[MUD-Dev] Winnable MMO

Sara Jensen saraj at wolfpackstudios.com
Tue Apr 8 11:46:17 New Zealand Standard Time 2003

From: Chris Nielsen

> If EverQuest had been designed with clearly defined "wins" along
> the level treadmill do you think people would have made the most
> of the content if exploring that content was necessary to winning
> each of those objectives? I certainly do. Many wouldn't, but
> certainly a lot more would.

Asheron's Call 2 has a series of quest dungeons called "vaults,"
intended for exploration every few levels, with rewards of cut
scenes and experience.  They were likely intended as a counterpart
to the "vaults" in AC1, the rewards of which were items necessary
for most characters, and used as something of a rite of passage.

The difference between the two is the difficulty spread and the
method of gaining entrance.  In AC2, you can't just walk in -- you
need to find a semi-rare monster drop in the dungeon's general
vicinity first.  When I was enjoying the game as solo player, this
meant I thoroughly explored each "zone" in roughly the order the
content designers likely wanted me to go, and I got to feel like I'd
COMPLETED content and actually accomplished something each time.

Then again, I'm a big content-consuming explorer type, and not at
all typical.  Most other players rushed through that stuff like they
weren't successful until they reached the highest levels and had the
best stuff, which does that game in particular a disservice -- its
real strengths are in content design and worldbuilding, and its
biggest weakness is character development.  But how do you get the
typical player to slow down and smell the roses, so to speak?

Sara Jensen
lietgardis at shadowbane.com

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