[MUD-Dev] Structured Social Play

Vincent Archer archer at frmug.org
Wed Sep 5 11:04:01 New Zealand Standard Time 2001

According to Tom Hubina:

> My goal is to give a person with around an hour or two to play
> something to actually do. In Everquest, it's real easy to play for
> an hour and get a lot done. As long as you're about level 10 or
> under :) Just about every character of those levels can log in,
> and start killing stuff by themselves almost immediately and see
> real progress after an hour or two.

However, that's not very social.

The same occur in Asheron's Call, except it's relatively easy to do
even at higher levels, since characters are usually more autonomous.

Yesterday, one player described how he was powerleveling in an area
where monster spawn slowly:

  - Wake up, log, kill the 4 critters he's nearby

  - Get a shower, log, kill the respawn

  - Brush teeth, start coffee, log, kill the respawn

  - Coffee and breakfast, log, kill the respawn

  - Go to work

But that's even less social of course. I don't think you can have a
social activity if you don't have time for it, unless it's highly
pre-planned. And even then. I've already logged in Anarchy Online
"just for an implant and transfer of a few object", and my scheduled
20mn always stretch to one hour or more. And that's not because of
travel times or bugs or whatever. When I do this on my own, it takes
me 10-15mn tops.

> The first thing that comes to mind is improving travel times to
> the point where people can get together in a matter of a few
> minutes. Of course if you can't find someone, maybe the game could
> give you some AI players to help you out. Then when you go to a
> dungeon, have the game automatically spin off a clean version just
> for you. Now you can drop in and be playing in a matter of
> minutes, and everyone's happy right? Wrong. Even though players
> often suggest some, or all, of these ideas, they would really ruin
> the game since you've just totally removed the whole reason for
> grouping with other people and developing the social aspect of a
> game. Why is it even a multiplayer game?

You are describing Anarchy On-line :)

The game which, in my opinion, fails to satisfy explorers, fails in
a large part to satisfy achievers, fails to push a social dimension,
but lets people one-shot kill others. :)

>> As Raph has mentioned in a few posts, the social element of these
>> games is the most addictive (my memory of his statement).
> This is a very accurate statement. You can't leave the game
> because doing so would mean leaving all your new friends! Not to
> mention all that phat loot and exp you've gotten over the last two
> years!

I didn't had any problems leaving EQ, and all that phat lewt (a
friend, when handed my bank contents, likened it to a dragon
trove). But I would have come back sooner or later if some of my
friends hadn't left at the same time to move - back - to Asheron's

	Vincent Archer			Email:	archer at frmug.org

All men are mortal.  Socrates was mortal.  Therefore, all men are Socrates.
							(Woody Allen)
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