Thursday, March 6, 2008

Unnecessary Evil

Y'know Mego said something about just wanting to play games with his buddies, and not wanting to be stuck hanging around with everybody else's bad-mouthed thirteen year old kids.

And besides making me wonder if I have a special dispensation or something that allows me to be bad mouthed and not offend anybody just because I'm a little older than thirteen, like mebbe I purchased an Indulgence for it, back in the olden days, on one of the many occasions where I got drunk with a band of singing pirates and narrowly avoided getting a tattoo and losing a few teeth to scurvy, or something, I dunno, but whatever, besides that, it made me think about a bunch of other stuff.

First off, I get that same feeling as him all the time, I mean, that's something that just about every sentient being prolly feels every once in a while, wondering why these games aren't entirely instanced and "by invite only," or something.

Oh sure, we know the guys who make games think that one of their retention mechanisms is the "friends we make in these games," because of the way we always fill out that exit survey, which is a total lie, y'know, its just the lie we pick that makes us look the best from the selection of lies they've provided, but besides that business type stuff that has nothing to do with our fun, we gotta wonder why they always make these game suck with over-crowding and shit, 'cause it would be so much better for us if it wasn't like that, right?

"The only reason I don't quit this game is all the friends I've made!"


"stfu nube!"

There's more than one argument to that, too, 'cause an area that's supposed to be "desolate" or something shouldn't look like a Mardi Gras Parade, crammed with people in glowing purple shoulderpads doing grabass emotes to each other.

But I also know that if I give in to that feeling, then I'll sorta isolate myself, and only hang out with my buddies, and things will stagnate.

Much like being trapped in a tupperware container with no holes punched in the lid.

Well, if you were on the side of the Bacteria, insteada the Life Destroying Pursuit of Freshness and Preservatives, or whatever, at least.

Anyways we all know that New Blood is a good thing, that's an easy one, if I was some kinda isolationist I woulda missed out on meeting a lot of awesome people.

Like Mego, for instance.

I woulda also missed out on meeting a lot the idiots that make you lose your faith in humanity, so there is a delicate balance that needs to be struck there, heh, y'know, you need to find a diamond while wading through the shit every once or while or you'll think there aren't any diamonds in the shit at all.

But that's just the price you gotta pay for finding diamonds.

And the diamonds wouldn't seem that great if they were mixed into a big pile of diamonds, insteada a big pile of shit, y'know?

So there's that, too.

And whatever the case, these games we play could do a lot more toward providing structures and guides that'd give everybody roles that suited them and establish relationships between 'em that put everybody into teams within a larger team and gave them all a sense of community, insteada having everybody mostly just get in each other's way and annoy each other all the time.

Or insteada just giving up without even trying to do that.

Well, without even trying to do that besides the half-assed merchant-like "trade services" way they make people "dependent" on other people and "forced grouping" and crafting that requires mats from other kinds of characters and shit like that.

I mean, seriously, there's so many potentially fun things that haven't even really been tried at all yet with that kinda stuff.

Like, for a simple example, you know how guys have spoiler sites with maps and stuff, and everybody's all like, I need it, but I don't like that I need it, 'cause it ain't ideal.

And instead having the spoiler guys being looked at like "villains" that "spoil" the game, there could be a division of the Wizard's Tower that was the Cartography and Exploration and Historical Department, where you could go to look things up and get hints from those guys.

And in that way you'd sorta incorporate their interests into the game.

'Cause the guys who figure that stuff out really aren't bad guys, they're actually Explorers that wanna share the stuff they figured out and help other players out, y'know?

Why force them into some kinda Underground Out-of-Game Black Market of information when you could bring them into the fold and strengthen the game in all sorts of ways?

Doesn't make any sense ahaha.

Yah, you'd have to design the game around something like that from the beginning, prolly, I dunno its something you could just "tack on" to an existing level treadmill whack-a-mole game, I mean, I dunno, mebbe you could.

I'm not talking about anything crazy here, I've seen this done already, even going all the way back to UO and EQ, there's was a lot of things like this, but for lots of different reasons, it fell apart.

In EQ, it was partly crowding, and partly the way that terrain, once conquered by the Big Guys, lost all its potential to drive the Little Guys to band together through Adversity.

And there was other reasons it broke down, too.

But those are all things that are fixable through better designs.

Another thing that Mego's thing made me think of was something that I heard Raph talk about once, the way that some folks are wandering from game to game, looking for a home.

And that makes me think about the way that a game really needs to provide whatever it takes to lock in the folks that make a game a home for a group and retain those people at all costs, so that the more "exploratory" friends have a place that they can always go back to and knock on the door of a mansion and find a familiar face.

That has to do with that colonization stuff, again, crafting and ownership or whatever, I think that's really the strength that EQ2 has that holds it together.

There's a lot more to that subject but I think that if I kept going I'd offend somebody I like 'cause my current understanding of it is kinda vulgar and rough around the edges so I think I better just stop right here heh.

Anyways, its kinda funny how all the little complaints and broken things we all shrug at and put up with as a "necessary evil" are actually where all the fun stuff to think about is ahaha.

1 comment:

Dirk said...

I was probably in an extra bad mood when I wrote that because I had been spending a lot of time doing Alterac Valley in WoW and the chat in there is a like a 198 proof distillation of shit that annoys me.

I just need to take a break from that.