[MUD-Dev] Winnable MMO

Diamonds diamonds at unknownplayer.com
Sun Apr 6 12:11:17 New Zealand Standard Time 2003

From: "Threshold RPG" <business at threshold-rpg.com>

> Then how do you explain sports games, chess, etc? Every single
> time someone plays, there is a very definite loser.

You really need to think of 'win/loose' games in two types of
categories.  The first category is those games that are short and
happen frequently, the other, is those which take longer and/or
happen very infrequently.

For instance, you can take the game soccer as an example. The game
of soccer is played often throughout a year, however there is only 1
world cup. In the world cup you can win a number of games, however,
overall it is still possible to loose. So the game of soccer would
be considered a short game that happens frequently, however, you can
consider the world cup to be it's own game that would fit under the
longer and infrequent category.

>> All video games have the, what I like to call, absolute
>> factor. Meaning that no matter how poorly you play, given enough
>> time you will win, absolutely.

> Again, I point to sports games, chess, and games like them. There
> is always a loser. If you are bad and play against people who are
> much better, you will always lose.

Ok, all MMOG's have this absolute factor. The leveling system is a
prime example. If you die, you may looose some xp, however you will
NOT loose a level. Nor is perma death implemented (talking about
mainstream MMOGs here).  Therefore it is impossible to
loose. Staying at the same level for the rest of your life is
impossible to loose as well, no one is that dumb.

>> In conclusion, people play games to win. Niche community's follow
>> 'win/loose' games.

> I imagine EA's financial statement would disagree that win/lose
> games are only a niche.

If you considered those games that are larger scale, lengthy and
infrequent 'win/loose' games, then EA wouldn't have any games to
compare. My argument in my previous post was to compare those games
that are of larger scale 'win/loose' games and those that are of
smaller 'win/loose' games. My conclusion is that players prefer
smaller 'win/loose' games that are short and happen frequently. For
instance a smaller game would be something like each round in
Counter-Strike, or each game of War Craft 3. Modeling something like
Civ3 into a MMOG game would fail, simply because it is a drawn out
'win/loose' game which lacks the absolute factor (meaning it's
possible to always loose and never win).

I believe players have become addicted to these types of games from
their single player counter parts. If you ever talk about a single
player game, people don't mention that they 'lost' to it. Actually,
most conversations regarding single player games tend to be about
when they beat the game.  Suppose that you never finished a single
player game, do you really consider that you 'lost' to the game? 
No. People play video games to win and feel good about
themselves. Those games that are smaller 'win/loose' games, are
played because you can win or loose a great number of times within a
single timeframe of playing. If a game takes the whole timeframe of
you playing, you have only 1 chance to loose or win. And ALL MMOG
players are sore losers.

     Chris "Diamonds" Stewart
     Editor in Something...

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