[MUD-Dev] RE: [MUD-Dev] Re: [MUD-Dev] Re: Fantasy clichés (was: Acting casual aboutcasualgamers)

Raph Koster rkoster at austin.rr.com
Thu Jul 13 18:57:31 New Zealand Standard Time 2000

> -----Original Message-----
> From: mud-dev-admin at kanga.nu
> [mailto:mud-dev-admin at kanga.nu]On Behalf Of
> S. Patrick Gallaty
> Sent: Thursday, July 13, 2000 12:29 PM
> To: mud-dev at kanga.nu
> Subject: [MUD-Dev] Re: [MUD-Dev] Re: Fantasy clichés (was:
> Acting casual
> aboutcasualgamers)
> >From: Raph Koster <rkoster at austin.rr.com>
> >Date: Saturday, July 08, 2000 6:17
> >Just as a counterpoint--I've seen the argument advanced that
> >one reason why Asheron's Call isn't doing as well as the
> >other MMORPGs is that its fantastical elements are too
> >unfamiliar. To people other than the hardcore players, AD&D
> >fantasy is as fantastical as they are really able to stomach
> [ ... ]
> Well, I beta'd AC from the very earliest stages to the end -
> and I'd put
> forward that it is less a matter of the fantasy being
> unfamiliar as it is
> the fantasy just not being very compelling.

Yeah, I'd tend to agree with you... as I said, I've seen the argument
advanced--I don't know that I agree with it. Turbine has bar none the best
relationship with its customers out of the so-called Big Three, but somehow
fails on the gameplay or marketing sides to attract the numbers the other
two do. Like you, I don't feel like exploring that in great detail in a
public forum. :) I've talked about it with the guys on the team in private

> What is it with these 'betas'?  I see mmorpg companies invite
> thousands of
> random people, then due to their lack of selection process
> end up with a
> terrible signal to noise ratio on feedback, and then end up
> largely ignoring
> the benefits the beta could have afforded.

Public betas of that scale aren't really about feedback, they're just stress
tests. Because, as you state, the signal to noise is lousy.

> If you invite ten
> talented car mechanics to drive your car, you may get feedback that is
> useful.

That's what closed betas are for. :)

> If you invite 100 people who have never driven a car
> before, your
> car gets wrecked and you get nothing.  Why do these MMORPG
> betas always feel
> like 100 unliscensed car drivers?  Is it too difficult to
> select testers?
> Am I missing something?

You need to put 50,000 people on to try to approximate live conditions,

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