[Mud-Dev] Virtual Suicide (Was: Money supply in game economies)

Dave Rickey daver at mythicentertainment.com
Thu Apr 12 09:27:13 New Zealand Standard Time 2001

-----Original Message-----
From: Daniel.Harman at barclayscapital.com <Daniel.Harman at barclayscapital.com>
> On 10 April 2001 14:40, Dave Rickey wrote

>> These organizations are not particular cheery places, most of them
>> are *way* out on the entropy curve and would split, except that the
>> resultant organizations would not be "Planes Capable".  And the
>> "points system" many use to determine who gets the god loot
>> encourages you to go along on raids where you have no personal
>> interest in the result.

> Its really hard for me to make generalisations here as I've
> obviously not got high level characters on vast numbers of servers
> in EQ. My experiences of raiding with an uber guild don't really
> tally with yours, the guilds are generally pretty stable (more so
> than the smaller guild I've been in) and very comradly. As I said,
> there is a unity of purpose and it can be fun working as part of a
> well oiled machine.

I'm not "down" on Uberguilds, in fact as the largest organizations
currently present in these games, I'm very interested in them.  Not
all Uberguilds are centers of strife and recrimination, but the fact
that some sustain conditions that would normally cause balkanization
is very interesting to me.

> As to point systems, I have no idea how prevalent it is on other
> servers, but no guild uses it on my server. I really think that a
> lot of people make assumptions about the behaviour of uber guilds
> without necessarily looking into it very deeply. From my experience,
> they just facilitate skilled players with similar goals getting
> together. EQ is very equipment-centric which obviously plays a part,
> but most of us really like to see our friends get new toys and go on
> raids for the fun of it, not because we expect to:

>   a) net gear for ourselves b) improve our right to it should it
>   drop.

Okay, it's an "altruistic" motivation, you're not after the phat lewt
yourself, you just like seeing your friends get it.  Would you kill
Trakanon more than once if he didn't drop nice equipment?  Would you
need such a large organization if you weren't going after that class
of encounter?

>>  Social environments are defined by their challenges, in EQ the
>>  defining social challenge at high level is managing the spawn of
>>  god-loot.  Uberguilds are significant because they are the
>>  response of the society to that challenge.  But once you have that
>>  organization, maintaining it becomes its own challenge.  I'm not
>>  saying that the high-level game in EQ is all about god-loot,
>>  simply that it is defined by it.

> Frankly, I expect similar organisations to arrise in DAoC. The
> motivation is unlikely to be loot in your game (ok I'm guessing, but
> I have done some research :D ), but the pvp aspect. I'm hoping
> mythic isn't losing sleep over it and trying to prevent it. I
> leveled up slower than a lot of people in the uber guilds, so I am a
> bit of a late arrival. I can't tell you how nice it is to find a
> pre-selected group of people who are skilled, like to tackle the
> harder encounters and are fun to hang out with. The problem with
> these games is that power tends to be a funtion of time invested,
> not skill, so finding a group of competent players is harder than it
> sounds.

Definitely not trying to prevent it, I think large player
organizations are a *good* thing.  I want to encourage them.  But they
are also sources of potential problems.

>>  Social motivations ultimately come down to the personal, people
>>  participate in social organizations because they, personally,
>>  expect to get something out of it.  Because humans are social
>>  creatures, that organization process becomes a game unto itself.
>>  But it needs the defining challenge, the individual reward that
>>  the individual can not secure by himself.

> On the whole, people participate in uber guilds for the same reason
> people play these games - entertainment. Having a defining challenge
> that requires such levels of organisation is imho a good thing, it
> adds complexity to what are generally very simple game mechanics.

When the only motivation is social, people form extremely loose
networks, cohesive organization with a distinct group identity always
seems to center on some collective set of individual goals.

--Dave Rickey

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