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

lynx at lynx at
Wed Jan 15 17:39:53 New Zealand Daylight Time 2003

On Sun, 12 Jan 2003 holding99 at wrote:

> I think players don't mind treadmills as much as they mind not
> being entertained. (And that sounds so completely obvious that I
> am almost ashamed that I wrote it before saying 'DUH'.) But then,
> it raises a question: why are some aspects of the treadmill
> entertaining, whereas others aren't? And how can we maximize the
> entertaining aspects without shortening the lifetime of the
> treadmill?

It gets down to two factors:

  Gameplay.  Running on the treadmill should be fun.  Players are
  less likely to run on your treadmill if the gameplay consists of
  hitting a key repeatedly until they hear "Ding!" than if they're
  convinced that they're mastering the game and actually becoming
  better in some way.

  Content.  The treadmill meters access to the game's content: the
  more you run on it, the more you can go and see.  Newcomers are
  thus assured that they won't get in over their heads, experienced
  players view being able to see everything as their reward for
  having achieved mastery of the treadmill.  But if you run on the
  treadmill for a while and get no reward, it becomes boring.

If you want to increase the longevity of your game, you can either
add new content and lengthen your treadmill to accomodate it (the EQ
approach) or you can add another treadmill that makes use of the
same content, but in different ways.  ("Seen the game as a warrior?
How about as a wizard...  Or a monster?")

Traditional PvP isn't a treadmill, but you can make a PvP gameplay
treadmill by opening new content to people who participate in PvP

Funny thing was that until a while ago, I was convinced treadmills
were a bad idea, having gone through them over and over again, but
the recent debate on the mailing list has changed my mind.
Treadmills aren't intrinsically bad, it's the treadmills that aren't
fun to run or don't open content quickly enough that draw people's

-- Conrad

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