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

Dubious Advocate dubiousadvocate at hotmail.com
Sat Jan 4 12:53:03 New Zealand Daylight Time 2003


From: "Koster, Raph" <rkoster at soe.sony.com>

>   treadmills are good
>   forced socialization is good
>   downtime is good
>   People burn out on any given hobby.

> Why is it rationalization to accept this fact?

> 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.

That is what I'm getting at.  But I disagree that your four points
given absolutes while agreeing that critical self-evaluation is a
useful exercise.

First pass.... Downtime with purpose is realistic and gives a group
time to reshuffle when members need to leave or be replaced.  But
downtime to fuel enforced socialization is a negative.  Enforced
socialization is good when people have to come to congregational
points to interact (and an ideal form of downtime), but bad when
it's "required" to play at all.

Treadmills are for people looking to substitute a false sense of
accomplishment with finding something of real value to their life.
I think playing on flaws to this degree is the worst thing we can do
to another human being.  I accept that certain business models do
this and it irritates me that they offer little to justify the
tradeoff.  I view treadmill products as the psychosocial equivalent
of gambling casinos.  Treadmills bring out the worse form of
obsessive behavior in people, and truly burn people out so they can
be entirely lost as customers to the overall industry... I'd rather
explore alternatives.

It's possibly a seperate discussion but I think it's possible to
have character advancement and a way for the competitive to keep
score without a treadmill.  All while maintaining a profitable
business.  FPS are one example implementation.  The original concept
of roleplay is another.  Roleplay brings out the best and is a
genuine accomplishment that enriches an individuals life while still
providing a business a retention factor - we can be profitable while
doing good.  "Monty haul" mechanisms characterise FPS and current
AD&D and so lie somewhere between the other two.

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


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