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

Marc Fielding fielding at computer.org
Tue Jan 7 00:50:21 New Zealand Daylight Time 2003

[ Caliban Tiresias Darklock ]

> I don't see that you really *have* a line of argument. As I see
> it, you would like to play multiple characters, and you have a
> personal agenda to convince people that single character systems
> are not even an option.  Unfortunately, your argument is
> subjective, which relegates it to the status of "complaint" and
> raises the above question of whether it is even relevant to the
> market.  >

My arguments are based on my personal experience and the experiences
of nearly two dozen friends and acquaintances that spend their
leisure time in MMOGs. The defense of our playstyle, a playstyle
that seems rather popular even in this list, is by definition
subjective. However, balancing among competing "subjectivities" is
one of the challenging components of game design. This isn't a hard

> I could be wrong. So far, all I've seen from you is some very
> intelligent defense of *your* reasons for wanting to play multiple
> characters. I do not, however, see any reasonable argument ot the
> effect that this is a good thing for the game's business; your
> proposal to pay a small fee for multiple characters on the same
> server, for example, is ill-conceived and simply would not work.

I'm well versed in client-server and database design. Could you
please fill me in on the "ill-conceived" and "unworkable" nature of
my proposal?

<math snippage>

> SCS has some big wins over MCS that are not immediately obvious,
> and all MCS has to offer is some nebulous idea of making people
> happier. I just don't see any *evidence* that MCS systems make
> people happier, while I see a *lot* of hard evidence that SCS is a
> Good Idea.

Unfortunately, I found your "proof" rather irrelevant to this
discussion. SCS vs. MCS is an INTRA-server issue. Even if an account
can have one or one million clients on a server, the only resource
variables I need to address are storage and database capacity
(ignoring any offline crafting for the moment). This consumption can
be addressed by charging for additional characters used.

>>> If someone is quick to argue with others even when he doesn't
>>> have a good reason, isn't he generally going to end up being a
>>> big pain in the ass?
>> Perhaps, if it's an issue of wanton childishness on behalf of the
>> protester.
> That's a non-answer. It's the answer you can give to anything: "it
> depends".  Of course it depends. Everything depends. Ask a
> physicist. But you can't live your life from day to day without
> having some reasonable hypothesis about how to do that, and if you
> deal with a player community, that necessarily includes some
> hypothesis about whether the guy acting like a jerk out of the
> game is going to act like a jerk in the game.

I wasn't trying to answer your somewhat hypothetical question. I was
trying to setup the closing punchline below!

>> I just take comfort in the fact that most users don't participate
>> in community forums and most participants don't engage in such
>> silly behavior.
>> So, your problem children are a minority of a minority! ;)

Thank you! Thank you! I'm here all weekend. Tip your waitress!  =D

> You can't have this both ways.
> Most users don't participate in community forums, but we have a
> certain amount of faith that the users who *do* participate are
> fairly representative of the entire user community. If this is
> true, then whatever proportion of those users do something, we can
> reasonably conclude that roughly the SAME proportion of ALL users
> do the same thing.

That's not a reasonable assumption. The self-selecting nature of
forums and protestors produce a sample that's highly skewed towards
the most radical positions.


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