Role playing games, such as Dungeons and Dragons or Traveler, have been around since the 1970s. In these games, each player creates a character and then controls that character as they go through an adventure. The adventure is controlled by a Game Master who narrates the events and responds to each player’s actions. Let’s look at some video game reviews for some of these classic games.
For many years, role playing games (or RPGs) were played by groups of players sitting around a table, keeping track of what happened with pen and paper. Dice were rolled to determine whether a fighter was able to successfully attack an orc, for example. However, with the increasing popularity of personal computers and the Internet, it was inevitable that ways of playing role playing games online would be developed.
The first computer role playing games, or CRPGs, were designed for personal computers like the Apple II, the Commodore 64, and the IBM PC. Since online capabilities in the early days of home computing were very limited, these games generally had no such features. Instead, the computer would act as the Game Master, responding to the choices made by the player.
However, as more and more people made their way online, the first online RPGs were developed. At first, these were hosted on dedicated services such as CompuServe or America Online. Players would have to connect to the service that hosted the game by making a dialup connection with their modem. Since these connections were quite slow, gameplay was not as satisfying as it might have been.
An early example of an online RPG was Neverwinter Nights. This was based on the pen-and-paper game Dungeons and Dragons, and was set in the popular Forgotten Realms. This had been the setting used for a series of CRPGs published by SSI, including such titles as Pool of Radiance and Champions of Krynn.
Neverwinter Nights let players create characters and join forces with other players from around the world. The players were based in the city of Neverwinter and could take on various quests. New adventures were added to the game on a regular basis in an attempt to keep the game as fresh as possible.
Once access to the Internet became more widespread, online RPGs became more advanced. The modern trend is for what are known as MMORPGs, or massively multiplayer online role playing games. These are games that can handle hundreds of thousands of players at once.
One of the most famous titles in this genre is World of Warcraft. As in most CRPGs, players create a character and explore the world, killing monsters and collecting treasure. Over time, as a character gains more experience, it becomes more powerful. Some items in the game are so desirable that people pay real money for them.
While many people still play RPGs in the old-fashioned way, playing role playing games online is more popular than ever. All you need to get started is an Internet connection and a computer or tablet. Before long, you will be casting spells and slaying monsters.