Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The Selfish Game


One of the first posts I made on this blog was about how I thought WoW made people selfish. This made me feel validated, but also sparked another thought in my head based on the following quote.

"Devs, just like we do, see excellent MMO communities as those that are kind to each other, offering helpful advice and willing to lend a hand in game without begging and/or bribery. The question is how should the devs change the game so that it encourages our best behavior even while it's tempting us to expand our worst?"

The two options offered are A. Making the game so difficult that teamwork is required, and B. Giving better rewards for being in a group.

Both of which have examples in the MMORPG's of today. WoW chose B, as I'm sure we all are aware. A is sort of in effect, in that end game requires groups but levelling does not.

But why, as gamers, are we so concerned with the solo-ability of the content in a MMO? I think this is a major part of the problem, in a way. Not that being able to solo is a bad thing, but making it the most effective and worthwhile option contributes to this selfish behavior. Of course, then this option falls under A, making the game so difficult that you can't solo.

What about EVE Online? They have created a game where corporations are almost necessary to accomplish things, and yet, most of the personal advancement comes from research you do on your own time. Yet, the best way to use those skills is to use them to assist a corporation.

Or A Tale in the Desert. The model there requires you to do things for yourself in order to advance, and most of the work is done by yourself. Yet, you have a community willing to work together towards communal advancement. Tobold has a post on that phenomenon.

What attracts that kind of community? Is it the game that creates it? Is it luck? The Developers? I'm curious what people's opinions are.

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