[MUD-Dev] To good to be TRUE, in an MMPORPG?

Dave Rickey daver at mythicentertainment.com
Fri Jul 27 10:19:21 New Zealand Standard Time 2001


-----Original Message-----
From: Sean K <sean at hoth.ffwd.cx>

> I think the only solution is to accept the inevitability of such
> behavior and either create a game which ignores it by insulating
> groups from one another or encourages it by pitting them against
> one another.  In either case, the player base is divided into
> subgroups which ideally all have similar interests.

Basicly, unlike most cases of "emergent behaviour", social networks
are not fractal.  They do not display the same behaviour at
different levels of complexity.  Small groups do not interact like
inviduals, large groups do not act like small ones, and so on.
Although you may be able to say that organizations of size N will
display certain common characteristics, you cannot extend from that
to say that groups of size N*2 will display the same behaviours.

This may be why, as we increase the population of the world, we do
not increase the size of the social networks that form within it.
Most EQ Guilds are the same size (15-45 people) as those you will
find in many large muds with 1/10th the population.  The only
exception is...the "Uberguilds", which seem to be a response to the
problem of efficiently managing the spawn of the high level
encounters.  The only player organization I am aware of that breaks
the 150 mark is KoC, with nearly 2000 members on AC's Darktide PvP
server, but it displays some rather odd properties (among other
things, most of the membership is fair game for the core members to
kill).

Basicly, we're going to need some kind of major breakthrough to get
cohesive community past the 150 player mark.  Scale alone isn't
going to deliver it (unless "Guns, Germs, and Steel" is correct, and
just making a 50,000 player gameworld will tip us over some magic
boundary).

--Dave Rickey

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