In the broken windows thread, Aufero had this sharp piece of insight.
SOE has been responsible for drilling into many, many people’s heads over the years that selling in-game assets for real world cash is cheating. It’s due in large part to their own efforts on the subject that it will continue to be perceived as cheating in the games they started with those policies in mind.
True, true. Continue reading
Sociology is, of course, an intensely interesting field to those in the business of making MMOs. One of the most interesting social theories of recent years is called ‘Broken Windows’, a theory based on an Atlantic Monthly article. Continue reading
Over the weekend, I had the itch to play the computer version of Magic: the Gathering. No, not the Online variant (although I’ve been dabbling there a bit), but rather the old Microprose version, a standalone game where, for the most part, you wander the world, fighting PvE battles against computer opponents to fatten your deck. Continue reading
Sony has come full circle – in the days after the launch of EQ, they were the company most likely to ban or sue customers that dared used eBay to bypass the mindblowing fun that was their advancement grind. Now, instead, they will fight fire with fire. And there was much factual reporting, intelligent discussion as well as gnashing of teeth.
My honest opinion? I’ve been trying to convince people to try this exact approach since I was toiling on UO2. Why? Because at the end of the day, the biggest problems with eBay and MMOs are service issues that are solvable if the trades can be secure (as illustrated by the lovely cartoons on Sony’s explanatory site). Continue reading
Jamie over at GameDevBlog is sad because 55% of the people surveyed about Spiderman 2 didn’t finish the game.
So, well, that’s depressing to me. That’s a little like hearing that half of my readers put down my novel halfway through. Or that half of my audience walked out of my movie halfway through. (Not that I’ve ever made a movie. I’m just trying to make a point.)
Has anyone noticed that some ideas seemed married to the MMO genre for no discernable reason?
Let’s take the flogged equine, permadeath. Has anyone noticed that no one is asking for this on other genres? Can you even imagine, for example, playing Doom 3 or God of War with Permadeath on?
We used to, of course. Back in the days of Pac-Man and Space Invaders, your game ended after 3 lives. Then someone comes up with ‘Insert a quarter to continue’, and we haven’t looked back since. Now, single-player developers are bitched out if they don’t drop save points enough, and many argue that we should be beyond that whole save point thing, and just allow players to save anywhere they want. Continue reading
One of the recurring ideas in the great permadeath debate (now slashdotted, for her pleasure) is the notion that permadeath might be saved only for certain extremely high-powered encounters (in fact, this idea is central to the Corpnews post that started this whole mess).
One of the things that ideas like this need to work around is that game players learn by doing. They tend not to read manuals, they tend not to listen to NPCs, they tend to want to try things and see what happens. And why not? People learn by reading in books, learn by observing in movies, and learn by doing in games. That interactivity is the cornerstone of the gaming experience, and it’s part of what draws people to our medium over others. Continue reading