[MUD-Dev] in-game vs web-based boards (was: Geometric content generation)

Koster Koster
Thu Sep 27 08:14:27 New Zealand Standard Time 2001

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Bruce Mitchener
> Koster, Raph wrote:
>> An excellent point, Ola. One of the things that most strikes me
>> as a difference between muds and the commercial MMOs is how
>> externalized the community is in the latter. Web boards, guilds
>> that hop games, IRC channels, etc, all surround the game in a
>> constellation and greatly enhance it. In fact, there's
>> significant power to be harnessed there, because most of the
>> users of the big games aren't even aware of this extraordinarily
>> rich community, which potentially could lead to far greater
>> retention.
> How much of the lack of knowledge of many of the players is due to
> the fact that some of the larger communities aren't hosted by the
> game companies themselves or tightly integrated in with the main
> game website?

Even the ones that are don't get high traffic as a percentage of
userbase.  We're talking, say, 5-10% of the total players use the
game's principal website at all, much less are willing to go deeper
in search of communities.

There's some evidence accumulated at this point that communities
tightly integrated in the main game website tend to be ruder,
whinier, and less cohesive than communities elsewhere--because it's
known that the developers are lurking or even actively

In other words, by putting a tightly-integrated community on your
website you hope to attract more people into game communities. But
instead, what you did is create a public complaint line. And
complaint lines aren't conducive to community-building. So you end
up with better communities on places where the developers do not
participate, or where there is no expectation of a reply.

Which completely runs against the grain for me--I strongly believe
in having developers maintain good contact with their players.

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