Roleplaying is a great thing. It helps for acting, stories, fictional entertainment and more. Eventually people found ways of putting these in video games and added things to make them enjoyable. But look at "Role playing" online. It's hardly even roleplaying!
Now it's "levels" "armor" "rings" and these sad excuses for "quests" and "missions."
Play a roleplaying game offline and you'll be playing out a great story, great characters and you can save your progress pretty conveniently(I will admit some moments are longer in comparison to others but it's no where near as bad as the hours spent online). In an offline RPG characters will be dusicussing the plot of a hot story. Online players are dicussing they're rings, armors, swords, and levels. That's not roleplaying, that's just a bunch of people with obsessions with fictional items. While you have this community everyone has 1 thing in common; they all have a lot of time on their hands.
Leveling: This was originally a way of the developers allowing the player to gain new things while he plays through the story. This way the characters were growing up athe story progresses and giving new things to avoid a character doing some super crazy spell at the start of the game. Keeping battles nice and fresh.
Now it's nothing more than a way of keeping players paying that fee by making the players invest extreme amounts of time to keep paying that online fee. You'd never see players taking 8 hour days to gain a level in an offline RPG because the story needed to keep fresh and avoid the player getting insane amounts of boredom.
Items: While developers gave players nice items within games and added easter eggs to some RPGs for nice bonus replay value you never saw them making these extremely rare and insanely large hard-to-find items. They add these items in online RPGs now to make players want them so badly that they invest more time into these getting these items and forcefully make them take large amounts of time. More time = more paid online fees.
Quests/missions: This is where the roleplaying online is most certainly non-existent. You get nothing more than a background story and silent hero things online. When you group up for a mission online your players are forced to investigate and spoil the game for themselves for the insane drive in beating the mission to avoid hours of just setting the thing up. You'll see players talking about waiting for a surprise ambush and a fight in X area. Nothing story related is even discussed. It's just all out spoiled because players go through stressful setups and they want whatever rewards are dropped. Players don't even partake in a lot of quests that don't give them their proper rewards because they're so obessed with making their character look cool or represent a state of empowerment.
Offline you'd get great plots, great characters, you could talk about the great portions of the game with others and a lot of players won't partake in whatever spoils they're game. Much like a book so to say. The characters will bring life to the story and you could get immersed and if you had to stop for whatever reason you could put the game down without having to interrupt a party or whatever activity is going on within the game.
Online players are just going for items and levels. It's just like a decorated doll house. If you go online and try to roleplay players most likely will get you out of their way because they just want to get their levels and gear and ranks. Another thing the onlin does to lure players in is create a sense of belonging. If these players would only realize that they're across the world and that it really wouldn't affect them to lose somebody across the world life would be a lot easier for them. They create these attachments because of their lack of ability to socialize in a real life conversation.
Another thing is the more the player plays, the more he feels he would lose for quitting the game. For the player it ends up being more than a game which is a hard part.