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Author Topic: A MAISE of Twisty Little Passages: Revisited  (Read 16600 times)
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on: March 02, 2008, 02:28:39 AM

A MAISE of Twisty Little Passages: Revisited


At the beginning of October, 2005, f13 published an article by Dave Rickey [who also has a new blog!] - as the banner above says - about player types in MMOGs and the way players play these games. In my opinion, despite the badgers in the forums (and mushrooms and snakes), it's a good time to revisit it simply because the genre has taken exactly zero steps forward since then. But that's not what I want you to discuss since I'm mostly crazy, rather, the article, reproduced in its entirety, sans images (error: could not find them). Read on for the meat.

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Furiously
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WWW
Reply #1 on: March 02, 2008, 11:15:52 AM

I think you are missing one important part/group.

The people that just want to ruin other people's enjoyment.

Slyfeind
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Reply #2 on: March 02, 2008, 12:44:04 PM

I think you are missing one important part/group.

The people that just want to ruin other people's enjoyment.

i.e. Mastery.

"Role playing in an MMO is more like an open orchestra with no conductor, anyone of any skill level can walk in at any time, and everyone brings their own instrument and plays whatever song they want.  Then toss PvP into the mix and things REALLY get ugly!" -Count Nerfedalot
MahrinSkel
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When she crossed over, she was just a ship. But when she came back... she was bullshit!


Reply #3 on: March 02, 2008, 02:01:12 PM

I did talk about "grief" as something we try to design against, and how it stemmed from a motivation to impose control onto other people.  That's not neccessarily a negative impulse, but it can be.  Goonswarm in Eve is a good example of how the griefers can be tamed and made essentially not much different than any other ambitious powerbloc.  This is also a 3 year old theory, I've got ideas on how to extend and detail it now.

--Dave

--Jello Biafra: "If evolution is outlawed, only outlaws will evolve."
rk47
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Reply #4 on: March 02, 2008, 08:15:22 PM

Can exploration be considered as achievement?  Those two are pretty much alike. Except the part where 'people look to you as the standard'

Colonel Sanders is back in my wallet
MahrinSkel
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When she crossed over, she was just a ship. But when she came back... she was bullshit!


Reply #5 on: March 02, 2008, 09:40:23 PM

There can be a bit of overlap, where someone is trying to be the first to beat some particularly hard encounter (high end raiding, for example).  But you get overlap everywhere, everyone uses whatever means seem most effective for reaching their goals in accordance with their motivations.  Even griefers like to talk to each other and have epeen contests, they just use a different language and yardstick.

--Dave

--Jello Biafra: "If evolution is outlawed, only outlaws will evolve."
bhodi
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Reply #6 on: March 03, 2008, 09:42:45 AM

It's still a wonderful article. Thanks for that.

This really reminds me of some great sci-fi book I pick up, read, and when I look at the publishing date, it was written before I was born.

Some things never change and remain relevant forever.
WindupAtheist
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Badicalthon


Reply #7 on: March 05, 2008, 02:48:35 PM

Some things never change and remain irrelevant forever.

FIFY.

LOL @ anything that includes Bartle references.

Sorry to be a dick.  Not really.  But kind of.

"You're just a dick who quotes himself in his sig."  --  Schild
"Yeah, it's pretty awesome."  --  Me
MahrinSkel
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When she crossed over, she was just a ship. But when she came back... she was bullshit!


Reply #8 on: March 05, 2008, 05:35:59 PM

LOL @ anything that includes Bartle references.

Sorry to be a dick.  Not really.  But kind of.
Trying to propose a theory of player behaviours without acknowledging (even for the purpose of refutation) the dominant theory, would defeat the purpose.  Bartle's theory was a "first cut", if you'd actually read the article carefully you'd have noticed that I mentioned it only to point out the logical flaws.  My own theory is based much more on Nick Yee's work (which is focused on much more rigorous research), and is in part a "theory about theories", a framework for judging what would constitute a valid theory of player behavior and game design.  Bartle's dichotomies don't meet the test, and that section of the article is mostly an explanation of why.

--Dave

--Jello Biafra: "If evolution is outlawed, only outlaws will evolve."
Hoax
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l33t kiddie


Reply #9 on: March 05, 2008, 07:15:34 PM

I don't think I get Nick Yee's questionaires anymore, they were tied to my old work email account...

A nation consists of its laws. A nation does not consist of its situation at a given time. If an individual's morals are situational, then that individual is without morals. If a nation's laws are situational, that nation has no laws, and soon isn't a nation.
-William Gibson
MahrinSkel
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Reply #10 on: March 05, 2008, 08:55:21 PM

Nick Yee's Daedalus Project.  Sign up to participate in the studies on this page.

--Dave

--Jello Biafra: "If evolution is outlawed, only outlaws will evolve."
WindupAtheist
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Reply #11 on: March 06, 2008, 12:14:44 AM

I think Bartle and Nick Yee put together wouldn't know fun if it bit them on the ass.  I think this entire line of thought is basically just mental masturbation.  I think I could come up with a system to describe how people like to Cyber one another, Own monsters, Catass, and Kill each other (COCK) and it would mean about as much to the actual results of the industry as Bartle ever did.  Namely nothing.  I could take half a page to say "some people like to do more than one thing" just to sound extra smart too.

Again, sorry.  Kinda.

"You're just a dick who quotes himself in his sig."  --  Schild
"Yeah, it's pretty awesome."  --  Me
schild
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Reply #12 on: March 06, 2008, 12:22:39 AM

WUA, you can hate them (hell, I myself do), but fact of the matter is this:

The people circle jerking around the virtual world demographics and other "un-fun" bullshit are the ones making our MMOGs for some time to come. From personal experience, I can flat out tell you that nothing short of a massive blacklisting of anyone and everyone currently involved with MMOGs will fix the landscape within the next five years. Enjoy WoW, UO, and Eve. I assure you that they were accidents. These people (including the ones funding them) wish nothing more than to see their very boring dreams become very boring fake worlds. Realities. Whatever. Boring.

I had something funny to say here about "MMOGs being Gaming's Fat Chick" and correlating it to necessary evils and all of that, but I can't be bothered to care. Needless to say, uphill battle.

As always - someone prove me wrong. Please. Fuck. I want some fun online gaming that doesn't involving guns or building a wall around my city while I turtle.

P.S. Yes, this genre has pissed me off something fierce. For the love of all that is unholy, someone fucking fix it.
« Last Edit: March 06, 2008, 12:27:01 AM by schild »
MahrinSkel
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Reply #13 on: March 06, 2008, 12:35:27 AM

WUA, I certainly get your point, it's very easy for any attempt to build a theory of online game design to turn into pure pseudo-intellectual porn.  You don't even want to see some of the crap I considered and tossed out as being easily falsified, undisprovable, or simply not relevant to any applied craft of game design.  I settled on this one not because it was true, but because it undeniably contained elements of truth.

--Dave

--Jello Biafra: "If evolution is outlawed, only outlaws will evolve."
Velorath
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Reply #14 on: March 06, 2008, 04:15:48 AM

I had something funny to say here about "MMOGs being Gaming's Fat Chick" and correlating it to necessary evils and all of that, but I can't be bothered to care. Needless to say, uphill battle.

As always - someone prove me wrong. Please. Fuck. I want some fun online gaming that doesn't involving guns or building a wall around my city while I turtle.

P.S. Yes, this genre has pissed me off something fierce. For the love of all that is unholy, someone fucking fix it.

At this point, I'd rather have NWN or Next Gen Diablo done right, rather than MMO's done right.  I think MMO's are for the most part inherently crap regardless of who designs them, simply for the fact that they're based on the clearly flawed idea that playing a game with a few hundred complete strangers around somehow enhances the experience.  The fact that one of the first things most of us here seem to do when playing an MMO is switch off general chat, and the prominence of instances these days should have us reevaluating why we even give a shit about the genre in the first place.
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Reply #15 on: March 10, 2008, 05:22:46 AM

I had something funny to say here about "MMOGs being Gaming's Fat Chick" and correlating it to necessary evils and all of that, but I can't be bothered to care. Needless to say, uphill battle.

As always - someone prove me wrong. Please. Fuck. I want some fun online gaming that doesn't involving guns or building a wall around my city while I turtle.

P.S. Yes, this genre has pissed me off something fierce. For the love of all that is unholy, someone fucking fix it.

At this point, I'd rather have NWN or Next Gen Diablo done right, rather than MMO's done right.  I think MMO's are for the most part inherently crap regardless of who designs them, simply for the fact that they're based on the clearly flawed idea that playing a game with a few hundred complete strangers around somehow enhances the experience.  The fact that one of the first things most of us here seem to do when playing an MMO is switch off general chat, and the prominence of instances these days should have us reevaluating why we even give a shit about the genre in the first place.
I like playing games online that involve tons of random people since I enjoy the well, randomness of it. People will undoubtedly piss me off as I play but uh, that's pretty much life I guess.

It's sort of the same reason I play CoD4 on big servers (32+ players). Yeah, it's a spam fest and you get hit by walls of lead at random intervals but the action is great and you can sort of get lost in the crowd.

"The world is populated in the main by people who should not exist." - George Bernard Shaw
rk47
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Reply #16 on: March 10, 2008, 09:19:25 PM

i despise pointless randomness and would rather prefer an online society, where ppl know their place and asshats get punished by a player organized system. Something like an array of player towns, having access to their own resources, militias and domain. It makes grind investment seems more worthwhile without making me think 'Why am I doing this? Why am I trying so hard to DING?'

I know a lot of ppl are lone wolves out there, I've been one too just exploring stuff in WOW but after a while there's a cap of stuff you can explore by yourself and it just gets boring after that. Grouping in 5 with random ppl sucks, so I had to look for guild. But being lone wolf to 60 makes it so hard to find ppl you can trust and count on. Even guilds think twice of recruiting a complete stranger with loot ninjas etc.

NWN Permanent World sounds cool, I never tried one myself. But I always liked the idea there's a DM managing things on the background not just content packs waiting to be unlocked by players.

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Reply #17 on: March 11, 2008, 04:24:08 PM

NWN Permanent World sounds cool, I never tried one myself. But I always liked the idea there's a DM managing things on the background not just content packs waiting to be unlocked by players.

I kicked around on a few and they were enjoyable, but sadly they had the same problem other persistant games do for me: my available time is not consistent.
If you can play regularly, you can at least keep up with news, events, happenings, and the like, but if you cannot keep some minimum amount of regular playtime, the persistence goes from being being a positive to a negative especially in a very fluid environment  i.e. logging into SB after two weeks away and finding your city destroyed, or all your friends 15 levels above you, or a new update released and your character has changed in power/strength/ability compared to the gameworld, or your coin has devalued due to inflation, etc, etc.

A gameworld being up 24/7 when you can only play 5-10 hours a week actually seems to do more harm them good for your personal experience if you can't find a like minded group of folks with similar time strictures.  Or even if you play more hours per week, if you can't play for real world reasons for two weeks when you get back there will be differences.  Persistence, thou art a double edged blade...

So, how to take advantage of the benefits of large scale multiplayer and persistence while limiting the negative fallout of such?

One way i love to see attempted to mitigate some of this would be some sort of time managed servers.  Either a cap of hours per character per week, or even a server that is only available certain hours of the day.  For example, have an "east coast prime time" server which is only available 7pm - Midnight EST.
Don't know how many other people would like this concept, but i think it would have some appeal as it would self select for lower populations, but those player would already have more commonalities than full randomness grants.  Plus, i think you could do more overall world state changes since it's easier to manage the impact of them on the players.  Just a thought.

(Yeah i know it's not cost effective to have a server sitting idle for the other 19 hours a day; I'm assuming if this is doable you would be able to utilize servers in a rolling fashion i.e. the 7p-12 EST server then becomes available for play 7pm - 12 Hawian time hours, and again 7p - 12 china time, etc.

"..but I'm by no means normal." - Schild
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Reply #18 on: March 11, 2008, 04:45:29 PM

So, how to take advantage of the benefits of large scale multiplayer and persistence while limiting the negative fallout of such?

One way i love to see attempted to mitigate some of this would be some sort of time managed servers.  Either a cap of hours per character per week, or even a server that is only available certain hours of the day.  For example, have an "east coast prime time" server which is only available 7pm - Midnight EST.
Don't know how many other people would like this concept, but i think it would have some appeal as it would self select for lower populations, but those player would already have more commonalities than full randomness grants.  Plus, i think you could do more overall world state changes since it's easier to manage the impact of them on the players.  Just a thought.

(Yeah i know it's not cost effective to have a server sitting idle for the other 19 hours a day; I'm assuming if this is doable you would be able to utilize servers in a rolling fashion i.e. the 7p-12 EST server then becomes available for play 7pm - 12 Hawian time hours, and again 7p - 12 china time, etc.

I don't think a lot of people would buy a game that limited how much time they could play.  I can't even begin to imagine how pissed off people would get anytime another player in the group has to go afk, costing eveyone precious minutes of game time.  Besides that, over time you'd still end up with the same problems.
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Reply #19 on: March 11, 2008, 06:23:53 PM

I don't think a lot of people would buy a game that limited how much time they could play.  I can't even begin to imagine how pissed off people would get anytime another player in the group has to go afk, costing eveyone precious minutes of game time.  Besides that, over time you'd still end up with the same problems.

Depends on the target audience and if it's optional.  I was envisioning it being just another type of server choice like Pve, Pvp, Rp, hardcore, time limited etc.  Opt in, not a requirement.  Again, I don't know if it would work, but i'd very curious to see how it would play out and it's affect on things like farming, raiding, economy, guild meta game and the like.  Yes over time you'd still see the same effects as an unbound server, but managing time is the whole point.  If it extends the inveitable by 6 months thats probably the length of an average sub anyway...

Which begs the question, what do you suppose the average length of play session is across all players in a game like Wow?  1 hour? 2? 5?

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Reply #20 on: March 11, 2008, 08:52:19 PM


Which begs the question, what do you suppose the average length of play session is across all players in a game like Wow?  1 hour? 2? 5?

That's the big disconnect in Wow. For people like me, that actually enjoy the leveling a questing aspect of the game - about 1 to 2 hours. For everyone else who is level 70 and raiding, about 5 to 7 hours. And never the two shall meet.

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rk47
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Reply #21 on: March 11, 2008, 11:14:05 PM

I think that's the main issue with gaming time yeah. I guess if you have not much time I would recommend against going into 'somewhat persistent' settings of MMO you should go for casual-friendly guilds or FPS games for your fix of competition/cooperation instead.

It's not really the gameworld fault it sped up ahead of you. Just one of the downsides of 'constantly active' world.

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Velorath
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Reply #22 on: March 12, 2008, 03:11:51 AM

Which begs the question, what do you suppose the average length of play session is across all players in a game like Wow?  1 hour? 2? 5?

Hard to say.  The problem is it's not always consistant.  Maybe you get pretty busy for a couple weeks straight, but then you've got a day off where you feel like playing for 5 hours straight.  In that instance, you'd have to be able to store up hours.
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