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

Marc Fielding fielding at
Sat Jan 11 22:26:21 New Zealand Daylight Time 2003

[ Damion Schubert ]
> From Marc Fielding

>> 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.

While a step in the right direction, the "Power Hour" doesn't
address the stated need of casual powergamers to remain
"competitive." As long as a given shortcut is available to all
players, both hardcore and casual, it does *nothing* to alleviate
the disparity in advancement rate. To put it another way, speeding
up a train accelerates all passengers equally.

A useful modification to the "Power Hour" would be to assign them to
those with limited playtimes. For example, any player that has
played less than, say, 20 hours in the previous week would be
eligible for a few "Power Hours" during the current week.

As an explorer, staying "competitive" isn't a matter of great
personal urgency. However, modifications like the one above can
lessen the character level spread without substantially cheapening
the efforts of the dedicated.


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