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Author Topic: [MMO] Community Friendliness: Size Matters  (Read 3000 times)

Den

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[MMO] Community Friendliness: Size Matters
« on: 2010-Mar-31 15:01 »
The following is my response to Eric Heimburg's article Community Friendliness: Size Matters. (Eric was the lead developer for Asheron's Call 2, my favorite MMO to date.)



The global quests were a major reason why AC2 community had togetherness, and I think new games with their mini-quests are a travesty. What I mean is that many AC2 quests were designed for groups that allowed anybody to join in at any time. Raids in other games are designed for elitists. Whereas in AC2, on a whim, some 40 to 50 strangers would come together to fight a huge boss. A lot of the quests felt epic, so you felt a grand sense of achievement even if it was with other strangers.

Many games were designed as 'gamey games' and that's the difference between a virtual world like AC2 and other MMO games. AC2 didn't hold your hand for the first 10 levels. That's when veteran players would help and guide the new players. This helps foster a friendly community. In other games, there are few or no reason or opportunity to help new players and low character alts. The impression is that you're alone in the world and you can do everything by yourself.

The system of mini-quests is awkward for multiplayer because 1. two people have different quests and you don't want to help others complete their quests because you're so worried about your long list of uncompleted quests, 2. few games even let you share quests. Even if you can share quests, most are trivial fedex or kill x mobs or collect x items, and give pitiful rewards that are pointless and don't require groups. In other words, the time spent together doesn't tighten the bond between players. In WoW I felt like I would waste other people's time and they would waste mine. On the other hand, in AC2 I usually want to help others and many times would call for others to do quests together.

AC2 is much more of a immersive world because of the open world and open communication. You can go anywhere and meet and talk to anybody. There is no restriction by class, faction, race, etc. Even if you were on different sides, you could talk to each other. Sure if you were different factions you would talk smack to each other, but that only makes the game world more realistic and engaging. At the end of the day, it's all in good fun. Heck, you might even build respect for each other over a PVP scuffle.
« Last Edit: 2011-Apr-08 01:28 by Den »
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