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RPG Comparison Results

This survey contained questions that asked respondents to compare EQ to a traditional Paper-and-Pencil (PnP) RPG, and asked whether EQ was role-playing.


EQ –vs- PnP RPG’s (Back to Top)

Which do you enjoy more of, those RPG’s or EQ? Why?

Is there something about EQ that makes it better than role-playing with real people?


1)    RPG’s are better

a.     More realistic interactions


Pen and paper by far!  EQ is just a slow, medieval version of quake with a chatroom added.  In REAL RPG's, you get to interact and play a role.  There aren't level 40 bartenders and you don't suddenly get attacked by ancient red dragons that hit you through walls at first level. [m, 22]


RPGs.  EQ is nice, but lacks the face-to-face social interactions with friends.  I only play EQ, since it is available at 3am, when I feel like playing sometimes :) [m, 28]


AD&D was more fun.  I was actually sitting next to my friends in real life. [m, 29]


b.     EQ has no real plot


No, not in the least..  you can roleplay and you can do quests but i dont think it has a deep enough underlying story or enough deep quests to make the game viable as an RPG... i mean yeah yer killing Inoruuk the god of fear (or hate?) but why? are you evil but killing him anyway?  just not enough in depth stuff [m, 20]


no.  the lack of any persistant change in the world as a result of the PCs actions make them lose this feel.  Ridding the town of the evil menace does not make you a hero, or anything, since the evil menace will re-spawn in 15 minutes, anyway. [m, 28]


c.      EQ is repetitious and static


no... eq is an eternal search for exp and equipment... no computer game yet developed has been able to avoid the repitions trap... The whole thing is mob spawns kill mob get exp rinse repeat... roleplaying has to be independent of the game engine in eq to work... it must be done away from npcs and mobs and most other players!!  [m, 29]


EQ is static.  The actions of the player are basically irrelevant, and the only way to reflect the growth of the character are in level and loot, which means that traditional adventuring is vastly different.  [m, 22]


d.     More intense interactions


EQ provides you with a greater outlet (visual, auditory to some degree, etc) for RP' can 'see' yourself doing things, you can see clothing changes, etc.  So from a purely sense standpoint, its perhaps more immersive.  BUT, a pen and paper RPG really provides a sense of freedom of action that EQ (or any other current MMORPG) can't touch.  Immersion is lost struggling to find the correct words to trigger a quest, or waiting on an orc camp to respawn.  It is difficult to feel you've truly changed the world in EQ, as you can in an RPG.  And yes, I realize I didn't actually answer one way or another <g>. [m, 27]


Entirely different. I have fonder memories of tabletop games than I do of EQ characters because of the face-to-face, human element. EQ is tremendously addictive but there's less ownership. The experience of a tabletop game is stronger because you share the experience with 5-6 other people and often these are your closest friends. With EQ there is still that element of watching a movie, the plot and charaters will ultimately be determined by Verant or some other company. [m, 25]


e.     Real people


RPGs by far.  I love the feeling of being with friends (that I know) and sitting around talking, playing, sometimes arguing, but not to the point of fighting, and just having a good time.  Some of my fondest memories were of all of us in my basement playing some type of RPG and having fun. [m, 22]


Currently EQ, as I lack any tabletop games.  But overall, table top games will always win.  Its so much easier to get into the game, when every one can see one another.  And when you have the close friendship that most pen and paper folsk develope, you feell no constraints in your actions.  In EQ you have no idea who your dealing with.  I generally dont alter my behavior, but if the person at the other end of the line is actually a 13 year old child, then I think your behavior would be different if you knew.  in some ways thats an advantage, as it frees you from any preconcieved notions.  But its just not as close and friendly as pen and paper [m, 26]


f.       Imagination and Creativity


I love Everquest, but I still miss rolling the pretty dice I picked out carefully from the book store.  Also with D&D, I could use more imagination and be more myself....where in everquest I can only do so much.  [f, 21]


Table top RPGs engage your imagination more. [m, 28]


g.     True Storytelling


The paper RPGs. The world is far for dynamic, and character development is far more centered around storytelling rather than gaining items or experience. Not to mention hanging out with friends in reality is always more preferable than typing at them. [m, 23]


2)    EQ is better

a.     True Anonymity


I like EQ better because it gives you an opportunity to playact without being self-conscious and to meet even more people. [f, 32]


yes, the anonomity, you can be out of character and not worry if people thing your wierd later [m, 19]


b.     Quick Decisions


EQ by far.  Simply because the computer takes care of the tedious details (such as determining random effects) and allows you to concentrate on gameplay. [m, 30]


I think EQ captures the best parts of these games, while eliiminating some of the most annoying.  Definately, the never ending adventure, excitement, and quests in an ever-changing world are great.  Also, they eliminated (or automated) the INCREDIBLEY annoying minutiae details from games like D&D.  Roll the 16 sided die twice to see if you were poisoned, roll the 18 sided die 3 times for disease, like I'm going to remember all that.  All I have to remember in EQ is the percentage probabilities that something will happen. [m, 21]


c.      More convenient


EQ.  I can get on and play EQ whenever I want. With paper games, you have to deal with setting times, getting together to play, etc.  And pictures =) [f, 21]


Able to do at anytime (Not having to schedule a day where everyone can get together) [m, 29]


d.     More interactions


I enjoy EQ more cause I get to interact with all sorts of people I have never met, and that creates a kind of sense of adventure. [m, 14]


Definately!! You cant roleplay with 2500 people at a time, and run around doing it, on 3 continents.  EQ comes closer to the 'real' world, in a roleplaying environment. [m, 29]


e.     Less baggage than RPG’s


I hate to admit this, but for now (my moods and preferences change often) I prefer EQ.  The reasons .. hrm ..  I can play EQ whenever I want to.  If there is someone that I don't want to play with, it is MUCH easier to shrug someone off in the virtual-world than it is in RL.  The game hasn't fizzled (died out) in over a year .. most games that I play (unless they suck) die in a few months.  (These short lived games are *excellent*, but again, they are short lived)  [m, 22]


You can always type \ignore.    Bad players ruined many of my real life RPGs. [m, 28]


f.       Persistent World


EQ.  The visual aspect is a large part of it for me.  The fact that it is real time, that it continues when I'm asleep is a huge factor for me too.  Also all the people is a large reason I enjoy it much more too. [m, 21]


RPG Comparison Discussion (Back to Top)

One respondent claimed that EQ was a good example of bad role-playing:


EQ gameplay seriously reminds me of any number of badly run traditional RPG campaigns I have been subjected to.  There is little sense of continuity.  Long periods of boredom punctuated by short intense spurts of activity which as often as not seem random and excessively punishing, leaving the player feeling frustrated and confused, as opposed to triumphant and empowered.  Meaningful events to the world itself usually cast the player in more of a spectator role as opposed to a participation role.  In other words, take every treatise on how _not_ to run a campaign in FtF roleplaying, and you can easily find examples of that type of mechanism in EQ. [m, 35]


And in a large sense, he is right and most gamers who have participated in PnP RPG’s would agree with him that the game mechanics forces this onto the game. But as some respondents point out, EQ is what you make of it. You can choose to hack things up or you can choose to do all the other stuff that is possible in the world. The true anonymity that EQ offers does allow role-playing to become untethered to realities. The world is also independent of each character which is both appealing and unappealing. It is appealing because it allows the world to have a life on its own, but this necessitates that some players feel as if their actions have no real effect on the world. Killing gods do not impact the game at all. Perhaps the game developers are trying to make a philosophical statement.

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