[MUD-Dev] Star Wars Galaxies: 1 character per server

Marian Griffith gryphon at iaehv.nl
Sat Jan 18 21:50:54 New Zealand Daylight Time 2003

In <URL:/archives/meow?group+local.muddev> on Wed 15 Jan, Marc Fielding wrote:
> [ Marian Griffith ]
>> On Sun 12 Jan, Marc Fielding wrote:

>>> Of course, the less orthodox roleplayers may be able to function
>>> quite well in a mass-market MMOG if they group with like minded
>>> players, keep to less populated areas, focus on PVE gameplay,
>>> and generally try to ignore that which isn't roleplaying.

>> My opinion is that it will not work well, if at all. You will run
>> into the tailor's dilemma for certain and most likely have to an-
>> swer to the stamp collector's dilemma as well.

> It depends on how much the roleplayers are willing to compromise and
> adapt. The ability to roleplay a lone, defenseless tailor might not
> be feasible in some mass-market MMOGs. Combat-oriented roleplaying
> would probably have a greater likelihood of success.

These really are two distinct situations that you are talking about.
Roleplayers  need a certain  (fair actually)  amount of immersion to
make the experience entertaining.  That does not mean that they must
not be aware of who they are  and what they are doing,  but to role-
play they must not encounter too many experiences  *inside* the game
that jar them out of the activity. Otherwise the mood will be spoil-
ed and they are left with an unsatisfactory experience.
Rollplayers  (to use the popularly adopted term on this list even if
I think it is too alike to the word roleplaying to avoid confusion:)
are not bothered by roleplayers on the same game. The worst they are
going to think is:  "what a bunch of weirdos"  before they return to
contemplating  which skill to choose,  and which set of equipment is
better than the other. It is easier to ignore the other players when
you are not paying too close attention anyway and when the others do
not have much of an impact on your playing.

The tailor's dilemma  on the other hand  has little to do with role-
playing per se, and more with the asymmetry between power gamers and
non-competitive players.  The tailor does not have to roleplay to be
affected by this difference, and saying that she should choose a mo-
re competitive role is exactly the point of the dilemma.  Or rather,
the question "why should she?" is.

Roleplaying, one could argue, is about immersion in the game (world)
and it is always adversely affected  by those who are not willing to
immerse themselves at least to the same degree. The tailor's dilemma
is about the social angle of gameplay.  The two are related  because
generally roleplaying is not a solitary activity,  so threats to the
social playstyle also affect roleplaying. But they are not the same.

However,  it is why I think  that attempting to mix both roleplayers
and roll players on the same game is likely to run into the tailor's
dilemma.  It also is a potential problem for Star Wars:Galaxies that
if I understand  correctly,  plans to emphasise  non-combat oriented
roles for players.  They are creating thousands of tailors, but I do
not know  if they provided ways to protect them  from those who will
play quake in the same setting...

Yes - at last - You. I Choose you. Out of all the world,
out of all the seeking, I have found you, young sister of
my heart! You are mine and I am yours - and never again
will there be loneliness ...

Rolan Choosing Talia,
Arrows of the Queen, by Mercedes Lackey

MUD-Dev mailing list
MUD-Dev at kanga.nu

More information about the MUD-Dev mailing list