[MUD-Dev] Winnable MMO

Chris Holko cholko at mindspring.com
Wed Apr 9 08:00:46 New Zealand Standard Time 2003


From: "Sara Jensen" <saraj at wolfpackstudios.com>

> 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.

Having played that game I disagree.  The rare drop occured on
creatures in the same land block as the entrance.  Not much
exploration is required.

> 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?

Provide players a means to see the results of their effort.  In AC2
this could have been accomplished by the crafting system.  However
the overbearing emphasis in AC2 is that the players HAVE NO effect
on the world.  Their crafted items, their improved items, and
similar only last 72 hours.  Where is the sense in accomplishment if
what you have created just vanishes?  Cities promote no goal as they
are merely stage props; iow no interiors.  Forges burn out very
quickly if not kept fed, resetting to ZERO every server boot or
patch, which only emphasizes that the player investment was not
properly accounted for.

These games MUST give players something to do other than killing,
and that something should appear to have reoccurring value.  UO did
this very well, which is why it can survive in this first-person
graphics heavy genre.  Proof that content and player investment pays
off.

Chris


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