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 Jun 23, 2004 - 10:14 AM - by Michael
* The Laws of MMORPG's

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PC Games/Hardware/Microsoft
F13 has an attempt to update the Laws of Online Gaming, based on their perceptions of how the MMORPG arena has played out.

Personally, I think calling them "RPG" at all is a bit misleading these days - few people, if any, actually roleplay in them after all. And then there's a few things they say that just aren't true.

Instances in the extended section:

Macroing, botting, and automation No matter what you do, someone is going to automate the process of playing your world. There?s a very simple fix for this. Dump the treadmill, dump the numbers, and make gameplay fun. The only reason people bot is to remove the tedium. If the gameplay, story, and content are engaging, players will then stop botting to enjoy the game itself.
Actually, botting isn't JUST to remove the tedium - because downtime is inherently needed in an MMO. If you don't have downtime (or you scale it down so far that people can just keep running indefinitely) you create games like the release sort of Asheron's Call 2, wherein people blow through what's there way too fast. Downtime is important to the risk/reward pavlovian cycle, because it lets people savor their victories. Botting is sometimes a tool to remove tedium, if the game's got too much of it. It can also be seen (by casual gamers who have day jobs) as a way to try to even the odds between them, and the power gamer who plays for 18 hours a day from his mom's basement. Sure, they can't be on the computer all day playing, but the computer can play for them - it won't make them QUITE as good as the power gamers, but they won't fall behind quite as fast. Then there are those who bot for $$$. These are the guys who have 5+ accounts, a bunch of slow, underpowered machines running on minimal graphical settings for the pure purpose of acquiring loot or material that they then convert in some way to the game's currency. These botters then sell the currency on sites like this one. Why is that bad? Mostly, because it drives up prices in the game for the non-botters. People are now willing to pay more for a given item, who have spent $$$ to get this money. Meanwhile, the rest of the people see the price rise, and then have to acquire more $$$, which means more farming tedium... get the picture yet? Even if the "treadmill" and numbers were completely killed, short of eliminating the monetary system, you won't stop botters like this from trying to ply their trade.
Pleasing your players Despite your best intentions, any change will be looked upon as a bad change to a large percentage of your players. Even those who forget they asked for it to begin with. No, changes only piss off players when they change the way they play the game in a negative way, I.E. Nerfing. Don?t nerf, especially when someone blows through the game in 3 days ? someone will, and you can choose to ignore that guy, because he poses no threat to you in the first place. He?s just some asshole who had nothing better to do than tear through a game that you poured your blood, sweat, and tears into for the better part of 2-4 years.
Nope. Nerfing can be an entirely good thing - as long as you don't overdo it. If a particular class is being played way too many people, because you screwed up and it's overpowered, the solution may indeed be to scale back the power of that class. The trick is to do it without making the class underpowered. This can, however, lead to players declaring it is underpowered based on its previous power. The only solution for that, is to just let them get over it. Alternatively, you've created a "Monty Haul" situation again, which isn't good.

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