MMORPG stands for Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game, but the key words in there are “massively multiplayer”. Because these are games where MANY people come to play, which come by the thousands, hundreds of thousands, even millions, drop into severs, and start to roam the worlds that they are offered to see what they can do. And, while it’s true that there are plenty of single-player options for them to do, players often like to play with other people. While that’s fun and understandable, there’s almost always a catch with this.
Mainly, that the competitive side of MMORPGs are often the most controversial in some aspects. For example, if you look at games like World of Warcraft and Star Wars: the Old Republic, you’ll notice that the community often hates the PVP (Player-vs-Player) content, which is bad, because this is one of the backbones of the MMORPG genre. Yet, many MMORPG games have terrible balance issues with PVP. That leads to many players doing what they need to in order to be on the “right side” of the imbalance, which leads to a lot of fan hate within the community.
There’s also the fact that cheating often occurs the most in competitive scenarios in MMORPGs. Yes, developers look out for this to be sure, but it’s rarely a sure thing that they’ll find all of them.
Then, there’s Raids and Dungeons, where in certain games the drops and items only go to certain players despite everyone helping to take down a monster or a boss. This has been corrected by some, but not by all.
And let’s not forget the human element, shall we? Most MMORPGs allow voice chat, which means players can talk with one another during the game, which can lead to some very unfortunate conversations at times.
As petty as it may sound, these are real issues, and they’re ones that fester within community discussions on sites like Reddit or Battle.net, or even Facebook. You’ve likely heard the term “Toxic Community”, and there’s no doubt that MMORPGs have that at times. Sometimes it’s because of developers, sure. Sometimes, it’s the gameplay or bugs that hold it back. But then, more often than not, it’s because players are so competitive with each other that they ruin each others experience.