[MUD-Dev] Blog about GDC implies changes to MMORPG population

Sean Kelly sean at f4.ca
Wed May 4 10:19:21 New Zealand Standard Time 2005

On Fri, 29 Apr 2005, Michael Hartman wrote:
> Mike Shaver wrote:

>> The fun challenge comes from finding a combination of the game
>> mechanics, your desired play experience, and the people you have
>> in your game-life, that presents you with a course of action that
>> is possible-but-not-trivial, and rewarding in some way that
>> amuses you.

> Then don't label the game as one that encourages, rewards, or
> makes possible level-varied parties. That was the original claim,
> and frankly, that claim is utterly false.

Mixed-level parties are quite possible, just often not particularly
desirable.  But then WoW doesn't require grouping in order to
progress beyond a certain level, unlike EQ.

> The fact that people can have fun doing sub-optimal things is not
> something I disagree with. But when you are discussing the game
> design itself, you cannot say the system is designed to support
> something that it actually penalizes. The fact that someone might
> not be terribly bothered by the penalty does not change the fact
> that it IS a penalty.

The point of my original post was that achievement-oriented players
evaluate risk/reward on more than just game mechanics scales.
Bragging rights are far more rewarding than optimizing grinding
potential.  I grant that such things are outside the scope of the
original game design, but I thought we were discussing
achievement-oriented gaming?

> The argument was not whether or not this was a good design choice.
> The argument was whether or not WoW discourages or encourages
> groups of varied levels.

> WoW heavily discourages it.

If that was the original topic then I agree.  WoW does not encourage
mixed-level grouping in most cases.  And the few cases it did were
considered exploits.

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