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

Ron Gabbard rgabbard at swbell.net
Thu Jan 30 08:18:13 New Zealand Daylight Time 2003

From: "Marc Fielding" <fielding at computer.org>
> [ Michael Tresca ]
>> Marc Fielding posted on Tuesday, January 14, 2003 2:33 AM

>>> It may "build character", but is it fun? SCS is an attempt to
>>> fix various (negligible) "abuses" of gameplay by a minority of
>>> players at the expense of a popular playstyle for a casual
>>> gamers.


> Actually, in my opinion this was the *worst* bit of dialogue and
> backstory from the film. Going through all the trouble of
> maintaining and policing human neural activity just to support
> power generation?  *rolls eyes* That's like using SCS to combat
> insignificant abuses by a minority of players in a MMOG! ;)

The phrase "minority of players" is getting used a bit when talking
about the SCS topic.  In a game where time played = in-game wealth
generated and character skills developed, the definition of "player"
needs to be refined as not all players are equal in terms of their
impact on the server society.  One player that plays 60 hours per
week has a significantly greater potential impact on the server than
15 players that play 4 hours per week.  As loot value most often
increases with player skill /mob difficulty, the single full-time
player is soon pumping more money and/or items into the economy than
the 15 other part-time players combined.

Add the trend towards soloability and the full-time players in an
MCS environment have the ability and opportunity to dominate
multiple "skill markets" as the wealth generated by the first
characters funds the development of subsequent characters.  Their
"twinks" don't have the same hurdles for advancement as the
characters of the part-time players and can't have the same hurdles
as long as cash/gear (primary hurdles) are transferable without
ruining the balance of the encounters for the part-time players.
This is true for both combat and trade skill characters.

It's analogous to a town that has 99 small retail businesses and 1
Wal-Mart.  Wal-Mart is a very small minority as they are only 1% of
the retail businesses in the town... but it's been shown all across
the country that when Wal-Mart moves in, small businesses die.

Are the abuses insignificant?  It depends on the perspective from
which you view it.  If you're the part-time player that is regularly
being excluded from groups because 2 to 3 twinked characters can
consume content that was designed for 5 or 6 players, it is
significant.  Or, if you're a part-time player developing a trade
skill that sees the market flooded by goods produced by subsidized
trade mules to where they can't sell their products at a profit, it
is significant.

Given the broad appeal of the Star Wars franchise, SWG will probably
have the highest percentage of MMOG virgins of any game released
since EQ nearly 4 years ago.  IMO, this is probably the single
largest design consideration in that the two-boxing, powerleveling
crowd can't be allowed to ruin the first MMOG experience for these
new players as they work their way up the MMOG learning curve.



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

More information about the MUD-Dev mailing list