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

Vincent Archer archer at frmug.org
Tue Jun 4 10:04:35 New Zealand Standard Time 2002

According to Dave Rickey:
> From: "Martin C. Martin" <martin at metahuman.org>
>> So how do you cultivate a community, other than partying?
> Set goals that reward the individual, but are not achievable by
> the individual.  These don't have to be absolutes, in DAoC every
> class can gain experience without partying (solo), but it is
> significantly more efficient as part of a group...

That depends. In DAoC, my experience so far is that there are two
kind of classes. Those that solo moderately well, and those that
solo more inefficiently.

When talking about level 30+, if you're a good player that soloes
moderately well, it also takes a good group makeup to do
better. That's where social ties are needed; most ad-hoc groups made
on the spot from players that usually don't know each other aren't
good enough to rivalise.

Of course, at that level, levelling is slowed down enough that
people who fight at the same spots end up knowing most of the
others, because they'll spend a lot of time there.

> In EQ, it takes *large* groups to fight a dragon or planes-raid
> grade encounter, and sharing the spawn equitably is the source of
> the highest organization in that game (the "calender" system of
> reserving opportunities to "do" certain encounters).

That depends. At one point of the curve, you have/had calendars.

If you have a look at:


you'll see a ranking table I've made for Everquest servers for
high-end content competition. If you're not familiar with the
concepts given, the "NTOV" column represents the most rewarding area
of the 2nd EQ expansion, SSRA represents the most rewarding area of
the last EQ expansion, "tiers" is a concept introduced by Verant for
a reservation system on the premium Legends server which designates
the hardest mobs of the expansions, and Blood and Emperor are the
two key mob of the latest expansion since they open access to the
"last" area of the expansion.

Most of this data comes from a board thread about the competition
for high-end content.


Thing is, the servers at the top of the table here no longer have
much cooperation and organisation at high level. There is
organisation at high level, within "uber" guilds. But, given the
amount of content available, and the number of high-end people that
play for that specific content, cooperation is gone between the

Each and every guild sees the other as competitors and *ennemies*. I
think one player termed Tunare as "the only non-PvP server where you

The attraction of Everquest is high-end content. So much that the
next expansion, Planes of Power, is apparently geared for levels 46
and above.  To avoid problems, VI had to randomize the spawn time of
the high-end content when a server goes up. It doesn't help.

Last sunday, one specific "boss" mob spawned (The Avatar of
War). During european afternoon. Within 30mn, there were over 50
people of an asian guild, and almost as many others from an US guild
near the area, racing each other to see which would be first. That
specific mob is often a failure, because there are guild who
voluntarily train each other and interfere to prevent their ennemies
to from "getting it".

So organisation at the higher levels of EQ has its limits.

> DAoC RvR is an organizational arms race, better organization in
> one realm pushes the others to get more organized.

The recent rise of the Lurikeen-vs-Kobold uberguilds on one DAoC
server had me smile. While a lot of smaller guilds have been formed
(and then merged and allied) for the chief purpose of PvE and some
RvR, this is one of the biggest that has sprung from day 1 for the
sole purpose of doing RvR at a really massive scale.

	Vincent Archer			Email:	archer at frmug.org

All men are mortal.  Socrates was mortal.  Therefore, all men are Socrates.
							(Woody Allen)
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