Monday, July 13, 2009

Why MMORPG's Are Like Dogs

Via Tipa's daily blogroll post is a post from We Fly Spitfires comparing MMORPG's to dating stereotypes of women. Pete of Dragonchasers fame found an even better response comparing MMORPG's to menfolks. I don't have any new and amusing dating stereotypes to add, but my wife and I are in the process of hunting for a dog.

Here are some dog comparisons that are sure to offend fans of the games and the dog breeds in question, as well as anyone who doesn't like the badly mixed metaphors that are about to ensue.

World of Warcraft, The Labrador Retriever
The world's most popular dog for a reason, WoW is exceptionally friendly to all sorts of players and seems to be able to do a little bit of everything (solo, raid, PVP, etc). Detractors point out rightly that there may not be a ton of variety or depth - your Black Lab (Gnome Mage) is going to look a lot like hundreds of others in your neighborhood.

As it gets older, WoW isn't doing as well at keeping up with the kids in the yard, which is a disappointment to the teens who used to run along with it when it was a young dog. However, the slower pace suits some of the younger kids, who couldn't keep up with the dog in its prime. Still, even the folks who swear that they've outgrown their parents old lab seem to have a bit of nostalgia, occasionally stopping to give a lab a scratch behind the ears from time to time.

Lord of the Rings Online, The English Springer Spaniel
You can't look at this dog without recognizing its impressive heritage. Other breeds may aspire to this faithful companion of Kings and Presidents, but only this one has the history from The Shire, Rivendell, and the other locations of Middle Earth. The springer may not be the best at hunting (PVE, Raiding), but it's worth watching that distinctive springing through the underbrush, looking to flush out birds, just because of the history behind it.

Warhammer Online, The Border Collie
This is a very intelligent breed, which turned out to cause some problems for Mythic. The trainer thought they could train Warhammer to be a game that prized open field RVR over all else. The problem was that the Collie was too smart, a natural bred herder, not a herd-ee. She quickly learned that scenarios offered a better ratio of treats to time than the other tricks Mythic was trying to teach her. The problem is that sheep dogs only have something to do when there are sheep and dogs around and in reasonable numbers (proper ratio of sheep dogs to sheep, etc). Mythic is apparently still working on that.

Everquest 2, The Husky
EQ2 has retained some of the look and behavior of its wolf ancestors (EQ1), and is arguably bred for running in packs (PVE groups/raids) as sled dogs. Everyone knows of the breed - it's a common University mascot - but many of those don't actually know that much about the breed, even though it's been around for a pretty long time. Under that thick coat of cold-weather fur is an intelligent, friendly dog that can carry its owner further than they might have thought possible.

I'll call it a day there, since those are the games I've got the most /played experience with. Your additions, flames, and MMORPG's Are Like [x] followup posts are welcome.

Update for Bonus Dog:
Kingdom of Loathing is The Dalmatian
Off the top of my head, the characteristically black and white Dalmatians have appeared in a Disney cartoon and a series of Budweiser commercials. Kingdom of Loathing, a browser-based somewhat massively single player online game, is illustrated entirely in black and white stick figures. The game offers a relatively unique "ascension" mechanic, in which characters that beat the game's final boss are reincarnated as a new level one character of a class of the player's choice, allowing them to replay the game with a growing array of perks from past lives. I'm not quite up to a hundred and one yet, but sometimes it feels that way (which can be reassuringly familiar or annoyingly tedious depending on the mood). Finally, booze is a major daily consumable, with a character needing to consume five or more margaritas per day for maximum benefit. I'll call that three for three.


Ziboo said...

LOL! Good comparisions! Miss the 'husky' but enjoying the lab right now - lol.

As for your dog hunt - check out Aussies. Regular size down to toys, good family/companion dogs.

Ferrel said...

I like the explanation of EQ2 as a Husky. My favorite breed with my favorite game. Strangely though I neither own a husky nor play EQ2 anymore. I couldn't make the time commitment to either!

I am interested to see how accurate the LotRO comparison is. I just hit 52 and we're working towards the casual 12 group raids.

Klepsacovic said...

I'd call WoW more of a mutt that you get from the shelter. It has about ten breeds in it and cannot even pretend to have a dignified lineage. However you will eventually find one you love and who loves you and you will argue endlessly that it is the best dog ever.

Stabs said...

Darkfall is the pitbull, only those who own one could love one.

Green Armadillo said...

@Stabs: I may not count, since my brother-in-law owns a very sweet pit bull, but I was actually considering citing it for Eve Online. Both breeds have an aggressive reputation that can scare off people who might otherwise be interested. Not everyone who plays Eve is a PK'ing scammer, and not every pit bull is a vicious attack dog, but the reputation is hard to shake.

As to Darkfall? I dunno, maybe a wolverine or something. ;)