[MUD-Dev] Gamasutra: Online Justice Systems

Todd McKimmey rufus at wombatgames.com
Mon Mar 27 13:43:01 New Zealand Daylight Time 2000

----- Original Message -----
From: "Sayeed" <yu219121 at YorkU.CA>
To: <mud-dev at kanga.nu>
Sent: Monday, March 27, 2000 12:48 PM
Subject: RE: [MUD-Dev] Gamasutra: Online Justice Systems

> On a related note, I think that just the time investment
> players will put into their initial character will be a
> deterrant from purchasing another one.  They'll identify
> with him/her, feel his responsibility, and maybe even
> choose to role-play him.  They will BE their characters,
> and so we'll have less mass-murderers, less anti-socials,
> and more involved players.  Why go through the trouble of
> finding a different name and different credit card to pay
> through, when you've started to thoroughly enjoy playing
> one character?

Two things -- in a market where it's pretty standard to get x amount of
characters for $10, if you only offer 1 character, and your competition
offers 5, likely you're going to loose a great deal of business. The appeal
of the online gaming market has to appeal to the senses of a populace that
might not think in terms of game value and 'what my experience in relation
to the overall game is'. Shop A advertises 5 for $1, and a Shop B advertises
1 for $1, in most cases (hardcore gamers with a history and devotion to the
game itself aside) most people are going to take the Shop A route. It's
rather unfortunate that this is the case, but in order for most MMPORPG's to
succeed, they have to appeal to more than the core gamers.

The second thing is a jerk's a jerk's a jerk. From my experience, a
significant percentage of players will see any game (combat/advancement
oriented, I'm not sure how this applies to non-advancement systems) as a
collection of numbers. Add to this the fact they're paying to play the game
and it only gets worse. Now not only are they jerks, but they feel justified
in being jerks because their money's being spent. They never 'enjoy playing
one character' to the extent they won't get ahead by any means possible. And
even if they're limited to just a single character, these are not the people
who feel honestly horrified if something bad happens to their character.
They just make a new set of numbers and go from there.

Trust me, though, I like the theory. But in order to combat the costs of
making such a game and to make it profitable, it has to appeal to a wider
audience, and not necessarily an audience who has the same ideas of 'value'
that game designers have =)


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