[MUD-Dev] Removing access to entertainment

John Buehler johnbue at msn.com
Thu Nov 27 12:13:24 New Zealand Daylight Time 2003


Daniel Harman writes:
> From: John Buehler [mailto:johnbue at msn.com]

>> While I appreciate the agreement, this really isn't about
>> fairness. It is more fundamental that that.

>> You make two statements about mesmerization:

>>   "It is distinctly and decidedly unfun."

> Except that in EQ at least, there are means of countering all of
> the things you call unfun. For me that invalidates your argument
> as they serve as incentives to up your game. If they were
> unavoidable you'd have a point.

Except that if at some point I don't care to 'up my game' any
further I'm back to doing something that is unfun.  The fact that a
workaround to an annoyance exists doesn't make the workaround
entertaining.

Players are jumping through the hoops that game designers are
presenting to them.  But I wonder how many of those hoops would be
jumped through if they were optional.  Do players really care about
the actual process of leveling, carrying anti-mez equipment,
devoting character skills to dealing with annoying mob behavior,
etc?  Or do they endure them for the sake of doing something online
with their friends?

If players could instantaneously transport to destinations at will,
would they do it?  Or would they find that such transportation would
detract from the entertainment of the game?  If players could
instantaneously change their class at will, would they do it?  Or
would they find that such changes would detract from the
entertainment of the game?

I don't believe that when I start a game that I should be able to go
buy a castle and kill a dragon with one swing of my sword.  That
would make those tasks meaningless.  But I don't think that every
task in a game needs to be a challenge in order to be entertaining,
and I also don't think that exhorbitant challenges are more
entertaining than modest ones.  Because 'upping my game' eventually
turns unfun.

In the end, the very hoops that players are invited to jump through
in the process of upping their game turn into barriers to accessing
the entertainment of the game.  Because various players don't want
to make the investment of time, energy, concentration, whatever,
that the game requires via that hoop.  The entertainment that the
game provides attracts a certain type of player interested in a
certain thing.  When the hoops deviate from that type of
entertainment, it presents a greater barrier than when the hoops are
consistent with the entertainment provided.

So don't put in strong solo classes if you're going to require
multiplayer interactions of those characters.  Don't put in slow
transportation if speed of leveling is the essential entertainment
of the game.  And so on.

JB
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