Goldstein wrote:The games I enjoy playing multiplayer are the 'pick up and play' sort that don't require long-term investments. 'RPG elements' means 'character-progression based' and there's a huge rift between character progression in a single-player game and in an MMO. There basically aren't any imposed limits in single-player and your character can grow powerful and have the world be shaped around them. Multiplayer requires a compromise between letting you feel accomplished and letting everyone else feel the same thing, and it really hurts the game's freedom to express the power of the high-level characters. I've never played WoW, but I expect that nobody - not even the NPCs - gives a shit that you're level 85, and the game mechanics surely don't. True, a lot of single-player games don't care either, but they're able to because your character's power doesn't tread on the toes of anyone else who matters.
Just to clarify, the term 'RPG elements' makes more sense when labelled as 'character-progression through choices'.
Without the 'through choices', StarCraft (1, not 2), Half-Life and Doom would all be RPGs.