If Real Life Was An MMO...

Ever heard of "Outside," a free-to-play MMORPG developed by Deity Games? No? Huh, that's weird. It's the most popular game out there, with over 7 billion active players! Hey, wait a minute...

If that sounded familiar, it's because I'm actually describing real life, not a game. All of this comes from a Subreddit called "Outside," a place where people try their best to be witty by using MMO ideas and terms to describe everyday things. Sometimes, the approach can be revealing — either about MMOs, or about real life itself.

The rules are as follows (these are taken from the subreddit):

  • Remember, it's not a bug, it's a feature. It's a lot more fun to explain something if it isn't written off as a bug.
  • There are no NPCs. Aside from animals, everybody is a "player".
  • The devs are lazy and rarely do much. The game is mostly balanced as it is according to them, therefore they don't do much aside from "natural" world events.
  • The game is mostly run by the players. All in-game items and rules are determined by players, not mods or devs.
  • The players are responsible for in-game events. The devs are responsible for "natural" events. So stop begging the devs to add in a new type of car. It's player-made.
  • There are no "in-game moderators"; there are players with more power than the average player. Police officers, lawyers, politicians and the like are other players. They aren't technically moderators.

With that as a framework, we get threads like "'Is this game really "free-to-play"'?

It seems like for your character to survive more than a week, you need to pay buy health items, or your character will die. So if we have to keep paying to survive, is it really free-to-play?

And the top response on that:

APPLEBLOOMthrowaway : Wtf are you talking about? Those items are bought with ingame currency. (Which, for your first 18 or so levels is provided by your two referrer players.)

steve_the_jerk: This is true. While most players without the [trust fund] perk have to grind constantly, it's still only in game currency.

piyochama: Even those with [trust fund] buffs only start out with more in-game gold.

Another one: "Why does it seem i only level up on the anniversary of when i started playing?" (A self-post, which has the following top response):

DMTrace: In this game levelling is more of a way to track the passage of play time. Since the game is so immersive you sometimes forget how long you've been playing for. levelling up skills is often much less pronounced than in other games. It happens but most of the time it's not celebrated which I think adds into the openness of the game. Everyone won't necessarily know you've leveled skills but it's important to do it for yourself.

There are a lot of posts that riff on the idea, but here's a favourite from earlier last month, "Broken gender change feature and horrible community reaction":

So I rolled a Male character on the European server. It was fine for the first two dozen levels or so, but then I realised I made a mistake and wanted to change to Female. Much to my dismay, the option to change it was nowhere in sight on my character menu, and there's no gender change item in the cash shop item either. I tried just wearing Female clothing but there are clipping issues with Male bodies.

When I asked in general chat, I found out that gender change was never fully implemented and the only way to access it was by glitching my character with the help of a [Doctor] player. I teamed up with one who knew about this glitch, and he gave me these weird crafted consumables that were supposed to slowly change my player model and texture. I started taking them while continuing to grind levels and now my character is Female but you can kinda tell that it's glitched, overall I like the results anyway.

Now here's the part that makes you realise just how shitty this game's community can be. As soon as players around me noticed I changed my gender, I got kicked out of my guild, almost no one teams with me anymore, no one roleplays with me etc, basically a ton of players are calling me a sploiter and giving me grief over it. I'm getting a lot of PvP duel requests too. This is absolutely ridiculous.

I've read the TOS and there seem to be no specific rules against what I did and it's mostly a cosmetic feature anyway. I know of players who, for instance, can sploit gold like crazy, and no one seems to care as much about that, what's the big deal here? All I can say is, this can be pretty frustrating at times, and I just really hope the devs eventually either fix character creation or implement a proper gender change feature. As for the sad state of the community regarding this, there's not much to say, a lot of them just put you on their ignore list if you try talking to them :/

It's all rather clever, making it a Subreddit worth visiting.


    I tried real life, the graphics are great, but the story is horrible. Also the respawn time sucks, I don't like most of the characters, the physics engine is primitive, everyone argues if there is an admin or not, the soundtrack was good untill the 90s update, and the resources are hard to find and require too much grinding.

      "Tried" but obviously got sucked in like the rest of us, seeing as you still haven't quit yet.

    Seriously? "I read something funny on Reddit guys, look!" - the article.

    Even included a gender issue cut and paste to keep on form - and there are more words in that one paste than the author wrote in their entire article.

      leave her alone, she's only level 25.

      She's still waiting to unlock the authoring achievement properly.

    Not sure I'd call it free-to-play though :)

      Oh its free-to-play, its just pay-to-win

        Comment of the day belongs to moop.

          I'm pretty sure that comment was just copied from reddit (~_~;)

    It's like a mix of a no-respawn MMO and The Sims.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ How do I access the cheat console, anyone figured it out yet?

    ~#player.additem F 9999999999

    The devs should've added NPCs, players are waaay too judgemental.

    It's a good thing EA doesn't run this, imagine paying for world adventures or university life expansion packs... Oh wait...

    Last edited 18/07/13 11:45 am

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