I went to PAX West back in 2015 with two friends: Shank and our resident Planet Zoo Brian expert. The weekend was full of fun: we watched new games, we hung out in Seattle to make memories (seriously, follow Miserable Brian on Twitter for more), and I met some real co-workers. great in the industry while there that weekend.
One memory in particular stood out, however: waving to Shank.
This is not an ordinary wave, mind you. We were at Nvidia’s booth, and the company set up a VR unit to try it out. This was during the years when VR started to become a thing again, and this was my first time trying it out for myself. We went into a co-op game, the name itself made me realize, but when we got into the VR environment, Shank and I both purposefully searched for each other. It’s great to meet in the game, fully realized. But what happened next stood out in my mind: we both instinctively waved goodbye.
The Lord of the Rings Online is where this action originates. We were streaming one night, and Shank and I started quoting South Park “Make Love, Not Warcraft“episode. In it, Randy shows that he can” wave to this guy over there. “From there, when Shank realized he could wave goodbye LotRO it has become our thing.
So one of the first things I do when I load in Zenith: The Last City Last week started to wave with everyone. Running around the first main hub you appeared, waving at players randomly took up a lot of my time early in the game. I had so much fun waving, doing best impressions of James May by saying “Hello!” (In Zenith generally you’re having close voice chats by default and the microphone stays hot unless you turn it off on Oculus Quest 2). However, then I thought of you maybe wave goodbye to NPC.
Many MMOs incorporate NPC or NPC icons into quests. But for me, it never really felt organic. When Shank and I waved at each other in VR in PAX, we weren’t instructed to do so, which was natural. We both realized at the same time that we could, and so we did.
This is how it feels in Zenith. Waving to NPCs to get their attention and start quests is a fun new way to interact with the game. Sure, you can point your controller and click the quest icon to do the same thing, but for me that takes away some of the fun of being in the VR space. That’s me, in Zenith, standing in front of this person. Why don’t I wave or gesture?
RamenVR has made something as simple as doing a quest or interacting with an NPC one of my new favorites in MMO. It is not always accurate. I’ve noticed that sometimes I have to wave a lot to get the NPCs to fully notice me. But when it works right out of the box, there’s just something about it that makes me happy. I really hope other VR MMOs take note.
It makes perfect use of the advantages of VR: being physically “there” in the world. However, what really makes me happy is what I mentioned earlier: it’s organic. It doesn’t feel forced. Instinctively, I wanted to wave to everyone and the NPCs in Zenith because that’s what i would do in real life. And it’s a powerful pull that will keep me coming back for more.
https://www.mmorpg.com/editorials/waving-to-npcs-in-zenith-is-my-new-favorite-thing-2000124219 Waving to NPCs in Zenith is my new favorite thing