[MUD-Dev] Secondary characters as a mechanic

Thiago Moraes darienlkane at netzero.net
Thu Feb 6 23:33:17 New Zealand Daylight Time 2003

Matters of level and partying aside, the notion of multiple
characters does act on the dimension we're used to playing in when
it comes to RPGs in general. Incipient RPGs gave us control over a
character whose stats (when these existed) were unconditionally
predefined (the early Zeldas, etc..). That's a one-dimensional
paradigm. When players were first offered input into the so-abstract
profile of their game avatars, we moved into two-dimensional
roleplaying - and that's where we lie today.

If this curve is anything but chaotic, what follows the
quantification of variables is the quantification of characters. By
the same token stats/ skills allowed for a deeper relationship with
a micro-environment (actions such as shooting an arrow), multiple
characters may be the looking glass we need to gain a perspective on
macro-environments (social media, science, culture, politics,
collective trends). And if we can gather anything from the direction
games are taking today, this is definitely a 'written in the stars'
for the MMORPG industry.

Indulgers of predicting movements long before they have a feasible
application in the industry will relish in speculating as to the
-next- leap of dimensions to follow multiple characters. Seen that
this evolution is driving us away from identification with beings,
and closer to identification with ideas (ex: guilds & towns,
abolishment of classes, etc..), the next shift may well be the
sublimation of characters. The players' interaction with the world
will be expressed simply through effects, administered
directly. (<-- philosophical rathole)

Isn't this, after all, what the strategy genre is all about
(de-personalization)? And is it not a skyrocketing genre, as opposed
to so-said withering CRPGs?

Anyhow, thanks for reading.

Thiago "Darien Kane" Moraes

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