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f13.net General Forums => Archived: We distort. We decide. => Topic started by: HaemishM on February 03, 2006, 03:42:56 PM



Title: The Social Experience
Post by: HaemishM on February 03, 2006, 03:42:56 PM
You gained 20 Posts for reading this article (http://www.f13.net/index2.php?subaction=showfull&id=1139003007&archive=&start_from=&ucat=1&).


Title: Re: The Social Experience
Post by: Furiously on February 03, 2006, 03:43:48 PM
I don't see any article. Is there some magical place I have to go to read it?


Title: Re: The Social Experience
Post by: HaemishM on February 03, 2006, 03:44:19 PM
You get negative experience for not waiting the two minutes it took me to post the story.  :-D


Title: Re: The Social Experience
Post by: Furiously on February 03, 2006, 04:06:48 PM
But it was my brother playing!


Title: Re: The Social Experience
Post by: Samwise on February 03, 2006, 04:38:28 PM
Forced/encouraged groups r teh sux.  I just want everyone to go away and let me collect troll penises in peace.


Title: Re: The Social Experience
Post by: Bunk on February 03, 2006, 06:07:36 PM
I agree in principal, social ties are what keep people playing these games long after they start to suck. Will the idea of social xp work? Eh, maybe. I'm still always embittered by any system that a power gamer can game to gain access to a cool foozle.

I do like the idea of a player rating system. Second Life actually uses something like that. As long as you had systems in place to prevent Troll style abuse, and a system to prevent it from being done repeatedly by the same character (this would be the first thing power gamers try).

I like the dynamic of positive and negative social titles - it pulls off of the old UO system, but basis it on actual player oppinion rather than game mechanics. If a person really wanted to be a Dread Lord, they would have to go around being a real asshole to people. They'd probably also have a core group of friends that would purposely rate them negatively as well, but you just put in diminishing returns to force the players to interact with more and more people.

Would it cause some assclowns to be even bigger assclowns? Probably, but at least it will label them as assclowns for us. It will also encourage the average guy, the ones who usually won't go out of their way to interact with other people at all, to suddenly try to make a good impression.

So yea, overall I like the idea. I just wouldn't use any in game mechanics to determine it, I'd leave it to strictly play opinion (with appropriate filtering of course).


Title: Re: The Social Experience
Post by: Righ on February 03, 2006, 06:59:46 PM
Might as well rank all the players on the server by how much time and how many different (accounts) they have grouped with. Then you can award people more experience for grouping with people who haven't grouped much. There are a lot of mechanisms you could use, and the idea is not without merit. However, as you say, it would probably be better if the games were more interesting and fun to play for extended periods.


Title: Re: The Social Experience
Post by: Kail on February 03, 2006, 09:05:10 PM
I may well be in the minority here; it's almost definitely not going to be a majority opinion, but here's my two cents anyway:

I am not a people person.  In the MMORPGs I play, I solo almost all the time that I can concievably get away with it.  This has nothing to do with the game systems or anything like that; it's how I act everywhere.  As a result, the more a game encourages grouping, the less I like it.  If I need five guys to raid a dungeon, I'll wait until everything in there is grey to me and then try to solo it.  If I can't, I'll never finish that dungeon.  If you start rewarding people for grouping in other ways (like offering experience), it will annoy me, because it looks like you're catering to a playstyle that I don't find enjoyable, and trying to coax me to do stuff I dislike.

The first respose to this that I can think of is "why the fuck are you playing online RPGs then?" and the answer is because that's the only way to play these games.  If I could play City of Heroes in single player mode, I would.  I like the openness of these games, and the character customization, and the overall size, but the only place I can get those things is in massively multiplayer online games (and Morrowind, which is a frustrating topic all to itself).  And you can't play these games offline, usually, so I play them online, and I have to put up with dipshit warriors who toss sticks of dynamite into scorpion nests and bitch when they die about how it was my crappy healing that was at fault.  I don't enjoy grouping, and I wouldn't enjoy it if these games became even more group focused than they already are, and I CERTAINLY wouldn't enjoy it if these random chucklefucks could debit points from me just on a whim.  Today in WoW, people were kvetching about my crappy kill/death ratio (something like 3-13) and apparently nobody noticed that my mana was almost perpetually drained from healing the flag carrier.  I don't want to loose points because some jackass is convinced that I'm not playing "right."   It bothers me enough already, having to put up with that, and that's with them being totally unable to do anything about it.  Giving them a stick to hit me with is not going to improve my gameplay experience, I expect.


Title: Re: The Social Experience
Post by: Zane0 on February 03, 2006, 11:30:22 PM
- Quantifying social status to mean something in the game sounds very very hard, and frightens me more than anything

- Is making a social network truly meta-game when you need social connections and an understanding of your role (gained through teaming) to get into a "good guild"?


Title: Re: The Social Experience
Post by: HaemishM on February 03, 2006, 11:59:30 PM
However, as you say, it would probably be better if the games were more interesting and fun to play for extended periods.

I think you gets me. You gets me perfectly.

As for the solo thing, I'm the same way since I quit Shadowbane. I know I need other people, but I generally tend to solo the games even though I have Bat Country guys to group with. It may be the weird hours I play, or the fact that I usually play less than most of the people I'd group with, but I tend to group rarely and never in pickup groups. With social experience, I'd be a blip on the radar and nothing more. A complete nonentity. But these games (Dikus) don't reward my type of playstyle and never will. They reward achievement-oriented people who put their achievement ahead of actually enjoying who they are playing with.

Social experience was an interesting idea I had, but I quickly realized that it's just another layer of obfuscation. It just easily disguises the real problem. The games just aren't very fun to play unless you have a regular group of people to play with. Levels and experience-gated content means that you have to play on the same schedule with a decent sized group of folks to do anything or get anywhere.

Yeah, I know. Real startling.


Title: Re: The Social Experience
Post by: Arnold on February 04, 2006, 01:25:08 AM
Meh.  Your system is a kludge, just like the faction systems that several games have attempted.  If you really want a community, you have to give people real reasons to band together.  The lure of XP and titles will just encourage people to find loopholes in order to exploit the system for maximum gain.

If you want community, look to oldschool UO, Shadowbane, and AC Darktide.


Title: Re: The Social Experience
Post by: Righ on February 04, 2006, 02:06:17 AM
If you want community, look to oldschool UO, Shadowbane, and AC Darktide.

As in people will band together in order to gank or avoid being ganked. It has some merit, but alas is still not enough. The games need to be much more interesting in order to have folks pay monthly dues for chat thats inferior to even a tired old IRC client, and it wasn't in either three of those cases, or we'd all still be there in our social packs.

It's not just about a reason for a community, but a compelling game that retains players, and better community tools than can be had elsewhere.


Title: Re: The Social Experience
Post by: Paelos on February 04, 2006, 03:48:08 AM
People will band together if you force them to do so by an outside agent. I think we take "towns" in MMOG's for granted. We never have to fight for them, we don't have to do anything with them except rest up, fill up, queue up, or repair up. There's no connection to a community that a real town would have. No, what we need is to have towns getting raided by outside forces. Not players mind you, but computer driven NPC invasions that would force players to keep their supply lines open. I say not players because you end up with the Shadowbane concept of midnight raids and logging in to a razed house if you do that. You could tie players to these towns, and when the town they were a part of was attacked or taken over, their stats would suffer because of it. Basically do something do make people look at these cities as important to the game beyond a flight point.


Title: Re: The Social Experience
Post by: Trippy on February 04, 2006, 04:01:28 AM
Here's my glib reply to this subject: "grp me plz!"


Title: Re: The Social Experience
Post by: jpark on February 04, 2006, 09:15:15 AM
Well written as usual Haemish - thanks for posting that article.

In this topic I don't find myself in agreement.  Maybe I miss the point - the system looks like a reward for grouping - but of course in group oriented games - DDO being the current extreme - characters really do live or die by their charisma and ability to group in order to advance.  I can't help but seeing the system you propose as a redundant layer over this.

On the other hand:  Shadowbanes "white mark" and "black mark" system where folks could posts comments about as part of your character was excellent (if you clicked on the character you had the option of seeing these remarks).  Since the poster behind each remark is shown - it can readily add credibility to these comments if you know the poster - do you remember this system?  I thought it was cool. 

In a sense  - "better business bureau" concept for each person as a group member was introduced.


Title: Re: The Social Experience
Post by: Murgos on February 04, 2006, 09:48:07 AM
I disagree with your mechanics but I agree that having a responsible and upright community should be rewarded.


Title: Re: The Social Experience
Post by: Issele on February 04, 2006, 10:44:52 AM
I tend to like the ability to solo in a game and at times to group/socialize with others. Are we not the same way out of games?  This is where I see that games lost the mark on and that is to actually create a working society/community within a Multi-player On-line game system. I agree that now to have fun in a game you have to have a certain group/guild to play with because we are being forced to become a group of level-experience-gated type player base if you want to advance your character. We are being conditioned to go for the reward, reach for the best weapon/armor, loot drop that can only be obtained by force grouping. This is not a social experience. This is survival in a game world.

This is the end game.


Title: Re: The Social Experience
Post by: Miscreant on February 04, 2006, 10:32:50 PM
Good post.  There are many many rewards possible for high social XP -- assuming high social XP usually also means not a griefer out to ruin the game.  Great rewards are possible because the holy grail from a dev's point of view is, of course, player created content (insert sound of angels rejoicing) -- if devs could only find a way to keep it out of the wrong hands (insert sound of doom). 

Player run economies, player built towns, player designed quests, player built powers and classes, even player built monsters are imaginable. 


PS.  Don't you know it's against the rules to offer a specific, constructive suggestion on how an MMO could be made better?  Much less offer implementation details.  If you ever want to speak at a conference, just whine that MMOs would be better if they sucked less.  Say MMOs would be way better if designers followed your philosophy of not sucking.  Avoid specifics.  Make it long, strident, and wrap it in academic jargon next time, please.




Title: Re: The Social Experience
Post by: Velorath on February 04, 2006, 11:55:42 PM
I don't think the social aspect of these games can be fixed until the leveling aspects are.  It can be hard to form social bonds with people you've grouped with when they end up being 5 levels ahead of you the next time you log on.  As long as these games restrict who you can group with and still make good xp, that level barrier will have a negative effect on the social aspects of MMOs.

Mentoring and sidekicking have been attempts to bridge this gap, but when it comes down to it they still tend to hamper the effectiveness and xp gain of at least one of the players involved


Title: Re: The Social Experience
Post by: Kail on February 05, 2006, 12:54:23 PM
People will band together if you force them to do so by an outside agent. (snip...) There's no connection to a community that a real town would have.

Good point. 

To argue against my own previous point here, one thing I read about in way early conceptual rumors about some MMORPG (was it Horizons, maybe?)  was the idea that families would be a game unit.  Players would be able to get married (I realize there are issues with this alone, but anyway) and have children, and when you create a new character, it would be the child of a couple (I believe part of the concept was to have the new player play as a child for a while so that they would have to rely on the parents for protection).  So, rather than coming into the game as an isolated character with no ties to anyone, you've got parents, you've got siblings, you've got cousins and so on.  The idea (if I read it right) was not that these are all going to be your bestest buddies, but that it gives you, from the word go, a position in the social network.  You might like your virtual sister or you might hate her, but you at least have some kind of social relationship to her, as opposed to the current RPGs where a lot of players come into the game with no connection to anybody.


Title: Re: The Social Experience
Post by: Yoru on February 06, 2006, 01:22:46 AM
I think the "MMO" you're thinking of was Dawn. I'm fairly sure that all panned out to be a scam and that not a single line of code for it was ever written.


Title: Re: The Social Experience
Post by: Trippy on February 06, 2006, 03:24:47 AM
I don't think the social aspect of these games can be fixed until the leveling aspects are.  It can be hard to form social bonds with people you've grouped with when they end up being 5 levels ahead of you the next time you log on.  As long as these games restrict who you can group with and still make good xp, that level barrier will have a negative effect on the social aspects of MMOs.

Mentoring and sidekicking have been attempts to bridge this gap, but when it comes down to it they still tend to hamper the effectiveness and xp gain of at least one of the players involved
CoH's sidekicking system is about as good as you'll get given the constraints of a CRPG system and there's no exp issue with sidekicking (AFAIK the sidekick gets the same exp as if he/she really was at that sidekicked level). The CoH mentoring system, however, is totally messed up in CoH/CoV with the mentor not only losing skills but also not getting any experience at all (they get double influence/prestige (money) instead -- whoop dee do) which, given the exp grind at higher levels, makes mentoring a very unattractive prospect unless you are already at 50/max experience or trying to get Supergroup prestige.

CoH and CoV still have social grouping issues, though, even with the stellar sidekicking system because their questing system is totally brain damaged where you can't share missions and multiple group members can't complete the same mission at the same time unless it's a hunt mission -- e.g. if two people grouped together have the identical indoor mission they have to do it twice for both people to complete it. This makes grouping with people at around your level with similar contacts extremely painful since you often end up having to do the same missions repeatedly. Supposedly Cryptic was going to try to fix this but I don't know if it got into I7 or not.


Title: Re: The Social Experience
Post by: Murgos on February 06, 2006, 07:41:33 AM
I think the "MMO" you're thinking of was Dawn. I'm fairly sure that all panned out to be a scam and that not a single line of code for it was ever written.

No, it was Horizons.  One of the early concepts was that all players would be born into a family with other PC brothers and sisters.


Title: Re: The Social Experience
Post by: Nevermore on February 06, 2006, 09:23:48 AM

CoH and CoV still have social grouping issues, though, even with the stellar sidekicking system because their questing system is totally brain damaged where you can't share missions and multiple group members can't complete the same mission at the same time unless it's a hunt mission -- e.g. if two people grouped together have the identical indoor mission they have to do it twice for both people to complete it. This makes grouping with people at around your level with similar contacts extremely painful since you often end up having to do the same missions repeatedly. Supposedly Cryptic was going to try to fix this but I don't know if it got into I7 or not.


This is still true for CoH, but from day 1 in CoV people have been able to complete the same mission at the same time if they already each have the mission.  Supposedly this will be brought over to CoH as well, but they haven't commited to when that'll happen.

Personally, I usually prefer soloing to grouping because I can play at my own pace while solo and I hate dealing with the logistics of getting a group together.  The former is more me not wanting to be the ass that's always AFK 3 or 4 times a mission.  Not an issue when I'm solo; I can go AFK as needed whenever I want.  The latter isn't much of an issue if I get into a guild group, but I'm guilded with a relatively small group of people I've known for a few years in various games so guild groups aren't really that common.  Mostly a weekend thing.

That said, I still agree with rewarding grouping.  It wouldn't really change my grouping habits, but I really don't care about how fast I level in CoH.  Not like there's anything to do once you hit 50 in that game anyway.


Title: Re: The Social Experience
Post by: Xilren's Twin on February 06, 2006, 10:44:53 AM
I like the premise, but many of the posts still ignore a large part of the social experience of these games anyway - the non combat portions.  The main game system in all these title is the combat one, yet that is often one of the worst places for social interaction with strangers.  Have some random chucklehead get you killed, or argue of loot drops usually doesn't make you want to add them to your friends list.  Sure, it's possible to get a good group where you can accomplish a lot, or simply have fun, but combat group already have a built in purpose which often runs in opposition to socializing (except for EQ1, but adding crushing downtime just so people can chat its hardly fun either...).

Buying a player made item from the auction house, or a player store, is a rewarding part of social gameplay, or at least, it can be.  Having a particular player vendor you come to be a regular custom of has greater opportunities to socialization than spamming "heal me now!" in combat.  (I think AC2 tried to force this socialization with the "np npc vendors" concept, but that game was too flawed to really benefit from it.)

It gets back to what Haem said; add more AND better game systems, including ones that aren't combat and loot, and you get players to form the social bonds more readily.

Xilren


Title: Re: The Social Experience
Post by: Mr_PeaCH on February 06, 2006, 11:49:47 AM
I can't say what I think about the whole 'social experience' angle; may need to re-read it and digest that some more.

But I can't believe nobody's brought up the more mainstream experience set forth by Shadowbane yet; basically that Foozle_01 yields experience x to each and every player in the group whether it was soloed or a group of 10 took it down.  A concept so simple and which (I thought) worked so well.  Granted, Shadowbane will never be considered a classic MMO in the PvM sense; leveling your character was just something you had to do to be able to compete better at PvP or killing monsters was just something you had to do to earn gold for your guild.  And Shadowbane had something else which made wanting to be in groups, large groups, very desirable; namely unrestricted PvP; you were always watching your back in a way that made simple exp grinding often nerve-wracking.

But step away from the whole "Shadowbaneness" of it and just think about that simple exp dynamic again.  Grouping with others should not mean losing a slice of the exp-pie; what it can and does mean is that you, as say a level 10 character, have a chance of getting drops that will be more useful or more valuable than a monster of your relative level (ie. something you could easily solo) would yield.  Simple as that.  And no, I'm not saying that the purple Foozle that gets taken down by a full group should drop a ring of uberness to each and every group member; just that as a member of a group targetting bigger and badder creatures you have a chance at it is all.  And that's potentially WHY you do it.  Well, that and the experience you're no longer being punished for.  (And in a perfect PvM-meets-PvP world; because you want a fighting chance or a chance to escape if you're suddenly ganked by enemy combatants mid-pull.)


Title: Re: The Social Experience
Post by: Samwise on February 06, 2006, 01:33:41 PM
basically that Foozle_01 yields experience x to each and every player in the group whether it was soloed or a group of 10 took it down. 

DDO does that (except that XP is per quest objective rather than per foozle).  For that matter, DDO does the same thing with all the non-trivial loot drops.  (Rampant powerlevelling is prevented by imposing a cap of 6 people per group, and scaling XP rewards according to the highest level member of the group.)  I like their system a lot as far as that goes.


Title: Re: The Social Experience
Post by: HaemishM on February 06, 2006, 01:42:50 PM
But I can't believe nobody's brought up the more mainstream experience set forth by Shadowbane yet; basically that Foozle_01 yields experience x to each and every player in the group whether it was soloed or a group of 10 took it down.  A concept so simple and which (I thought) worked so well. 

What was even better was that any level could group with any level and they got experience for whatever they killed based on what they would get from that mob solo. I always loved that system. If only the PVE had been worth a damn.

But really, Shadowbane should have just dropped the goddamn levels thing entirely, since it was obvious making PVE worthwhile wasn't a priority. It turned the game into a "level AFK with your guild til you hit the soft cap, then go PVP" game. And since it was all about the PVP, I never understood why I had to level in the first place. It just fucked up the mechanics.


Title: Re: The Social Experience
Post by: Samwise on February 06, 2006, 01:51:37 PM
But really, Shadowbane should have just dropped the goddamn levels thing entirely, since it was obvious making PVE worthwhile wasn't a priority. It turned the game into a "level AFK with your guild til you hit the soft cap, then go PVP" game. And since it was all about the PVP, I never understood why I had to level in the first place. It just fucked up the mechanics.

The year that I went to AGC, one of the Shadowbane guys actually commented on this at a panel - their logic was that they needed to sell Shadowbane to MMOG players, which meant that Shadowbane needed to be recognizable as a MMOG the first time you logged in, or you'd just log back out in confusion and cancel your subscription saying "why am I paying a monthly fee for this?  It's not a MMOG."  So to ensure a smooth transition into the "real" game of PvP, and help new players familiarize themselves with the game, they put a PvE level grind in, deliberately making it relatively easy to blaze through since it wasn't the real game anyway.

Yes, the PvE grind was there so that MMOG players would know it was a MMOG.  No other reason.  This is why we can't have nice things: MMOG players are fucking stupid.


Title: Re: The Social Experience
Post by: shiznitz on February 06, 2006, 02:56:23 PM
1) Get rid of levels.

2) Give everyone in the group an incrementally better chance for a skill gain the more people in the group. In UO terms, a Master Tamer will gain Swordsman skill faster when grouped/fighting with a Grandmaster Swordman. The Grandmaster Swordsman will gain Taming faster in the bargain. Let groups be large, e.g 10-12 people. Make this work for crafting too. The master carpenter that wants to boost alchemy should work with a master alchemist that wants to boost carpentry.

3) Apply combat bonuses in the same way.

4) Use a sliding bonus scale to prevent stacking abuses, but allow some stacking. For instance, in EQ2 if a player is mentored by one player, exp +5%. Mentored by two players, exp +9%.


Title: Re: The Social Experience
Post by: Sky on February 06, 2006, 03:35:12 PM
Quote
This is why we can't have nice things: MMOG players are fucking stupid.
This is what dooms the genre. The players.


Title: Re: The Social Experience
Post by: DevilsAdvocate on February 07, 2006, 12:28:29 AM
Quote
This is why we can't have nice things: MMOG players are fucking stupid.
This is what dooms the genre. The players.

"This job would be great if it wasn't for the fucking customers."

-Randal in "Clerks"


Title: Re: The Social Experience
Post by: Mesozoic on February 07, 2006, 08:35:33 AM
I don't think players should be rewarded for being social.  If socialization itself is not the reward  - if you don't enjoy our company -  then get the fuck out of our guild / group.   I'm not here to teach antisocial basement-dwellers how to talk to other people.  Its already the case that people only group because they need to to advance.  Most of my groups in WoW never speak to each other unless a pull goes bad, and even then its

<Warrior> Shit
<Rogue> Sry
<Priest> lol

If mechanics could make people be social, the existing group mechanics would have done it.  As it is they group only when they need to and complain about it constantly. 


Title: Re: The Social Experience
Post by: HaemishM on February 07, 2006, 09:35:10 AM
If mechanics could make people be social, the existing group mechanics would have done it.  As it is they group only when they need to and complain about it constantly. 

Herein lies a good clue about what's so wrong with Diku games. The mechanics DON'T encourage a world, especially in the later evolutions of the system that makes combat more interactive AND has not gotten over the problems inherent in chat box communication AND doesn't have anything for a group of people to do other than fight things (or each other). The Diku-Level based forumla isn't going to get better by polishing what is already there, until voice comm's become part of the system, are easy enough for anyone to configure and use and don't require a "push to talk" option (unless it's with some kind of foot pedal). You can't talk in combat, downtime is evil so you don't socialized during combat instances because you are constantly assaulted or assaulting. In order to diddle the mechanics enough to encourage grouping AND socializing, you have to add on yet another layer of complexity in advancement in something like this social experience system, until the whole thing becomes a complicated mess, like HAM except for experience.

Fuck that noise.

Break out of the Diku mindset and move back to making the content and gameplay compelling, and give players reasons to group that fit with the world. I really think from a combat mechanics angle, DDO is a good start (especially since it includes voice chat), even if the implementation is not to my liking. I just hope it doesn't totally tank, since that would drive investors right back into the safe and shitty embraces of Diku. That bitch.


Title: Re: The Social Experience
Post by: Mesozoic on February 07, 2006, 10:07:25 AM
I never got to play SWG, but from what I've read it was an intensely social game for those who chose to be.  Maybe this had something to do with the Star Wars base - maybe they've spent the least 29 years just wishing there was some way to chat with other SW fanatics in the Mos Eisley cantina, who knows.  But it was done without attaching socialization to a treadmill. 

I don't think Diku players are interested in chatting with each other as much as they are in showing off their e-peen to an audience.  But they seem to be getting their social fix just fine as is, and I'm not sure what good it does to force a square peg into a round hole and make Johnny Phatl00tz play nice with other people.


Title: Re: The Social Experience
Post by: HaemishM on February 07, 2006, 10:28:40 AM
But they seem to be getting their social fix just fine as is, and I'm not sure what good it does to force a square peg into a round hole and make Johnny Phatl00tz play nice with other people.

Johnny Phatl00tz should be sterilized and put in a box, frozen in amber and displayed as a warning to future generations that somethings just shouldn't be allowed.

Social experience WOULD be forcing a square peg into a round hole, you are right. That's what Diku does. In order to get anyone to do anything in that kind of system, you have to provide a tangible reward. All of which has nothing to do with how fun the game is, just how to dole out the pellets. However, mechanics can be made to encourage grouping and socialiization without resorting to group xp bonuses, or experience schemes designed to be another treadmill.


Title: Re: The Social Experience
Post by: Mesozoic on February 07, 2006, 11:41:59 AM
But what we've been saying about Diku all these years is that the loot, exp, and cash that people accumulate - thats all fine.  As long as the gameplay along the way is enjoyable.  What you're suggesting is actually what we're trying to get away from - forcing people to do things they don't want to do in exchange for a bigger e-peen. 

And the people who do enjoy it, the actual socializers, probably don't want to be forced to consort with the killers and the achievers, let alone have some asshole rub it in their face that he must be more popular because he has the  [Awesome Socializer Leggings] (http://www.us.dockers.com/lsco/dockers/prod/d_prod.jsp?JSESSIONID=DozvCm6UKChxeNXqLpWwnG3uWcUZwC08ToTWPO0rFdeaDBjUQfEd!1300456100!-1407564313!7005!8005&FOLDER%3C%3Efolder_id=2534374305317617&bmUID=1139340272608).


Title: Re: The Social Experience
Post by: HaemishM on February 07, 2006, 12:12:06 PM
But what we've been saying about Diku all these years is that the loot, exp, and cash that people accumulate - thats all fine.  As long as the gameplay along the way is enjoyable.  What you're suggesting is actually what we're trying to get away from - forcing people to do things they don't want to do in exchange for a bigger e-peen. 

And the people who do enjoy it, the actual socializers, probably don't want to be forced to consort with the killers and the achievers, let alone have some asshole rub it in their face that he must be more popular because he has the  [Awesome Socializer Leggings].

Which is actually why I say social experience would be a bad thing, because socializers don't want it, and neither do achievers. But if it was there, both would be compelled to go after it, simply because it offered tangible rewards.


Title: Re: The Social Experience
Post by: SuperPopTart on February 07, 2006, 12:27:20 PM
Not that I am ever able to form cohesive thought, let me try in response to this article.

I agree with social experience in that I believe you should get some sort of reward or incentive for an ability to group with five or six people, withstanding them for a period of time longer than really needs to be necessary. I like that this would perhaps merge communities divided by guilds more/less powerful and in times of need for people, enable them to expand their sphere of friends.

Perhaps a good way to dish and divide experience is in terms of ranks. Yes, you would get experience towards your level with each ranking that you achieve. No reward would be monetary and it would not be an actual item, instead it would go something like this:


If you earn 5,000 SEP you graduate to Rank One : Group Finder  (General Grouper but you only attain this after a number of successful groups without excessive death/wipes)
If you earn 15,000 SEP you graduate to Rank Two : Group Leader (Allows you to lead groups only, and find them)
If you earn 25,000 SEP you graduate to Rank Three : Group Manager (This let's you lead groups as well as assemble groups for raids, but does not let you form them)
If you earn 35,000 SEP you graduate to Rank Four : Raid Leader ( This let's you lead, assemble and choose groups, as well as Lead Raids)

If done in an effective way, you could really benefit from Social Experience. This would also allow those that have proven an ability to lead raids/groups and seperate them from the rest of us that just stand there and drool like an idiot.


Title: Re: The Social Experience
Post by: Murgos on February 07, 2006, 01:18:20 PM
And the people who do enjoy it, the actual socializers, probably don't want to be forced to consort with the killers and the achievers, let alone have some asshole rub it in their face that he must be more popular because he has the  [Awesome Socializer Leggings].

The forums broken.  I keep clicking on that and the pop-up window with the stats doesn't appear.  Fix plz.


Title: Re: The Social Experience
Post by: Sky on February 07, 2006, 01:20:33 PM
SPT's system sounds kinda like Planetside. Add in Orbital Strikes ftw.


Title: Re: The Social Experience
Post by: Mesozoic on February 07, 2006, 01:26:24 PM
The forums broken.  I keep clicking on that and the pop-up window with the stats doesn't appear.  Fix plz.

My apologies.  Fixed.


Title: Re: The Social Experience
Post by: Kail on February 08, 2006, 04:38:13 PM
Another point that a few people in this thread have hinted at is the idea that the "massive" part of Massively Multiplayer tends to inhibit social interatction because there are just too many people.  One of the points that Raph brought up in his "Do Levels Suck" bit was that one of the reasons for segregating players by level is that it divides them up into smaller groups and thus encourages social interaction.  In World of Warcraft, if I do Ragefire Chasm today and Wailing Caverns next week, if I'm grouping with the same people every time, we're likely to form some kind of relationship.  You get to know them, they get to know you.  If (as is more typical) there are enough people that I can run instances all week and never run into the same person twice, then I don't form any kind of connection with the other members of my party, because once the group finishes, I'll never see them again.  Segregating content by levels is one way to do encourage people to form groups with the same people (since theoretically you'd all be levelling up at the same rate), but there are other ways, like Paelos' village based community.  But either way, you'd need to tone down that "massive" aspect.


Title: Re: The Social Experience
Post by: HaemishM on February 08, 2006, 04:52:27 PM
I think toning down the massive aspect of MMOG's is probably one of the best steps to make them not suck so badly.

Niche, baby, niche.


Title: Re: The Social Experience
Post by: Strazos on February 08, 2006, 05:07:34 PM
I think toning down the massive aspect of MMOG's is probably one of the best steps to make them not suck so badly.

Niche, baby, niche.

EVE ++

One of the games I enjoyed the most over the years was Gemstone III/IV. Granted, it's a text game, but the pop is pretty small, so you kind of get to know people if you so choose. Though, I will concede that the mechanics of the game produce blocks of downtime, which encourages social interaction between characters.

Too bad the game has an obscene grind, or I would probably still be playing every now and then.


Title: Re: The Social Experience
Post by: Sky on February 09, 2006, 08:22:44 AM
Quote
In World of Warcraft, if I do Ragefire Chasm today and Wailing Caverns next week, if I'm grouping with the same people every time, we're likely to form some kind of relationship.  You get to know them, they get to know you.  If (as is more typical) there are enough people that I can run instances all week and never run into the same person twice, then I don't form any kind of connection with the other members of my party, because once the group finishes, I'll never see them again
This thought is biased by the idea of 'finishing' an area. If there were more equal challenges world-wide, then people who enjoy certain locales would tend to group together because of geographical habits. I could turn your example around and say that if I do Ragefire Chasm today, I'll still be doing it next week and the people I did it with originally will have moved on to Wailing Caverns.

Splitting the community by how much time they have to dedicate to a video game is bizarre. There are better ways.


Title: Re: The Social Experience
Post by: Morfiend on February 09, 2006, 01:59:28 PM
I was promised Haemish-angst.

As they say on the WoW forums 1/10.


Title: Re: The Social Experience
Post by: HaemishM on February 09, 2006, 03:55:55 PM
Not enough cockgobblers for you, eh?


Title: Re: The Social Experience
Post by: voodoolily on February 11, 2006, 05:06:26 PM
First of all, nice article Haemish.

A couple of thoughts/comments that are likely very un-unique but here goes. If I didn't know you all from f13 before I started EQ2, a) I probably never would've started playing in the first place and b) would probably not ever group with anyone except Sauced or perhaps the occassional stranger VERY once in awhile. It's only been a month or so and I'm already getting kinda burned out on the game (yeah, much of it stems from unforeseen annoyances derived from the patch, but that's neither here nor there). EQ2 is my first MMOG experience, and I've said it before, it's just AIM with all my f13 buddies. With something to do between posts. The reason I'm levelling so slowly is because I spend most of my time harvesting and chatting instead of fighting and crafting.

The group dynamic, for me, only works if I'm actually feeling up to coordinating with other people for an hour or so. I don't really do it for teh lewtz (since I hafta share anyway); there really isn't anything in it for me except maybe knocking out a quest or getting a little XP. But that's not the point. If I group it's because I'm feeling like a team player. If I'm not, I don't. Sure, it'd be nice to get a special little ding for doing it, but when I'm not it'd just feel like one more thing I'm lagging on.

I guess my only criticism is that if grouping or excelling at the social aspects of MMOGs becomes a task in itself, then what is sometimes the only fun part of the game will also begin to feel like work.



Title: Re: The Social Experience
Post by: SuperPopTart on February 13, 2006, 07:38:15 AM
First of all, nice article Haemish.

A couple of thoughts/comments that are likely very un-unique but here goes. If I didn't know you all from f13 before I started EQ2, a) I probably never would've started playing in the first place and b) would probably not ever group with anyone except Sauced or perhaps the occassional stranger VERY once in awhile. It's only been a month or so and I'm already getting kinda burned out on the game (yeah, much of it stems from unforeseen annoyances derived from the patch, but that's neither here nor there). EQ2 is my first MMOG experience, and I've said it before, it's just AIM with all my f13 buddies. With something to do between posts. The reason I'm levelling so slowly is because I spend most of my time harvesting and chatting instead of fighting and crafting.

The group dynamic, for me, only works if I'm actually feeling up to coordinating with other people for an hour or so. I don't really do it for teh lewtz (since I hafta share anyway); there really isn't anything in it for me except maybe knocking out a quest or getting a little XP. But that's not the point. If I group it's because I'm feeling like a team player. If I'm not, I don't. Sure, it'd be nice to get a special little ding for doing it, but when I'm not it'd just feel like one more thing I'm lagging on.

I guess my only criticism is that if grouping or excelling at the social aspects of MMOGs becomes a task in itself, then what is sometimes the only fun part of the game will also begin to feel like work.



Voodoolily makes a very good point that honestly didn't cross my mind. We do indeed view experience as "The grind" and thus if we have to work for experience for the social aspect, it can without a doubt be a drawback. The social aspect of a game is important and really you shouldn't have to work for it.   Well.. most shouldn't. Others however..

Entirely.different.story


Title: Re: The Social Experience
Post by: Strazos on February 13, 2006, 10:11:20 AM
Just a thought...but perhaps most of us here are too experienced and jaded to really experience the "social aspects" of MMOs now.

I remember when I first got into EQ. It was fun, grouping with random people was (mostly) fun. I kind of got to know people as I went from one hunting ground to the next as I rose through the ranks.

It just seems, at least for me, the more I've played over the years, the less inclined I am to group with random people. It was fine for me in EQ, but is every other MMO I've been in I've loathed grouping with other people.

Group in WoW? Ugh, only when I need to do an instance, and then the people talked as little as possible usually. EQ2? I did, because so many quests and areas required it; I hated it.

Grouping? With random people? Years ago I would have been fine with it, but now? Heh, fuck that.

just throwing it out there.


Title: Re: The Social Experience
Post by: Murgos on February 13, 2006, 12:37:50 PM
In the early days I was FAR more trusting that the random person I was accepting a group invite from wasn't a complete asshat.  My eternal optimism told me that most of the people in most of the groups I joined would be mostly ok.

HAHAHAHAHA

That's why I don't join random pick-up groups anymore.


Title: Re: The Social Experience
Post by: shiznitz on February 13, 2006, 01:05:20 PM
I join and often assemble pick-up groups all the time in EQ2. 90% of the time it works out just fine. The death penalty is so small now, no one cares if the group wipes on a bad pull - even though a bad pull is hard to do in EQ2 unless you grab an epic mob by mistake.


Title: Re: The Social Experience
Post by: HaemishM on February 13, 2006, 01:39:46 PM
Yeah, but the smaller the population (EQ2), the less chance of asshattery.


Title: Re: The Social Experience
Post by: WayAbvPar on February 13, 2006, 01:42:39 PM
Yeah, but the smaller the population (EQ2), the less chance of asshattery.

I don't know- it could be argued that the population self-selects for asshats by virtue of the game itself...


Title: Re: The Social Experience
Post by: Fargull on February 20, 2006, 02:14:40 PM
As mentioned, I really like how Shadowbane handled the group.  I am torn about the group dynamics though, for the most part they seem to isolate content instead of open it up.  As someone mentioned, and I guess was not playing at the time it was true, UO had a system where in you learned from those you were near.  Of course, this could greif as much as help and was before the primitive group interface was implemented.  I would like to see a spiderweb effect that would link players in close proximity for contributions they are making, either questing or not in an area.  If the leaching had a zero impact on what a solo person could normally gather.

Thus, if you had 10 players out fighting the newb minions, if solo, a character would net 80xp, but when surrounded by those 9 other players that mob would net 98xp.  Or an enhanced skill up... and with the same locking of the mob as is currently the case for item/treasure foozle gain.

A grouping interface would only be needed if healing, threat, chaining could be setup.  And I still don't know why no one has implemented advanced features in it.. like selecting the main warrior and having all assists automatically go to the primary that warrior is fighting.  Or having a notice pop up on the group leader's window notifying them when someone is out of range, or loss of connection.

I am not sure making the games smaller niche's is needed, I think geography of the map needs to be exponentially increased.  It should involve a campaign to go from one side to the other.  I do have explorer leanings though...


Title: Re: The Social Experience
Post by: heck on February 28, 2006, 04:24:30 PM
randomly clicking on any random idiot within range and inviting them, a la Guild Wars PVP lobbies, just to get the experience points

Bingo.  I agree that there need to be new models of experience gaining in mmogs, but it seems like there are few non-exploitable ways to do it. 

I'd argue that social efforts already pay off in mmogs, because being cool and helping people out makes it more likely that you will game regularly with cool people who will help you out.  The extra experience gained is because of the fact that you will always have a good group to run with.  The good group results in better items, and often your friends are more inclined to give you something they loot if you need it, just as you are the type to give things to people when they need it.  Karma in mmogs is real stuff!