[MUD-Dev] In defense of "soloability" [was Law of Diminishing Marginal Utility]
jeff.cole at mindspring.com
Fri May 31 13:51:27 New Zealand Standard Time 2002
From: Koster, Raph
> People don't seem to like being interrupted when they're making
> decisions. They tend to complain about people ruining their
> concentration. So it makes for a bad time to try to have an
> in-depth personal discussion with them. If we want more
> socializing, we have to provide breathing spaces in which it can
Or, perhaps provide expanded, more uniform (or, at least less
disjunctive) decision-spaces. Downtime is really just a crude and
heavy-handed fix. And let's not underestimate the over-importance
of an awkward chat interface (the designs of which, I argue, are
merely mediocre at best).
I am trying to resist the inference that "more socializing"
necessarily requires significantly (or any-) more "in-depth personal
I am also trying to resist the inference that it is sufficient to
xeriscape your social environment by passively providing "breathing
spaces." Why not nurture a more varied and exotic social landscape
by providing players with a richer socialization toolset.
In EQ, a very significant amount of my "socialization" with my guild
and other players organizing and conducting (and helping to-)
multi-group raids (and far too many subsequent corpse retrievals,
heh). Lots of interaction and lots of decision-making. Indeed, for
a period of almost nine months, all (or very nearly) of my EQ time
was spent either raiding or training newer players/guildmembers the
finer points of raiding.
Most of my frustrations stemmed not from a
socializing/decision-making tension, but from one of two places: (1)
particularly annoying and needy players (beyond developer control);
and, (2) multiplayer /tells to which it was difficult to efficiently
respond because of the limited chat iterface (well within developer
control--and with potential to assuage the impact of those players
described in (1)).
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