[MUD-Dev] Congratulations Horizons...

Lee Sheldon lsheldo2 at tampabay.rr.com
Fri Jan 9 13:06:08 New Zealand Daylight Time 2004

Philip M. Hofer wrote:
> Lee Sheldon wrote:

>> 3) Expanding the world in a manner that is within the universe of
>> it, rather than just an expansion pack, or taking down servers
>> and announcing a new zone. A tunnel has been discovered that
>> requires crafters of several different skills to clear. At the
>> end of what I expect to be a fairly arduous undertaking, a new
>> PLAYABLE PLAYER RACE may be "rescued." Two years ago I suggested
>> how DAoC could do something similar to this to open their new
>> epic zones, but they opted for the same old same old. Kudos to
>> Horizons for finally showing how it can be done.

> Releasing content in this modal isn't effective for a couple key
> reasons, the main reason that it only gives the entertainment to a
> select few, which means that the content to provide the content
> itself is being withheld from the player base

Not at all, although that -was- the problem with Asheron's Call in
the earliest days where only higher levels were able to
participate. One of the nice things about the way Horizons does it
is that anyone who chooses to, can participate. Level is
immaterial. Players who can't kill the defending mobs (guard groups
range from sometimes as low as level 10 and up from there), or who
aren't high enough level crafters to make the final items necessary
can still help. ALL levels of crafters can make the components of
those items and others are helping to ferry materials to the
site. It is the player's choice to seek out this particular
entertainment the same way it's the player's choice to do any quest
or kill any mob. And in -those- cases the player's choices are
usually even more restricted by level, class etc.

> AND what some consider to be the "anticipation level" of the
> player base to keep continuity.

Not sure if I know what you mean here... Can you try again? Or is
this what you mean:

> Why do you think fast-food companies create new dish's all the
> time? ..  They want to have product kept fresh and their clients
> to stay with them.  In that respect they make money.

All MMORPGs try to feed the content-devouring monster, and add fresh
meat, usually in standardized ways like monthly episodic content,
expansion packs, etc. Besides this static content already in the
world, Horizons is releasing new content whenever they like, not in
artificial episodes. Another "new" paradigm for MMORPGs. Not so new
actually, but regular episodic content producing brief spikes of
player interest that wanes until the next spike seems all the rage

> Kudos for Horizons to have content released as such, however it's
> not going to win them any brownie points with their player base as
> a whole

It already has. It has galvanized play on my server, Dawn. Every day
more players (casual and hardcore) and entire guilds are drawn to
help out. It helping to balance the fact that many players see
Horizons as a solo game, quiet and lonely. It's a way for all
players to meet and play together.  We're also in a race with 2
other servers to see who frees the satyrs first.  Damn Europeans
seem to be ahead!

> or the sell of their game.

True. Many players in particular powergamers haven't even noticed
that it's going on. They seem to play each MMORPG exactly as they
played the last, and these days that seems to be: churn through the
levels as fast as possible so they'll be uber at this new mod of

>> ALL of the above three things will be copied by other games in
>> expansion packs or updates. They are glimmers of a beginning
>> evolution in thinking about what MMORPG worlds can be.

> Doubt it.

Your privilege. ;)

> Sidenote: Everquests shot in the foot "The shark that will hurt
> them, the modal they are not using anymore (or
> shouldn't)". Everquest released its planes of power expansion to
> its population, however not the entire player base will achieve
> the end resulting accomplishment of the content itself and they
> have hurt themselves by doing so

All players can help achieve the end or simply benefit from it (play
a satyr!) if they choose.

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