[MUD-Dev] Winnable MMO
miro at puremagic.com
Wed Apr 2 12:03:10 New Zealand Daylight Time 2003
> So, what if you designed an MMO that was made to be winnable?
> Most games are winnable. No one plans to play a single game of
> Monopoly for the next 5 years, but when the game is over they are
> more than willing to play another game to see if they can win this
> time. What if you designed a game that was made to be winnable
> over the course of maybe 1 to 6 months and when one side won the
> game would be played again? The timeframe would not be so long
> that people would feel as if they had made too great an investment
> to think about starting over again, but long enough that players
> could feel as if they had striven against a worthy opponent and
> would be anxious to try again.
This has already been done on BattleTech MUSHes. Their game theme is
2 (or more) factions at total war with each other. Each scenario
lasts for 3-6 months, at which point the new scenario (and new
factions, and possibly new mech choices) takes place, and the
players must recreate their characters.
The main problem with this kind of game is, surprisingly enough, the
player addiction. You get players who play 12 or more hours a day
and if you can't put that much time, they will blame you for not
doing enough for your faction. The competition level is furious,
leaving no place for casual gamers. Admittedly, the last bit is
caused by the way BattleTech works; the mecha are very limitted
resource in each faction and you can't pilot one if you can't put
your time into it.
I can imagine that a multi-faction scenario that allows more casual
gamers to play. For example, let the beginning characters have
decent power level, since there's not much time to level up in 3-6
months (BattleTech had almost nonexistent character
power-upping). Find things to do that don't require long hours
online. That should be enough.
As for the commercial success, you can expect high level of player
loyalty (if you do the rest of the game well, of course).
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