[MUD-Dev] DGN: Lords, Vassals, Serfs and the Clergy

John Buehler johnbue at msn.com
Thu May 12 05:48:02 New Zealand Standard Time 2005

Matt Mihaly writes:
> Jaycen Rigger wrote:

>> (Why player governments never work in fantasy MMORPGs)...

> Define 'work?' They've been working fine in our fantasy MMORPGs
> since 1997. They've been working in other fantasy MMORPGs since
> 1990.

I was just opining on community sizes and such off-list.  This makes
me wonder if the player governments work in smaller games because of
greater cohesion in the player community.  In a smaller community of
hundreds, do I have a greater sense of participation, with a greater
willingness to expend some effort to make the poltical process work?
In a larger community of thousands, do I tend to separate from the
process, figuring that if I can exploit it in some way, it doesn't
really matter?  I can't be a player in the political process among
thousands, so I'll just blow it off and get what I can from it.

Alternately, it requires so much effort to minister over thousands
that people burn out.  I can recall the stories of people trying to
be at the top of the pyramid in Asheron's Call's vassal/sponsor
system.  Players on top of six or seven layers of vassals tended to
live in the game, getting online during odd hours so that they could
actually play the game, while all mainstream hours were devoted to
helping vassals.

Is it community size or some other attribute of games where the
political process works?  Is it that players inclined to read all
the text in text MUDs are more inclined to be participants in
complex processes?

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