[MUD-Dev] Star Wars Galaxies: 1 character per server

Marc Fielding fielding at computer.org
Wed Jan 1 23:17:42 New Zealand Daylight Time 2003

[ Caliban Tiresias Darklock]

> The problem does not stop at the database space, it proceeds into
> the question of how players can be encouraged to conserve
> space. An SCS system makes multiple characters more of a hassle,
> and reduces the number of people who will use multiple characters
> to a fraction of the number who would use them in an MCS
> system. This is a nontrivial savings which only gets better as you
> compare it to larger character limits per server.

Another way would be to simply charge for additional characters in
an MCS system. Resource costs are covered and casual users are

> I also see the SCS idea as at least *incidentally* encouraging
> people to go look at other servers, which is certainly a
> community-building activity, and it's pretty hard to argue that
> it's a bad thing. When you have an SCS system, creating a new
> character is no longer a trivial activity. It requires some
> thought and some deliberation and a certain degree of risk and
> uncertainty. I think that's something that SHOULD be associated
> with a decision like this, so I find the idea of SCS to have a
> whole lot of great little incidental benefits I had never
> previously considered. 

Most players probably won't have the time to invest in more than one
server community. I see the "one main but lots of tourists" scenario
being more common in an SCS game.

> You know what really bothers me? I don't know what people are
> trying to accomplish here. A decision has been made. It's a
> decision that took a long time, and involved consideration of a
> lot of factors we simply do not (and currently cannot)
> appreciate. And when someone actually stands up and says "we have
> decided this, and while I do not personally like the decision we
> have made, I am convinced that it is the right decision" -- we
> give him hell for it. It's not like he's going to go to SOE and
> say "look, guys, we *have* to do MCS or we will all go bankrupt"
> and then they'll say "oh, all right".  That's not happening. So
> what the hell is the question? Whether SCS was the right decision
> for SWG? We don't know; we can't see enough of SWG to make any
> kind of informed decision on that matter just yet. Whether MCS is
> better than SCS? Depends on the game. Whether SCS is an
> appropriate choice for an MMORPG in the first place?  Again,
> depends on the game.
> So what exactly ARE people trying to accomplish with this SCS/MCS
> discussion? Anything?

For me, the discussion transcends SWG and is focused on the impact
of SCS on the casual gamer. SOE can do whatever it chooses. I'm
trying to predict the effects of its decisions.


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