Ragged Clown

It's just a shadow you're seeing that he's chasing…


My Nightmare MMO

Julio has a list of all the features that would be in his dream MMO.My list would be very similar but with the word ‘not’ carefully inserted into most of the sentences.

But, then again, I haven’t played an online game for a long time and I haven’t really enjoyed one since Ultima Online so it probably does not matter what I think.

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9 responses to My Nightmare MMO

Julio Santos May 15, 2006

Pfft, like I believe you. From that list below, you disagree with most? Really? Which do you agree with?

Lazy Patching
No Monthly Fees
Charge for Expansions
No downtime
Sometimes I just want to watch
Have real content variety
Don’t make me walk everywhere
No ads
Let people talk
Let me solo when I want to solo
Let my characters share stuff

kevin May 16, 2006

No shards – whatever, maybe
Lazy patching – yeah, sure
No monthly fee – I think I would feel more manipulated with a revenue from expansions model.
No downtime – and peace and goodwill to all men
Sometimes I just want to watch – I’ll take one of those
Have real content variety – and peace and goodwill…

Don’t make me walk anywhere – Some of my fondest memories from UO & EQ involved long and dangerous walks. If you take away the sense of space, you end up with a game with no sense of space. SWG was like getting a job as a commuter. I think UO had the balance right with mark/recall for higher level characters.

No ads – see monthly fees.

Let people talk – one of the finest features of EQ was the animosity between races. Translation should be a skill. A very rare and difficult skill.

Let me solo – sure. this bothered me too in EQ. There should be plenty to do when solo but the games should be mostly about teaming up. I preferred the spontaneous and dynamic grouping of UO to the enforced and rigid grouping of EQ.

Let my characters share stuff – I don’t understand where you are getting these extra characters from πŸ˜‰

Julio Santos May 16, 2006


> and peace and goodwill to all men

I think you may have misunderstood the essence of the blog entry. It was not about “things that would be really cool to have, if this was an ideal world”.

This list is based on Guild Wars features, and Guild Wars exists (really πŸ™‚

I agree with you, that UO (pre-nerf) is probably one of the best games ever. Games in general have come a long way since then though.

I notice however, that from my original list of 10 lessons other games should learn from Guild Wars, your score is:

Maybe/Not sure: 4
Great if it were possible: 2 (and it is possible, which was my point)
Sure: 3
No: 1

1 of 10 – That was an interesting use of the word “most” πŸ™‚

kevin May 16, 2006

I count 5 ‘whatever’s, 5 ‘no’s and one ‘HELL NO’ and that last one is so obviously
wrong that I dismissed the rest of your list out of hand πŸ˜‰

Rob Heiser July 20, 2006

c’mon Kevin — are you being contradictory just for the sake of it? I don’t think there’s anything controversial in most of that list. I happen to agree about walking through a world and maintaining a sense of space. I don’t see how you reconcile that with a “whatever” on the “no shards” requirement. What I really want to see is a list of “must haves” related to game mechanics.

Kevin July 20, 2006

‘shards’ was an optimization because they couldn’t fit everyone on one server. So was ‘zones’. Of course they shouldn’t have shards or zones. They should never have had a 640k memory limit either. I don’t believe people should put bugs in their code either.

On the substantive issues I am mostly opposed.

No Monthly Fees – oppose
Charge for Expansions – oppose
Sometimes I just want to watch
DonÒ€ℒt make me walk everywhere – I already commented. UO got this right.
Let people talk – oppose
Let me solo when I want to solo – sometimes. Some things should require cooperation though
Let my characters share stuff – Hell no! Shouldn’t allow multiple characters.

Rob Heiser July 21, 2006

I missed the “Let People Talk” entry, which I also agree with you on.

Monthly Fee vs. Expansion is orthogonal to what I care about. I think taking away monthly fees and charging for expansions may be a better strategy for the developers, though.

The sentences starting with “Let” are really saying “Allow” or “Don’t right code that restricts this”, which is what a large part of our discussion was after the talk at PARC. I’d like to see the developers “feature” their way out of problems with the game, rather than restrict. A good example would be with the “Let people talk” requirement. I think the “translator” skill is a fine compromise. “Let me solo” works if there are also things to do that are too difficult to do solo.

Why not multiple characters? Why not (besides technical issues such as server capacity) let people control a small army? Just make it difficult to do.

The point being; I don’t think it’s an either-or situation with your and Julio’s dream MMO.

Kevin July 21, 2006

On “Let people talk”, I believe Julio and I disagree heartily.

The second M in MMORPG is Multi-player. Most of the games force you to interact with other players to get the resources you need. If you allow multiple characters, it allows players to create a mule character to bake bread/chop wood/etc which removes the requirement to interact with other players. It becomes MSORPG.

On the Let/Allow deal, I am with you and have another blog in process.

Rob Heiser July 21, 2006

Did I really use “right” when I meant “write”?

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