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

Ron Gabbard rgabbard at swbell.net
Sun Feb 9 08:24:46 New Zealand Daylight Time 2003

From: "Caliban Tiresias Darklock"
> From: "Ron Gabbard" <rgabbard at swbell.net>

>> 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.

> Another angle to this is that one player playing four characters
> has more impact than four players playing one character, because
> each *player* needs to learn certain things. Skills, locations,
> secrets, whatever -- the player with four characters can multiplex
> his knowledge across the four characters, and each character after
> the first gains a significant advantage. The ability to choose
> between characters then provides the multi-character player with
> options that aren't available to the other four players.

Yes.  If I play multiple characters, I can generally learn the in's
and out's of the game faster than someone that is playing only one
character.  However, I would be interested to learn what a player
"needs" to know that is so critical that it can't be learned in the
process of normal game play.  Facilitating this process is why most
games start up relatively simple with minimal risk and increase in
difficulty.  Secondly, a player can learn almost everything there is
to know about a game from the various fan sites.  They have the
cumulative knowledge of hundreds and thousands of players stored in
neat little data bases.

> To make a broad and sweeping statement designed to annoy people
> into examining their priorities:

>    Accounts are abused because the game has been poorly designed,
>    period.

Or, a player chose a game that doesn't fit their style of
play... or, they are "hackers" whose main goal it is to find
loopholes in the code... or, they are just an asocial person that
likes to push the envelope to see how many ways they can piss people
off... comma.

> Instead of controlling the way the game is played, it seems more
> sensible to control the way the game plays -- and then let go of
> it, see what happens, and step in only when absolutely necessary.

Isn't this exactly what implementing an SCS policy intends to do?
Control the way the game plays?  From a macro level, the SCS policy
is going to have huge ramifications across almost every aspect of
the game world.  If one reads enough of Raph's writings on MMOGs,
it's very clear that he has a vision for creating a virtual world
versus a buffet line of content for players to consume.  That said,
it shouldn't be surprising that design choices are made that
emphasize community and society over content consumption.



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