I’ve been really dying for some good, interactive role-playing lately. And I have some… I have Dragon Age, which is very immersive, and I’m doing a forum-based RP with some folks. But I just want the real-time, immersive, character-interaction thing going on in a multiplayer environment, so I can play with my buddy, Jester.
So I’ve been looking up online multiplayer RPGs. And I’ll tell you again, the concepts of MMO and RPG are diametrically opposed. Sorry, but anything that is an MMO can’t possibly be a role-playing game. No. Because all the MMOs talk about how they have thousands and thousands of players with big epic PVP battles, and how their game has all the nifty gear and neato weapons and fighting move eye-candy. You know? “Be a part of the big Epic ‘story’ by grinding away to get skill points and cool new items to help you smash your opponents.” Uh…. Seriously, though, one of these places — one of the promising-looking ones — had a blurb that actually promoted grinding levels as one of its highlights.
How does one search for a multiplayer online RPG without the massive junk? Well, I dunno. I haven’t figured that out yet. But I do know one place to look… Neverwinter Nights! No, not that “2” nonsense. Yes, there are still pages of NWN multiplayer servers up and running.
Of course, finding the right server for you can be a daunting task, too. Many do PVP. Many are just like all those MMO(non)RPGs, with their unending stream of quests that are “Go kill X of these creatures,” and their level grinding and lack of story. And then there are the players — will you enjoy playing with them? Or will they be PVP power-player munchkins? Only experimentation will tell.
Another alternative is finding a multiplayer module on the NWN Vault. Scroll down on the left, because it features NWN2 by default. If I can wrangly my router and firewall to run an NWN server, and Jester can find it and connect, we’ll be all set. At least for a while.