[MUD-Dev] I Want to Forge Swords. [Another letter to game designers]

Paul Schwanz - Enterprise Services Paul.Schwanz at Sun.COM
Tue May 8 13:57:32 New Zealand Standard Time 2001

Vincent Archer wrote:
> According to Auli:

>> easy.  Because the point of these games for most is to go out and
>> explore if travel is time consuming and difficult people will not
>> 'settle down'.  They become permanent nomads ala Everquest.  That
>> would seem to be exactly the opposite of Mr. Ming's argument.
>> It will always be the case that some games do some things better
>> than others.  It was my intent to point this out for this
>> situation, not come across as a run of the mill EQ-hater.  I'm
>> about to go log in and play now :p

> Well, having a large world is a good point when one wants to
> emphazise the Explore aspect of the game. It might even be argued it
> is good from a Social aspect, since it will probably force you to
> interact with more people. But it's also bad for community, because,
> unless your entire community migrates, you lose contact with it
> everytime you move.

Perhaps the problem is that you have to move...and often you have to
move a long ways away.  Note that this movement typically is not based
solely on a desire to explore.  Note also that exploration doesn't
always have to be solely geographical.  Most MOGs seem set up to
reward the nomadic life.  Is there any that offer comparable
advancement, rewards, or 'fun' to city dwellers?

Auli mentioned a city in EQ that was basically a ghost town because it
was so hard for people to get there.  The question I have, however, is
why didn't anyone *stay* there?  Evidently, it was very easy to leave.
This is not a statement about how difficult the commute was, but more
a point about the fact that the place must not have offered the kinds
of things that make people want to stay.

It seems to me that if 90% of the things that I find interesting are
only available a long way from my "home" then (IC) community is
basically shot.  But this *doesn't* mean that there cannot be things
that are a long way away from my home.  What if 70% of the things I
really enjoy doing (or want to do to reach personal goals) are
possible without going more than 15mn away from my home?  What if 50%
of them are available *in my town*?  I think localization would be a
natural result.  But this doesn't mean that there cannot be other
towns with a slightly different experience located far away.  Nor does
it mean that far away towns could not have some higher quality
resource not available locally.  Explorers are still allowed to
explore, but players are not penalized for not being nomadic.


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