ambiguously and entirely not how I intended it. (Cust. Serv. Reference# 050815-000323)

Let's see some problems with this post.

RPG such as BECMI you had  fighter, cleric, thief, magic-user, and I think elf as character types.  5 selections in an "RPG".

In an MMO like Ultima Online you had 1427890789 different permutations of skill choices you could make. Hell, you never had to fight in a career if you wanted to be a crafter.

I would say the difference between PnP and C  RPGs is that it's easier for a DM to adjudicate off the wall or improvised stuff that a computer cannot. In an MMO vs a Non MMO be it C or PnP RPG  you have a LOT more players. Thus the M  and you are online thus the O. Any other difference is not a property of the base type of game but of a specific implementation of that type of game. 
You just described the difference between a group of players and a computer. The former will alway have much more flexibilty and therefore should be better at roleplaying in general. How can a computer react, except to act on pre-defined logic. However, this does not seperate the RPG and MMO from executing the same concepts or even borrowing from each other. Each is based on a pre-defined rule set. You can roleplay in MMOs, although it is pain to do everything by text or even voice.

The one thing both genres produce is ideas to push forward you imagination and have the opportunity to escape from the real world for a while.

As to balance, or preference on what a RPG rules should do, it is not computer games that drive that need, but more likely each character's ability to contribute to the story.
The big difference is that TT games don't need the grind activities, the Online games probably should seek alternatives, but in a TT game anyoen who hands out a quest for 40 wolf tails, hands you a few gold, and then asks you to do the same thing tomorrow is likely to get a greatsword where the sun don't shine.
Let's see some problems with this post.

RPG such as BECMI you had  fighter, cleric, thief, magic-user, and I think elf as character types.  5 selections in an "RPG".



You forgot Dwarf and Halfling.


In an MMO like Ultima Online you had 1427890789 different permutations of skill choices you could make. Hell, you never had to fight in a career if you wanted to be a crafter.



And there's a hell of alot of choices in most PnP RPGs as well.  Not that you'd be led to believe that by a look through their forums....
And you don't HAVE to have any combat in your PnP RPGs either! 

I would say the difference between PnP and C  RPGs is that it's easier for a DM to adjudicate off the wall or improvised stuff that a computer cannot. In an MMO vs a Non MMO be it C or PnP RPG  you have a LOT more players. Thus the M  and you are online thus the O. Any other difference is not a property of the base type of game but of a specific implementation of that type of game. 



Well, your close. 

The main difference is this: It's not that it's easier for a DM to do that.  It's that it's POSSIBLE. 
Go ahead.  Forge a unique story in WoW or such. Develop a new skill/feat/power.  Play a race other than the choices presented.  Have ANY impact upon the "story" of the game.  Oh, I'm sorry, you can't.  All you can do is whatever has already been programed into the game.
And people complain about railroading in D&D games....

 
What makes an RPG fundamentally different from an MMO is how game state is handled.

In an RPG, there is a small, manageable number of PCs that are fairly closely associated. Typically they will travel everywhere together as a single party in a single team, but even if that isn't held true they will still generally be interconnected. Everything they do can be allowed to have a lasting impact. If they kill a key NPC, that NPC can stay dead forever, and the RPG can handle the consequences of that. Tabletop RPGs can obviously handle this more flexibly than computer RPGs, but you see a few really solid ones like the Elder Scrolls that handle it all pretty well. Also, you can have things that are heavily time-dependant because you can 'pause' the universe when the players need to go back to their day jobs.

MMOs have to handle things differently, because they are catering to huge numbers of players that need to interact enough to qualify as an MMO, but stay out of each others' way enough to not ruin each other's experiences. (Aside from whatever degree of PVP is allowed.) If you let key NPCs perma-die, griefers will kill all the key NPCs. If your quest objective targets can be killed by other players and don't respawn, your quests can be prevented by other players, etc. The game can't be paused (though most things aren't time sensative, or are time sensative in limited chunks). The game state is an ongoing shared thing between all the players (on the server). All of this is why I find it very strange that they're making an Elder Scrolls MMO. It might be a very good MMO, but it won't be an Elder Scrolls game. It will just be an MMO based on the same lore.

By the way, the RPGA is essentially an MMO tabletop D&D game group. You get hit with a lot of the necessary MMO baggage, but you still have a DM so you can adjudicate stuff that isn't pre-programmed.  
I believe that the main differences between TTRPG and eletronical/MMO RPG are, basically, technology.
You need rules and mechanics to make it a game, otherwise it's a story. But within those constraints I think it's important to give a player a lot of freedom and options. Not everything needs to be "balanced". But it's vital that you can easily make totally unique characters.

I think that's the essence of a good RPG.


There are already dozens of RPGs out there that do this exact thing. I can name at least a half-dozen off the top of my head that actually do it very, very well. I don't see how talking about Computer MMORPGs has any particular relevancy to this.

More importantly, how is Dungeons and Dragons supposed to be better than any of those other options that do exactly what you describe as important?

(I'm pretty sure this post is a shady step around pushing a hot-button in the edition wars, but with the same "complaint".)

Supporting an edition you like does not make you an edition warrior. Demanding that everybody else support your edition makes you an edition warrior.

Why do I like 13th Age? Because I like D&D: http://magbonch.wordpress.com/2013/10/16/first-impressions-13th-age/

AzoriusGuildmage- "I think that you simply spent so long playing it, especially in your formative years with the hobby, that you've long since rationalized or houseruled away its oddities, and set it in your mind as the standard for what is and isn't reasonable in an rpg."

The difference between a mmorpg and a tabletop rpg is that in the case of the tabletop rpg you can corrupt the DM with beers and pizza, or just by flattering his ego.

It's easy to find the cheat mode with a DM. 
Because they are transmitted through two different mediums. 1 is through code, the other through people. Code is inheriently inflexible, people aren't. It's comparing apples and oranges. They are both fruit (games) but taste completely taste, look, and feel completely different.
My two copper.
In the future the rpgs videogames will be sold with builder of quests (something like litte big planet 2). 

* The key of rpg is the creation by imagination, the storytelling and the background, I don´t discuss  it but...

... the speciality of WotC is the crunch, the sourcebooks with magic item, powers, feats, prestige classes, monsters with special attacks...  we are in the internet age. Today nobody buy sourcebooks to read the metaplot if they can ge it by means of the wiki...Today gamers buy sourcebooks they are going to use. 

A book about background can be really interesting, but only readen once.

"Say me what you're showing off for, and I'll say you what you lack!" (Spanish saying)

 

Book 13 Anaclet 23 Confucius said: "The Superior Man is in harmony but does not follow the crowd. The inferior man follows the crowd, but is not in harmony"

 

"In a country well governed, poverty is something to be ashamed of. In a country badly governed, wealth is something to be ashamed of." - Confucius 

Beyond the first bullet point I think I disagree with most of your assurtions. However, I think the first bullet point says everything that needs to be said. MMO interactions are scripted and have finite results. Where as a TTRPG the same group could have the same sort of interactions dozens and get a unique result each time.

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Imagine a world where the first-time D&D player rolls stats, picks a race, picks a class, picks an alignment, and buys gear to create a character. Imagine if an experienced player, maybe the person helping our theoretical player learn the ropes, could also make a character by rolling ability scores and picking a race, class, feat, skills, class features, spells or powers, and so on. Those two players used different paths to build characters, but the system design allows them to play at the same table. -Mearl

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But it's vital that you can easily make totally unique characters.

The thing about totally unqiue characters is that most of their differences need not be expressed in terms of game mechanics. In a video game, your only way of interacting with the world is how the programmers intend you to, while on a tabletop you are free to have characters who merely act differently.

The metagame is not the game.
But it's vital that you can easily make totally unique characters.

The thing about totally unqiue characters is that most of their differences need not be expressed in terms of game mechanics. In a video game, your only way of interacting with the world is how the programmers intend you to, while on a tabletop you are free to have characters who merely act differently.





Not to mention that the nonmechanical choices are the ones that the programmers give you when customizing your character.  I cannot play a lefty in MMORPG's because the programmers don't give me that option.

  

IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/10.jpg)

I was watching a video on the neverwinter game the other day and in the forums people where complaining that it was nothing like 4th ed. Now that strikes me as some funny ****.Yell

These new forums are terrible.

I misspell words on purpose too draw out grammer nazis.

I think that many of the differences stem from the fact that interaction is extremely difficult to do even a fraction as well when the DM is software. While highly specialized interaction-doing software systems can do a reasonable job, they're still only a fraction as flexible as even a completely inexperienced and untalented DM. Doing interaction correctly requires a vast amount of common sense that is very difficult to instill into a machine in a way that it can work with. There's a reason that CRPGs overwhelmingly use dialogue trees (sometimes with options enabled or disabled depending on character traits or with responses to choices semirandomized); there are a million reasons that you can't open the door to players just saying anything that they want. (Unless you're willing to have very stilted dialogue, and even then there are issues with players getting "stuck" in dialogue scenes.) In addition, you have to deal with things like the fact that no system can really handle the player suggesting something novel.

The TLDR is that interaction is impossible to do in CRPGs (including MMOs) in a form anything like what any DM could handle. Naturally, it makes sense to de-emphasize interaction from the game's side, and players who don't have the opportunity to excercise character development won't end up with as developed of a character. Even if they do dream up a personality for their character, it means dramatically less, even in games that allow lots of player choices because you're still so heavily on rails.

Human DMs have common sense, world knowledge and flexibility. (And also enviable language understanding and production skills.) These make interaction tasks that are impossible for computers pretty trivial.

Computers have strengths, too; a computer can handle simultaneous movement and lots of crazy stacking bonuses and penalties and attacks and facing and resistances and duration with much less trouble then a human, allowing CRPG combat to be complex in different ways than TTRPG combat and generally much, much shorter. (Although typically far more combats occur to compensate.) At the same time, of course, it's almost impossible to handle true improvisation with a computer, because the world knowledge and common sense required are monolithic, even ignoring more mundane issues like animation and sound assets. There's a reason that no electronic game does anything like that.
Dwarves invented beer so they could toast to their axes. Dwarves invented axes to kill people and take their beer. Swanmay Syndrome: Despite the percentages given in the Monster Manual, in reality 100% of groups of swans contain a Swanmay, because otherwise the DM would not have put any swans in the game.
The difference isn't about character building options, its about the fact that a DM can make a story and a world that acts, reacts and revolves around a specific group of characters. There is also the fact that, regardless of mechanical options, the background "fluff" of a TTRPG character actually matters since it is genuinely woven into the fabric of the world, while any sort of character-specific fluff that a player makes for his WOW character completely meanless to how the world reacts to him.
The big difference is that TT games don't need the grind activities, the Online games probably should seek alternatives, but in a TT game anyoen who hands out a quest for 40 wolf tails, hands you a few gold, and then asks you to do the same thing tomorrow is likely to get a greatsword where the sun don't shine.

I'm laughing hysterically inside...
I've figured out what makes an RPG fundamentally different from an MMO.


The primary difference between an MMORPG and a TTRP is the content and who creates it.  No matter what character you make/play, the content of the MMORPG stays the same.  Sure, the sheer number of quests and the races starting in different zones leads to slightly different experiences, but the fact is that the content never changes just because the character does.  By contrast, DMs make the content in TTRPGs and, even if I played two different characters that were mechanically exactly the same (same race, stats, class, etc), the adventures will be different because that's what DMs do.
There are a great many problems that can be circumvented by players and DMs having a mature discussion about what the game is going to be like before they ever sit down together to play.

 

The answer really does lie in more options, not in confining and segregating certain options.

 

You really shouldn't speak for others.  You can't hear what someone else is saying when you try to put your words in their mouth.

 

Fencing & Swashbuckling as Armor.

D20 Modern Toon PC Race.

Mecha Pilot's Skill Challenge Emporium.

 

Save the breasts.

Seems to me TRPGs would be a better comparison.
D&D has way more in common with Disgaea than World of Warcraft.
Seems to me TRPGs would be a better comparison.
D&D has way more in common with Disgaea than World of Warcraft.



There's sort of two dimension of difference here.

MMORPGs are typically computer RPGs. So you have the tabletop versus computer RPG comparison.

Also, MMOs are very different from non-MMO RPGs. The RPGA campaigns are effectively a sort of MMO-D&D, where the traits that distinguish MMOs from other RPGs occur in a tabletop game. 

(Neither of those dimensions is really tightly linked to character customizeability though. You can have MMO-RPGs with tons of character options, or essentially none, and same for tabletop.) 
The future of rpg will be a ultrathin screen with size of four pages, to be used like tabletop. Pencil and paper will be replaced by table computers. Miniatures will be replaces by 3D printers created at home or a shop, and wargames by augmented reality.

And the rpg videogames will be sold with two options, the action arcade mode, and the classic storytelling way like second alternative (like the project D&D Insider) and retrocompatible with other games (like social life simulation, for example sims medieval).

I have bought D&D because I like use rpg sourcebook to create story by means of my imagination, but if I wish kills hordes of undeads and orcs.. I play a "cheap" videogame. 

"Say me what you're showing off for, and I'll say you what you lack!" (Spanish saying)

 

Book 13 Anaclet 23 Confucius said: "The Superior Man is in harmony but does not follow the crowd. The inferior man follows the crowd, but is not in harmony"

 

"In a country well governed, poverty is something to be ashamed of. In a country badly governed, wealth is something to be ashamed of." - Confucius 

i would love to use a 3d printer to make my own minis that would be awsome, and i use an ipad with all my game book pdfs on it but i used them to play 1st and 2nd edition so im mixing old school with new tech
Wow! (pun intended) Lot's of interesting reactions.

There are some acronyms thrown around that I don't understand.

I want to clarify a few things:
- This is not meant as a veiled edition war post. I've played all editions, although some more than others. Each have their strengths and weaknesses, but there are other threads for that.
- This is not meant as a pen-n-paper vs computer discussion. Although it is somewhat related.
- I don't know Ultima Online - Maybe I should have.
- Probably RPG and MMO aren't the right words, but it does get people's attention.

What I'm trying to say is:
- Try to play to the strengths of the pen-n-paper format, even if it's on a laptop or tablet. Don't let yourself be blinded by the success of WoW. I like DnD and RPGs in general because they're not-WoW.
- What attracts me is the freedom and creativity. You can truly own a piece of the story.
- What I like in both is the team effort.
- Don't worry to much about balance. It tends to lead to bland designs with less choice an versatilty and lot's of cookie cutter characters. Balance is a requirement for Player vs player games like MtG. Just make sure everyone has something fun to do and has multiple options.
- Superficially things look a lot alike between an MMO and a RPG, but there are fundamental differences most people don't realize. Have a party of Tank/Healer/DPS/utility run though dungeons fighting bad guys and getting loot. The difference is that in an MMO it's thousands of identical groups doing identical things, while in a RPG each group and story is unique.
- Some p-n-p games are almost as limited as an MMO. For example I think it's a mistake to have premade characters in things like starter kits and some adventures. Railroading DMs come to mind as well. Miniature combat games.
- Some computer games come very close to the freedom of a p-n-p game. City of Heroes* is what I then think of.
- Roleplaying. Combat is never going to be balanced for any game with rules more complex than Chess. Make sure everyone has fun roleplaying.

Most games are a mix of these aspects, that's why the moniker MMORPG is used so much, although I think games like WoW don't deserve the RP part.

This is an attempt to try and analyze what the real strengths of the RPG are and what makes people play DnD instead of an MMO. The origin of this thread is that I asked myself the question: Why do I like the games I like to play?
The uniqueness of the characters, the team effort and the ability to tell stories is what does it for me.



*) I played CoH for a year, until it was killed 2 months ago. I was a very active WoW player up to the day I installed that game, including leading a 25man Heroic raiding guild for a year. CoH was so much more of an RPG that I lost any interest in WoW from that point: Player made quests (over 0.5 million), alignment system, mandatory unique freeform background story for your character, create your own lair/base, lot's of freedom in character creation (~ DnD3.5), NPCs who could be perma-killed (no griefing, but through phasing), adjustable difficulty level, complete freedom in group composition both in number of players and their abilities, enormous world, active roleplaying by players.

5e should strongly stay away from "I don't like it, so you can't have it either."

 

I once asked the question (in D&D 3.5) "Does a Druid4/Wizard3/ArcaneHierophant1 have Wildshape?". Jesse Decker and Andy Collins: Yes and the text is clear and can't be interpreted differently. Rich Redman and Ed Stark: No and the text is clear and can't be interpreted differently. Skip Williams: Lol, it's worded ambiguously and entirely not how I intended it. (Cust. Serv. Reference# 050815-000323)

- Don't worry to much about balance. It tends to lead to bland designs with less choice an versatilty and lot's of cookie cutter characters. Balance is a requirement for Player vs player games like MtG. Just make sure everyone has something fun to do and has multiple options.

This is exactly the opposite of true. A well-balanced game increases the number of interesting options and allows for more versatility and makes for reduced cookie-cuttering. A well-balanced game has the property that there are not a small number of heavily superior options, which is what encourages cookie-cuttering in the first place. It maximizes real choices.

Dwarves invented beer so they could toast to their axes. Dwarves invented axes to kill people and take their beer. Swanmay Syndrome: Despite the percentages given in the Monster Manual, in reality 100% of groups of swans contain a Swanmay, because otherwise the DM would not have put any swans in the game.
i would love to use a 3d printer to make my own minis that would be awsome

Oh hell yes.

For you 3d-printing fans

www.shapeways.com/

For the person talking about Ultima Online, it was a LOT of fun. Skill based not class based. Not a graphical marvel but lots to do and deep. 
- Don't worry to much about balance. It tends to lead to bland designs with less choice an versatilty and lot's of cookie cutter characters. Balance is a requirement for Player vs player games like MtG. Just make sure everyone has something fun to do and has multiple options.

This is exactly the opposite of true. A well-balanced game increases the number of interesting options and allows for more versatility and makes for reduced cookie-cuttering. A well-balanced game has the property that there are not a small number of heavily superior options, which is what encourages cookie-cuttering in the first place. It maximizes real choices.


Exactly.

Another difference betwween MMORPGS and TTRPGs is that MMORPGs requires to be unbalanced to artificially increase the longevity of the game. They regularily unbalance the game to force the players to rethink their builds and then adapt their equipments, preferably with new contents.

When people say that searching balance in a TTRPG is turning it into a MMORPG, it's a total nonsense.

A MMORPG is in a constant premeditated state of imbalance.

- Don't worry to much about balance. It tends to lead to bland designs with less choice an versatilty and lot's of cookie cutter characters. Balance is a requirement for Player vs player games like MtG. Just make sure everyone has something fun to do and has multiple options.

This is exactly the opposite of true. A well-balanced game increases the number of interesting options and allows for more versatility and makes for reduced cookie-cuttering. A well-balanced game has the property that there are not a small number of heavily superior options, which is what encourages cookie-cuttering in the first place. It maximizes real choices.




This can't be stated enough. I hate a love/hate relationship with 3.5. I love the crazy superpowered characters that can solo any combat and beat every situation, but i hate the fact that once you start seeing how to build these superpowered characters, a TON of the options (races, classes, feats, etc) become worthless because they're outshined by the awesome super characters if you chose them. Even if i make a fighter that deals 1,000 damage, for example, this character is mechanically irrelevant if every other character at the table has instant kill spells, can fly, turn invisible, summon monsters, teleports, etc...

I think a huge issue is that people saw how 4e was balanced; by having everyone use the same format for power aquision. This lead to the feeling in many, whether true or not, that there was a "samey-ness" to all the classes and to the conclusion that trying to balance DnD means that everyone is going to get the exact same sort of powers, in same order, at the same rate, just like 4e. This doesn't have to be the case. 

Electronic games you're told the story, and become a part of it.

Tabletop games you tell the story because you're part of it.  Unless you're running a module, then you're told the story.
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
Another difference betwween MMORPGS and TTRPGs is that MMORPGs requires to be unbalanced to artificially increase the longevity of the game. They regularily unbalance the game to force the players to rethink their builds and then adapt their equipments, preferably with new contents.

When people say that searching balance in a TTRPG is turning it into a MMORPG, it's a total nonsense.

A MMORPG is in a constant premeditated state of imbalance.


Uh...no.  I guarantee you, the World of Warcraft dev team would love it if they could just nail balance and then never touch it again.  They're not intentionally disrupting the game by making changes just to see which way the players will jump, they're making changes because they think it will improve things.  Your cynical attitude is completely off-base.
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
Electronic games you're told the story, and become a part of it.

Tabletop games you tell the story because you're part of it.  Unless you're running a module, then you're told the story.



+1 and generally a module is about the villians not so much the heros, their background, the hero's journey, etc.

btw the future of RPG's is connecting your brain to a wire and living 10 lifetimes in 5 minutes.
"The secret we should never let the gamemasters know is that they don't need any rules." Gygax
Another difference betwween MMORPGS and TTRPGs is that MMORPGs requires to be unbalanced to artificially increase the longevity of the game. They regularily unbalance the game to force the players to rethink their builds and then adapt their equipments, preferably with new contents.

When people say that searching balance in a TTRPG is turning it into a MMORPG, it's a total nonsense.

A MMORPG is in a constant premeditated state of imbalance.


Uh...no.  I guarantee you, the World of Warcraft dev team would love it if they could just nail balance and then never touch it again.  They're not intentionally disrupting the game by making changes just to see which way the players will jump, they're making changes because they think it will improve things.  Your cynical attitude is completely off-base.

They correct the overpowering combos, but leave things as they are until the members of a class converge toward the single most efficient build. Then, they "restart" the game for the class to avoid boring them with the mechanics of the class.
The players then return to exploring their classes mechanics and the interaction with their equipments and other character classes. Between the test for the new builds and farming the matching equipement, the players will spend hours in "exploration" after a period where they were only chaining high level instances.

There is not many way to renew the interest of so many players with so many different profiles. Between the different types of PvPs and PvE, also divided by player ranging from very casual to hardcore, the dynamics must be maintained between game extensions, as even hardcore PvE gamers will be bored if they just chain the same raids for years with the same combos and strategies.

After so many years, devs are able to complete a very well balanced MMORPG, but they do not do it because it's not the interest of anyone.

Imbalance is vital for a MMORPG. 
Imbalance is vital for a MMORPG. 

"Perfect" balance is impossible.  There will always be a "best".

The important bit is the gap between "best" and "second best".

Technically speaking, there is no such thing as a video game RPG.  A video game is full of boundaries.  Limits on your character, limits on the world, on NPC responses, enemy AI etc.  The only true RPG is a table top game where the only limitation is your imagination, and of course, some rules that keep you from flying off like superman at level 1.    

MMO is just a name given to a fantasy adventure video game where tons of people interact simultaneously.   
Imbalance is vital for a MMORPG. 

"Perfect" balance is impossible.  There will always be a "best".

The important bit is the gap between "best" and "second best".




Rock, Paper Scissors....  there isnt always a best except for "best vs this now"
  Creative Character Build Collection and The Magic of King's and Heros  also Can Martial Characters Fly? 

Improvisation in 4e: Fave 4E Improvisations - also Wrecans Guides to improvisation beyond page 42
The Non-combatant Adventurer (aka Princess build Warlord or LazyLord)
Reality is unrealistic - and even monkeys protest unfairness
Reflavoring the Fighter : The Wizard : The Swordmage - Creative Character Collection: Bloodwright (Darksun Character) 

At full hit points and still wounded to incapacitation? you are playing 1e.
By virtue of being a player your characters are the protagonists in a heroic fantasy game even at level one
"Wizards and Warriors need abilities with explicit effects for opposite reasons. With the wizard its because you need to create artificial limits on them, they have no natural ones and for the Warrior you need to grant permission to do awesome."

 

Another difference betwween MMORPGS and TTRPGs is that MMORPGs requires to be unbalanced to artificially increase the longevity of the game. They regularily unbalance the game to force the players to rethink their builds and then adapt their equipments, preferably with new contents.

When people say that searching balance in a TTRPG is turning it into a MMORPG, it's a total nonsense.

A MMORPG is in a constant premeditated state of imbalance.


Uh...no.  I guarantee you, the World of Warcraft dev team would love it if they could just nail balance and then never touch it again.  They're not intentionally disrupting the game by making changes just to see which way the players will jump, they're making changes because they think it will improve things.  Your cynical attitude is completely off-base.

They correct the overpowering combos, but leave things as they are until the members of a class converge toward the single most efficient build. Then, they "restart" the game for the class to avoid boring them with the mechanics of the class.
The players then return to exploring their classes mechanics and the interaction with their equipments and other character classes. Between the test for the new builds and farming the matching equipement, the players will spend hours in "exploration" after a period where they were only chaining high level instances.

There is not many way to renew the interest of so many players with so many different profiles. Between the different types of PvPs and PvE, also divided by player ranging from very casual to hardcore, the dynamics must be maintained between game extensions, as even hardcore PvE gamers will be bored if they just chain the same raids for years with the same combos and strategies.

After so many years, devs are able to complete a very well balanced MMORPG, but they do not do it because it's not the interest of anyone.

Imbalance is vital for a MMORPG. 



No it's not. It's just you cannot have perfect balance in a game without homogenity. Especially not in a game with 10 million people who play hours a day. ANY TRIVIAL difference is enough to get people rushing to the forums. Now you add in to it class synergies, racial abilities, and the fact that the math scales in a non-linear fashion and that there are a ton of different conditions and random effects to deal with it is IMPOSSIBLE to balance. They would love for it to be balanced and non-homogenous. CANNOT be done.  

They would much rather crank out expansion packs once every 18 months at $50 per and get damn near 300 mil in revenue.. 
Technically speaking, there is no such thing as a video game RPG.  A video game is full of boundaries.  Limits on your character, limits on the world, on NPC responses, enemy AI etc.  The only true RPG is a table top game where the only limitation is your imagination, and of course, some rules that keep you from flying off like superman at level 1.    

MMO is just a name given to a fantasy adventure video game where tons of people interact simultaneously.   



RPG does not mean boundless.
Imbalance is vital for a MMORPG. 

"Perfect" balance is impossible.  There will always be a "best".

The important bit is the gap between "best" and "second best".




Rock, Paper Scissors....  there isnt always a best except for "best vs this now"



RPS is perfectly symmetrical and homogenous. The only difference is the name and shape of each hand.
Imbalance is vital for a MMORPG. 

"Perfect" balance is impossible.  There will always be a "best".

The important bit is the gap between "best" and "second best".




Rock, Paper Scissors....  there isnt always a best except for "best vs this now"



RPS is perfectly symmetrical and homogenous. The only difference is the name and shape of each hand.



It can work imbalanced (sort of) here is how... I am a fighter I am awesome at rock... get a +1 damage when my rock wins... it makes me more predictable.  Now you are a rogue you are awesome at scissors  ... get a +1 damage when your scissors wins.   And teh next guy is a duelist who is awesome at paper.  All of us CAN choose any of the moves but our choices are modified by ... do we know the fighting style of our adversary and we can discover there style during play. 

Then we can add Spock and Lizard... when spock and lizard are added the results tend to get more extreme...(when they are defeated or when they are defeated both )

OK rocks/paper/scissors arent thematically nice  lets call them Forceful Direct  and Responsive
Adjustment and Deceptive Complexity... perhaps.

Spock and Lizard are ofcourse Predictive Analysis and Wild Instinct ofcourse.

Shrug is Spock really the same as Scissors? 

A spock afficionado will often be defeated faster or defeat his enemies faster than the Scissors afficionado... 



 
  Creative Character Build Collection and The Magic of King's and Heros  also Can Martial Characters Fly? 

Improvisation in 4e: Fave 4E Improvisations - also Wrecans Guides to improvisation beyond page 42
The Non-combatant Adventurer (aka Princess build Warlord or LazyLord)
Reality is unrealistic - and even monkeys protest unfairness
Reflavoring the Fighter : The Wizard : The Swordmage - Creative Character Collection: Bloodwright (Darksun Character) 

At full hit points and still wounded to incapacitation? you are playing 1e.
By virtue of being a player your characters are the protagonists in a heroic fantasy game even at level one
"Wizards and Warriors need abilities with explicit effects for opposite reasons. With the wizard its because you need to create artificial limits on them, they have no natural ones and for the Warrior you need to grant permission to do awesome."

 

One runs on algorithms and electricity.

The other on tacos and Funyons.