[MUD-Dev] Innovation restrictions (was: Information sharing)

rayzam rayzam at home.com
Mon May 7 18:37:54 New Zealand Standard Time 2001

----- Original Message -----
From: "Jeremy Noetzelman" <jjn at kriln.net>
To: <mud-dev at kanga.nu>
Sent: Monday, May 07, 2001 12:02 PM
Subject: Re: [MUD-Dev] Innovation restrictions (was: Information sharing)

> On Sun, 6 May 2001, Greg Munt wrote:

>> Yet another thing that slows innovation, perhaps. Players don't
>> want it.

>> Or, at least, players are unwilling/unready to accept big changes
>> to something that they already use. Innovation has to be presented
>> as a completely new game.

> Well, I've just left my long time position as head coder of Duris
> DikuMUD not in small part due to the innate reaction players seem to
> have to change nowadays.

> Perhaps I'm being too ... nostalgic, but I think that a few years
> ago, most players actually liked new and different things, whereas
> at least in the Duris playerbase (and many others that I've
> observed, albeit at a surface level) people are so resistant to
> change that they will practically revolt.

Yep, this happens. However, it's a waiting game. Everytime we make a
modification, there's a huge public outcry against it. Amusingly
enough, some of the loudest voices are from people who haven't even
bothered to read the announcement or details: 'They changed <blah>! 
They shouldn't have changed <blah>! That's horrendous and it means
that Boffo will now be screwed!'. When you ask them why the change
will affect Boffo like that [because apparently, the modification
always affects a friend of theirs, not themselves directly :)], they
don't know the details about it.

Then there are those players who are worth their bandwidth in
gold. They think about the change, and want to discuss it with you,
and bring up good and bad points. They allow for a real discussion. In
the end, a large portion of these are still just resistant to the
change [if it ain't broke, why fix it?].

However, revisit it a few months down the line. For our major changes,
the majority of players do embrace them over time. The ones that
don't, vote with their feet. The ones that stay like it. Of course,
this could be related to cognitive dissonance, in a hazing ritual type
effect ;)

> Another interesting observation is that in my experience, players
> try to shoehorn new and different things into terms they understand.
> When you change something old into something new, they will force
> the new features or innovations into the old box, and in the long
> run not experience the whole of whatever it is that you added.

Human nature, related to schemas, and how we tend to process
things. Not a universal truth, but a shortcut used in many cases,
unless more specific thought is given to the issue.


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