[MUD-Dev] Blacksnow revisted

Paul Schwanz paul.schwanz at east.sun.com
Sat May 11 13:55:54 New Zealand Standard Time 2002


From: shren <shren at io.com>
> On Tue, 7 May 2002, Paul Schwanz wrote:

>> Right.  So the guy who gets his account for only $10 a month
>> isn't going to show nearly the same amount of respect as the one
>> who pays $1000 for his account.

>> I don't think that's what you were saying, but it is the
>> conclusion I draw from your comment.  Or perhaps more precisely,
>> your comment simply indicates that accounts should be sold on
>> eBay according to their value.  Or perhaps, community is served
>> better by selling items on eBay than by giving them away to a
>> friend.

> My only real point is that if A sells his account to B, and A and
> B are happy, it's not necessarily true that C, D, E, and F who
> play the game as well are going to be as instantly overjoyied as A
> and B are.

OK, I'll buy that.  I don't think that means that the rest are
*necessarily* going to mind the sale either, though.

> Anyone who wants to argue that account and character selling is
> good for anyone other than the buyer or seller has an uphill
> battle pending.

No need to argue when we can simply point to Mihaly's games as
pretty successful examples of this model in action.  But maybe you
meant the statement specifically for EQ?  As Matt has been saying
all along, the success of the model will be highly dependant upon
other game mechanics.

By all accounts I've heard, Matt's games don't seem to suffer from a
lack of community.  My own opinion is that there may be a couple of
things to conclude from this.  First, I think it demonstrates that
selling items isn't automatically bad for community.  It doesn't
seem that people buying items automatically leads either to general
disrespect for the game, diminished investment of time in social
activity in the game, or the sorts of "sour grapes" mentality
proposed.  Secondly, I think that removing the
success-is-based-on-investing-large-amounts-of-time paradigm could
well make the game more accessible to a more mature user base who
have additional real-world skills to contribute to community and
leadership.

Of course, this doesn't mean that selling items is good for EQ or
any of the other titles currently taking subscriptions.

--Phinehas

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