[MUD-Dev] D&D vs. MMORPG "complexity"

Dave Rickey mahrinskel at brokentoys.org
Mon May 19 21:29:47 New Zealand Standard Time 2003


From: "Marian Griffith" <gryphon at iaehv.nl>
>> From: Dave Rickey [mailto:mahrinskel at brokentoys.org]

>>> I have seen evidence that strongly indicates that empowerment
>>> *is* a prime mover, in Camelot at least.

> The problem that I see with this sort of statement is that you
> have a sampling that is rigged. Or at least that has the potential
> to be rigged.  What I mean is that if the game is highly geared
> towards achievers, then other players are not going to stick
> around because the game offers less to their playing style.  After
> a while you end up with a population that consists mostly of
> achievers and any sur- vey you do would be skewed towards giving
> you information about the wants and interests of achievers, not of
> gameplayers as a whole.  The reverse can be observed on a
> roleplaying game like PernMush. It is highly geared towards social
> play and you will find very few of the other playing styles there.
> Using that game as a study you can come to the conclusion that
> power is largely irrelevant to players, but that social
> interaction is the big draw.  Studying games like Doom or Unreal
> you would come to yet other conclusions about what the players
> like and want.

*Maybe* the reverse can be concluded.  I can state with certainty
that such and such has been observed in one game, has anyone else
looked?  If they have, they haven't shared, not even in the
handwaving fashion I am forced to.

> I am not exactly discreting your conclusions, but I feel it is not
> very safe to extend them to all games, or even all game economies.
> (Houses in Ultima are not about power, but they do play a very im-
> portant role in that game's economy)

Yeah, I'm reasoning from a dataset drawn from the population of one
game, and I do not mean to claim that any authoritative conclusions
can be drawn from that.  However, it's all the data I've got, and I
hope that stating the conclusions that data would lead *towards*
will at least incite others to look at their own data for
confirmation or disproof, I really don't care which.  If Camelot is
an extreme special-case of some larger pattern, I want to get a
glimpse of the larger pattern.

--Dave


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