[MUD-Dev] Thought Experiment: Permanent Monster Death
scottj at mythicentertainment.com
Thu Dec 18 14:13:29 New Zealand Daylight Time 2003
From: "Sheela Caur'Lir" <dstgasey at webhiker.dk>
> To go off on another tangent - It always annoyed me that the GM's
> were used for customer support, even in larger MMOG's.
> They are Game Masters dangit, they should run events for the
> players, or help developer test new areas and so forth. They
> should be working a storyline and make the virtual world
> progress. Make someone else with CS flag over their heads do the
> support thing.
As a reference, Dark Age of Camelot currently has about 50 full-time
in-game Customer Service reps on staff. They do no "GM" work (and in
fact are called CSRs, not GMs).
It's a reasonable assumption that, at a bare understaffed minimum,
an additional 50 "GMs" would be required to meet the job you propose
(basically, human-driven gaming as opposed to the automated
variety). Ultima Online tried with many more volunteers and were
unable to meet the players' demand for event-driven content.
Basically, you're asking for a LOT of very creative people to be on
call, 24/7. That costs a lot of money, and, to be honest, there may
well just not be those people available to be hired with that
skillset - good pen and paper DMs are rare, too. And bringing humans
into the equation brings all sorts of new perils - when you have one
"GM" running the world, especially a PVP-oriented one, there will
constantly be those who say that not only is he doing it badly, he's
doing the game real damage by favoring the side the complainant
happens not to be on. (We get enough accusations of favoritism from
players with just machine-driven systems!)
I know some text MUDs are able to bring this to the table (and it's
what they use as their main selling point) but at the scale of
today's MMOs - well, if you can get it to work and work affordably,
be sure and let someone know so they can start printing money.
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