The Weekly Raid: How Can We Make MMO Gameplay More Meaningful?

MMORPGs have been called treadmills and walking simulators. These remarks come from both fans of the genre and its detractors. There is certainly some truth to these claims, many of the core gameplay loops in MMORPGs require repetition and very slow progress.

The question this week is whether the genre is doomed to suffer such monotonous and meaningless gameplay, occasionally punctuated by a few moments of excitement. While developers have done little to change this state of affairs, players have taken on the challenge.

World of Warcraft players have turned a fun MMORPG passtime, running across the world with a level 1 character, into a way to support cancer research. The 'Running of the Gnomes' fan event got Blizzard's official blessing in 2017 and helped reaise thousands for cancer research.

Meaning doesn't just come from real-world charity benefits. There are many ways players can create player-run events to entertain their fellow gamers. One event that comes to mind is the Flight of a Thousand Rifers in EVE Online. It involved thousands of players in very weak starter level ships trying to take on a far larger and far more powerful capital ship. Even non-players can see just from all the pretty lights how exciting the event must have been for those involved.

Can you think of any way that developers and/or players themselves can make MMORPG gamepaly more meaningful. It could be in ways that increase player enjoyment or perhaps even effect the real-world. Share your thoughts below!

Lifelong gamer always looking for the next virtual adventure. I'm still waiting for the next big MMORPG. Until then, you can find me hopping between multiple games.