[MUD-Dev] In defense of "soloability" [was Law of Diminishing Marginal Utility]

Sean Kelly sean at ffwd.cx
Mon Jun 3 07:45:12 New Zealand Standard Time 2002


From: "Ron Gabbard" <rgabbard at swbell.net>
> From: "Sean Kelly" <sean at hoth.ffwd.cx>
>> On Wed, 29 May 2002, Ron Gabbard wrote:

>> Sounds like both are pretty much the same thing.  Forced
>> Grouping, IMO, is just making the activity aspect of the game too
>> difficult for a single player to solo effectively.  This is a
>> design decision, and thus emphasizes the importance of grouping.
>> A player who didn't like this decision would likely call it
>> "forced grouping."

> Clay's argument was that the costs associated with grouping are
> too high in some MUDs and forcing players to group forces them to
> pay this cost is just not fun.

But the cost is subjective, thus my point.  If everyone thought the
cost were too high, no one would play the game.

> I suspect that many issues that drive the angst behind grouping
> will lessen in severity as games migrate to 'player-driven'
> worlds.  Many of the issues caused by the gap between how the
> designer intended the players to play the game and how the players
> actually play the game are lessened/removed when you give the
> players a sandbox versus building them a sandcastle... tools not
> rules.

I agree.  IMO this is the only way to appease everybody -- by
letting them make their own rules.  The consequence being a more
fragmented player-base.  NWN, for example, could concievably be
infinitely large, depending on how many servers were linked
together.  The true size of the connected gaming world (through
Bioware's official player vault), however, remains to be seen.  I
hope NWN ends up being more of a MUD than a LAN game.

Sean

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