Treadmills (was RE: Brand Loyalty (was Re: [MUD-Dev] Requirements for MM (wasComplexities of MMOG Servers)))

John Szeder john at
Fri Jan 3 10:36:41 New Zealand Daylight Time 2003


From: Koster, Raph

> I am not sure what this has to do with brand loyalty per se, but
> I'll make the assertions that

>   treadmills are good
>   forced socialization is good
>   downtime is good

> even in the face of much outcry from many, many people. There's a
> lot more to the dynamics of human behavior beyond "I'm bored" and
> "I want to be self-sufficient."

Why are treadmills good?

> Perhaps as a reversal it would sound less like a rationalization:

>   a mud without a treadmill will fail
>   a mud without socialization will fail
>   a mud without downtime will fail

> This says nothing about whether players LIKE these things to be
> there. It speaks more to what *humans* like than it does to what
> *people* like, if you catch my drift.

Why will a mud without a treadmill fail?

> Now, I think I know what you are driving at. You're pointing out
> that it's very easy for developers to hide behind these as
> excuses. Well, sure. That's not the way to keep a playerbase
> happy, certainly. But I think our time would be well-spent by
> investigating why the above statements seem to be true, rather
> than decrying those who hide behind them without critical
> self-evaluation. 

I completely disagree with the first statement you have made, but I
think that it is out of ignorance. What mud has failed without a
treadmill? Why can't you have a mud that has activities that are
still GOP, and also include socialization?

I agree about socialization, and also agree to a lesser extent about

I think that the level treadmill is a horrible artifact in these
worlds that can be attributed to developers doing what they know
from single player games and/or pencil and paper games. The sooner
it is replaced, the better.

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