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

John Szeder john at seismicstudios.net
Wed Jan 8 23:11:36 New Zealand Daylight Time 2003


From: Damion Schubert

> And the ironic thing is that, if you hop and only see the beta
> period of all the games, you will forever be disappointed.  Ultima
> Online's feature set is probably three times today what it was
> when it shipped.  Anarchy Online today is a world of different
> than it was six months ago.  The Sims Online devs are right now
> learning a ton of lessons about the really cool things about their
> game and their audience, and those lessons will bear fruit in six
> months.  But the players who dimension-hop just the betas will
> never see the fruit of these labors, just the slightly
> green-and-hard fruit that's still clinging to the tree.

> When we were working on UO2, I didn't worry at all about competing
> with EverQuest 2.  They were an unknown.  No way to know what
> they'd _really_ ship with after they went through schedule
> crunches, and no way to know when they'd be pushed out the door.
> I was much more worried about competing with EverQuest and its
> mission packs.  Now, judging from the sales of the Planes of Power
> compared to all the new market entries, this was a good concern:
> EQ is now a stable, mature product with a ton of content.  But the
> betahoppers are only seeing unstable, immature worlds with a
> fraction of the content.  It's no wonder they are never satisfied.

I have to comment here in defense of beta hoppers... I am not
unsatisfied with the world I play in, to be honest, I have tried a
large number of online worlds and found that the earlier I get
involved in a game, the more fun I have. Maybe it is because the
player base over time tends to migrate downwards in quality as it
migrates up in quantity? Maybe it is the senseless twinking and
treadmilling that people do as opposed to having fun in the world?

I don't know.

I just know that as a game starts to change from the developer's
initial vision, usually due to player comments, feedback and
complaints, that is usually about the time that I get annoyed and
want to move elsewhere. The demographic that they are catering to,
whatever qualities it possesses, doesn't include me, and the people
I play games online with.


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