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

Eric Hu eric at ttic.com.tw
Tue Jan 14 08:32:56 New Zealand Daylight Time 2003


On Thu, 09 Jan 2003 13:52:10 -0700
Russell Lewis <spamhole-2001-07-16 at deming-os.org> wrote:

> Perhaps, then, established games should offer free months
> periodically. I'm not talking about AOL-style "first month free"
> (as that would just encourage more jumping), but instead to offer
> the game totally free for a few weeks a year.  Let players
> experiment with the game.  And, maybe, set up custom servers that
> let trail players start as high level characters (to increase the
> "carrot").  If they decide to buy the game, they have to (?) 
> restart as level 1 characters.
 
> Of course, there are practical issues, such as server load (maybe
> you let people sign up for a waiting list instead?), and
> distribution of the client software (free download of a crippled
> client?), but I think the general concept is sound.

I think the idea of free taste is good, but the high level character
suggestion very dangerous.

In a combat-oriented MUD, high lv character means higher power. They
need it to overcome the risk we set up for them. That is right. When
a player get his station by crawling in foul dungeon, by passing ice
and fire, by through death and reborn, he know how it is, he know to
respect others. And the most important part, they treasure their
character.

In the other hand, how could we prevent these Free Taster to abuse
others? They have the Free, sweet power now. Shall we restrict these
player to interaction with other normal players? Isn't it a MMORPG? 
Do they know what shall they do when grouping? Take EverQuest for
example, any LV60 eBayed character is a walking death sentence stick
to those who silly enough to group with him.

It remind me that some MUDs had a function: test character. The
highest level character is LV36, but the Test Character LV8. You
will not die at the first claw of a tiger, but you cannot beat
him. You could take a look about the world, but you could not have a
long distant tour.

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