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

Dave Rickey daver at mythicentertainment.com
Sat Apr 27 00:23:59 New Zealand Standard Time 2002


From: "John Buehler" <johnbue at msn.com>

> 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.

Pretty much.  For the first couple of months, a guild that could
field a disciplined force of 30-50 people could dominate the RvR
balance of an entire server, now forces of 500+ in multiple (but
coordinated) groups are commonplace.

> 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.

I should have been clear, I use "cohesive" with a particular meaning
in this context, as in "tending to stick together".  Players
organizations in other games have reached their cohesion limits at
lower levels (and those approaching the limits showed clear signs of
their loss of cohesion), whereas Camelot organizations are
significantly larger and still growing.

What you seem to be referring to would be more properly termed
"coherence", the tendency for those within an organization to pursue
the same goals by the same methods.  It is *not* an intractable
problem in theory, military organizations maintain remarkable
cohesion and coherance.

The large guilds are definitely cohesive by either of our standards,
the alliances are not.  Alliances break up for various reasons
(often political), but so far they have tended to do so only to
reform into yet larger configurations.

> 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.

All loyalties in these games are ultimately personal, and the
problem of how to maintain cohesive organization past the "rule of
100" does show up in many different places.  We haven't quite
managed to reproduce patriotism in these games, we're barely getting
to tribalism.

--Dave

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