One thought that came to me recently is whether having a variety of opponents matters in MMORPGs? Some of these games have very varied and mixed up monsters, animals or humanoid foes; some tend to recycle them a little too often.
Lord of the Rings Online
To be fair I should state that it’s not Turbine’s fault that we fight evil humans, orcs, goblins and wolves in almost every zone of the game. I’ve read many times on the forums about the restrictions (rumoured or otherwise) that the Tolkien Estate puts on the license for the game. Adding new creature models to the game can be pretty contentious even for the players!
I don’t actually remember becoming that bored with fighting the same creatures in the game, but it certainly wouldn’t make my “top 5 MMOs for interesting opponents” list.
This game had some very good aspects, such as the combat and some very negative ones like the repetitive use of monster models. For me the lack of opponent variety in the leveling content eventually became quite a turnoff. The design of creatures maybe matters more when they all have quite distinctive tactics and regardless of any ‘reskinning’ or renaming of the monsters all creatures of the same basic model (e.g. wolves) fight alike. This may be true of many MMORPGs but in action combat games like Tera, where even simple fights can be more involved it becomes more of an issue I think.
The same models are re-used again and again but there is no restrictive-license to excuse this in Tera.
For the most part Star Wars the Old Republic has very good variety of opponents. Some of the instances can get repetitive but this post is really about open world opponent variety. The one aspect that I do often find a bit ‘samey’ is the use of factional opponents – naturally it is to be expected that a Republic character will fight endless waves of Imperial soldiers and Sith over the course of his or her levelling career but it can get a bit boring to see whole areas populated with a few “copy-pasted” models.
That doesn’t matter as much with imperial soldiers in heavy uniform, you can imagine they are different individuals under the helmet; but when you see the 5th or 10th Sith with the same face, dual wielding the same yellow & gold lightsabers it bothers me more.
World of Warcraft
In the latest expansion there might be more of a case for complaining about opponent variety as we fought a *lot of orcs*, but that said, they were of different clans and therefore had some different clothing and armour styles.
Overall the game does have plenty of very varied opponents to face so I can’t complain too much.
Does opponent variety matter to you? Are some games better than others at addressing this issue?