[MUD-Dev] Codename Blue & Facets - Nick Yee's new studies

John Buehler johnbue at msn.com
Fri Apr 26 09:51:17 New Zealand Standard Time 2002


Dave Rickey writes:

> I'm not trying to be an apologist here, I just think that it might
> be very dangerous to draw too many conclusions from a comparison
> of data sets that are not equivalent.  I genuinely believe that
> once it shakes out, "building teams" will turn out to be a *very*
> effective means of building relationships.

> Just as an example: A year or so ago I made the statement that I
> had never seen cohesive player organization beyond the 150 player
> range.  I can no longer say that, the last couple of months have
> seen the emergence of cohesive player guilds in Camelot exceeding
> 400 members (discrete accounts, not characters).  This can't be
> accounted for as players with multiple accounts, his data
> indicates only 1 in 10 Camelot players has multiple accounts, so
> these guilds are well over 300 players.  In addition, we are
> seeing the formation of *large* "Alliances" (game-supported links
> between guilds), some containing nearly 5000 players.

> Unlike the 150+ plus player guilds in EQ, and the 2000+ player
> monarchies in AC, these organizations seem to be *stable*
> formations, rather than extreme examples pushed way out the
> entropy curve and in constant danger of dissolution.  In fact, the
> limit of 21 guilds in the alliances is causing a steady trend
> towards larger guilds, in order to get more players into the same
> alliance.

First, I'll observe that Dark Age of Camelot is team-based in its
fundamental structure.  Guilds have opposing organizations to fight,
so there is a natural tendency to get organized.  The more people
the other guy fields, the more you have to field, etc.  The
opposition is not a known, gameable quantity.  This tends to make
larger, more stable organizations.  Asheron's Call and EverQuest
lack this quality.  Asheron's Call's monarchies are a joke from a
community standpoint, while EverQuest's means of requiring large
teams to tackle some monster areas was a clever way to bring players
together.

That said, corporations in America can grow well over 100,000
people.  Is that 'cohesive'?  During World War II, armies that
fought for a single purpose were millions strong.  Is that
'cohesive'?  I would offer that cohesion is something that can
remain strong up to the 100-200 individual range, but after that the
personal relationship means of keeping things organized starts to
erode.  Other mechanisms are relied upon to hold the organization
together.  Having a common enemy is a great mechanism to hold
organizations together.  That enemy can be as simple as the weather
or as convoluted as an opposing force of individuals.

While Dark Age of Camelot has large organizations, they are not as
cohesive as smaller organizations.  Cohesion comes from personal
ties, and it's difficult to keep everyone in an organization larger
than about 100 people knowing everyone else in that same
organization.  This is the phenomenon of the growing company.  Once
it exceeds 100 people or so, it loses its 'family' feeling.  You
start to run into people at company meetings that you don't know.

I wouldn't toss the 'rule of 100' yet.

JB

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