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

Koster Koster
Fri Jan 10 14:52:01 New Zealand Daylight Time 2003


From: szii at sziisoft.com
> From: "Koster, Raph" <rkoster at soe.sony.com>
 
>> Yes; providing a cumulative character model means that anyone
>> with time and patience will climb to the top, but it ALSO means
>> that the
 
> Hence one of the biggest "problems" with games today - those with
> the most time advance the furthest.  Not by skill, or luck, or
> good playing.  Raw time spent.  This keeps the casual gamer (who
> may be a better player) from keeping up.

Yes. But the casual gamer is already screwed in terms of lacking
many of the real life skills required in videogames, so for them
it's a wash.

>> top is merely having gotten the whole crutch, so to speak. It
>> does not speak to the gameplay along the way, nor does it speak
>> to the end game when you have the whole crutch.
 
> And you LIKE this enough to actively promote it?

My personal feeling is that compensating for real life skill via
some form of handicap is a no-brainer; it's done in pretty much
every single form of competitive game on the planet. Handicaps,
leagues, and so on. Treadmills (again, by my definition "trading
time for advancement") happen to be the way muds have evolved to do
that.

That said, many of our treadmills are boring. That's not a flaw with
treadmills. It's a flaw with their implementation. We also tend to
encourage focusing on one treadmill, and that's also a mistake
because it undoes a large part of the point, reinforcing the
monopolization of fun by those with skill (because even with
handicaps, skill tends to win out, particularly if skilled players
can get the "handicaps" too).

-Raph

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