Monday, September 29, 2003

Not much to write about this week. Had a good weekend; the major event was that I watched Fight Club for the first time, which I’m not willing to write about just yet.

On a completely different subject, Lee Sheldon writes on the MUD-DEV mailing list, about using lots of explicit numbers (like a “+3 sword”) in online games:

It always amazes me that when we provide the explicit numbers, wethen seem sad that players are grinding instead of enjoying all theother things our worlds provide. It’s mainly because the numbers area tangible measurement whereas socializers are given “tools,”explorers are given blank maps, role players are given “contexts”(if they’re lucky) etc. However much we might want to boast thatsome games are not only about leveling, these other activities arestill red-haired stepchildren because there are no tangiblemeasureable rewards the games track as voraciously as they do combator crafting experience. Our punishment for not balancing measurement systemsis not only a slap in the face of immersion, but discontent amongplayers who max out and then are told that wasn’t how they weresupposed to play the game. Why didn’t they stop to smell the rosesalong the way? Because they got no experience for it.

Fascinating thought. I definitely agree. In the vast majority of massively-multiplayer online RPGs; everything you do centers around combat. All the most visible goals are achieved by killing monsters. No wonder players focus on it so much.

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