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

Caliban Tiresias Darklock caliban at darklock.com
Thu Feb 13 07:16:25 New Zealand Daylight Time 2003


From: "ceo" <ceo at grexengine.com>

> Of course farming is a skill - you're not happy with it because
> you've mastered it (i.e. you've learnt how to pick really good
> places, what factors influence a good farming location etc).

Yes, *finding* areas to farm is a skill. Farming them, however, is
not. And since everyone is looking for places to farm, and seeking
community status by announcing their findings, there is already a
list of good places to farm -- so I don't need to find them. The
first guy needed the skill, but I don't. I can just walk in and
start farming.

Alternately, I can ignore the knowledge of where to farm, and
attempt to learn *how* to farm. Most people won't tell you how to do
it, because they don't really know how to do it themselves. By the
time you figure out how to farm, the rest of your peers have just
been using a list to go out and advance -- which leaves you wasting
away thirty levels behind them. The development of skill is,
therefore, pointless.

Basically, if you want to encourage the development of skill, you
have to continually make prior knowledge worthless.

> But now you're moving on to a different topic w.r.t. how "deep" a
> game should be.

Actually, this was sort of my original point, which is rather
frustrating.  We keep building broader and broader games, but we
don't add depth. We tell people "there's a lot more of it", but
there's nothing to *do* with it. All you can do is the same old
thing, and whenever we say "let's add new things to do" we add
things that are just like the old things we're replacing.  People
make a big deal about all the emotes in a game, for example, but you
can only type "grin" so many times before it becomes completely
stupid.  Adding the "silly-walk" emote may amuse people for a few
minutes, but it's not really worth the effort. Nobody is really
trying to add more depth to the game, because depth isn't
immediately visible -- which makes it hard to sell.

Deep games, however, have better longevity than broad games. And
that makes them more profitable, especially when your profit comes
from recurring fees.


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