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

Damion Schubert damion at
Tue Jan 7 01:54:42 New Zealand Daylight Time 2003

>From Marc Fielding
> [ Caliban Tiresias Darklock ]
>> One of the things I'm waiting for is the ability to log in and
>> play for a few hours a week, instead of a few hours a day, and
>> still be able to compete. I'll probably play a few hours a day,
>> but if I need to take a week off for some reason, I don't want to
>> come back and discover that the world has moved on without me and
>> I can't catch up.

> Unfortunately, a casual playstyle really doesn't allow you to be
> highly competitive. The very fact that your goal is to *compete*
> rather than more casual pursuits like socializing, exploring, or
> roleplaying puts you at a disadvantage to those whose sole focus
> is "winning the game".  Their substantial investment of time will
> rapidly move them forward along whatever character progression
> path the game offers.  Unfortunately, that path can't be
> "short-circuited" without cheapening their efforts.

Sure it can.  You simply need to do something to limit how far
players can go how fast.  UO's "Power Hour", while imperfect, was a
good example of how that can be done.  The exponential advancement
curve is simplistic and evil.  Think past it.

Speaking as an achiever, I can say pretty firmly that even we have
better things to do than kill the same lizardmen for 30 real-time
hours and 6 levels.  Sure, we'll do it if that's the shortest path
to the cheese.  But you control the maze.

Don't just kick people off the treadmill.  Reinvent it.

I once wrote an article on this for GigNews (the article can be
found at  I'd figure for
sure y'all would have beaten it to death back then but a search in
the archives doesn't find anything about it.


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