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

Dubious Advocate dubiousadvocate at hotmail.com
Thu Jan 2 06:58:01 New Zealand Daylight Time 2003


From: "Caliban Tiresias Darklock" <caliban at darklock.com>

> 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

I disagree that people actually work this way, or are encouraged to
change what I see as fundamental human behaviors simply because a
developer finds the goal desirable.

When people first approach a product they're open to this sort of
thing because they *do* want to meet people.  But they want to get
established, not create a revolving door - for most people it is
tiring or even stressful to meet new people.  The mechanic you're
outlining suggests people are opening to creating new social
connections repititously and I suspect you'll be disappointed with
the results.

Bear in mind we have a history in earlier products to look
to... invariably games start off with these sorts of restrictive
assumptions about character and community development, and then have
to ease off them in response to customer dismay.

> 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.

I don't know that all people on this list really feel this way.
We're debating the assumptions behind the decision, not the decision
itself.  In other venues I see extreme whining against it.  But not
here.

> So what exactly ARE people trying to accomplish with this SCS/MCS
> discussion? Anything?

Should the decision work out we'll need to rethink our assumptions,
which after all resulted largely from our own past
experiences... But I personally don't care that a specific company
somewhere made a specific decision.

I like the discussion that has come out of the topic, and suggest we
can explore the assumptions and ramifications.  I like having my
underlying assumptions questioned.  Stifling design level discussion
doesn't seem ideal.  When I see protest/stifling reactions in my
design sessions I usually assume the protestor has some internal
cognition dissonance he/she is working through and is overloaded by
the immediate discussion. ;-)

-----
Dave Scheffer
"Questions are a burden to others, answers a prison for oneself"


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