MMOs Need More Bastards

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The problem with allowing the dickheads to run rampant, is that newbies willing to try the game get ganked/cheated/screwed etc. So they are likely to leave. The non-dickheads and other newbies become increasingly harassed, since they are the only available victims, so they are likely to leave.

Then the dickheads can only prey on each other, which means they may actually lose the fight, as they are not fighting newbies. So they leave.

Dead world.

Business failure.

I don't go online to my favourite MMO to balance in a web of carefuly crafted alliances, and use my cunning to set various groups at each other's throats JUST ENOUGH to raise the price of my crafted healing gimcracks. You can do that if you like. But doesn't sound like much fun for my limited leisure time. Given the numbers in these theme-park MMOs as compared to cut-throat worlds like EVE, I have some agreement.

I think the real world has enough dickheads for me. It's nice to escape to a world for a bit each day where all they can do is mouth-off, and even then, I've got /ignore

I hear you,WOW being a perfect example of how 'safe' things really are (no xp loss, keep all your items etc). EVE on the other hand has safe guards but not to the baby coddling extremes WOW has. Meaning that there are CONSEQUENCES for mistakes, not 20g for a repair bill...so cheap.

Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmeh.

As long as everyone keeps mentioning Eve Online, it's worth noting that its player-based economy also allows players to do things like engage in thefts of goods worth $45,000 real-world dollars.

http://www.g4tv.com/thefeed/blog/post/707481/huge-eve-online-theft-amazes-45000-worth-of-in-game-cash-looted/

Part of me thinks that's sort of neat, I'll admit, but I think the weight of my opinion comes down on the side of "Holy shit."

Valuing freedom chiefly as an ability to do harm to other player characters without their consenting to PvP activities seems extremely myopic to me, at best. I'd much rather that games embrace player freedom in enabling players to create content that expands the bank of options available to other players, much like City of Heroes started doing with its "Architect" expansion.

When PvP or other antisocial acts (theft etc.) are something players don't have the option not to consent to and the norm, there's a real danger of "griefing" becoming an art form, as it's likely to be the highest-profit activity available to players- and having divested themselves of responsibility, there's little incentive for the designers to re-balance things so the same tactics won't always succeed. You can sneer about people who claim about "cheap" tactics all you want, but they aren't always wrong to complain.

I don't necessarily object to there being other experiences available like UO at its genesis, but I wouldn't just prefer that not be the norm, I think I would fight fairly hard against it if I thought there was any real chance of it becoming a reality.

I think that the only game that's gotten very close to this is Age of Conan. I know that many people will scream "EVE" out loud, but to me, EVE is boring and I played it for 3 months.

Simply put, I like to see fully bodied characters, not just staring at spaceships all day and no, a simple, little character portrait won't do for me. I know that they're implementing their Incarnia expansion and that's a step in the right direction, but that sound more like an afterthought than a main feature of the game.

Now, for Age of Conan, say what you want about Funcom and that the game won't properly run at 60 fps on your über gaming system, I simply haven't played a game like this in my life. I started playing right when they opened up their F2P floodgates and almost at the same time, they launched their Blood & Glory server, I started there with a Priest of Mitra.

To some, this may have been a huge mistake as it is widely known that it's one of the weakest classes, but I took it as a challenge. I loved that I had to take care of my environments for gankers, even if it was very frustrating at first, it made the game really interesting, even if I died a lot. I needed to be on the lookout for anything suspicious and make friends whenever I could, heck, the only way I could survive was by banding together with somebody else and even then, we all had to be on the lookout.

Sadly, I don't play it any longer, as I don't have the money to keep playing (if you want a decent character, you need to subscribe).

I can get into a more role-playing atmosphere in those situations sometimes... but you're very wrong when you said a vocal minority spoke out to change things. It was a majority.

Minority if you include only the long-time "hardcore" veterans but we've seen with every community how good they are at improving a game they think is perfect and their tendency to have a, "fuck you if you disagree faggot" mentality.

I do agree that some added sense of danger could be fun... but you need some type of system so that corpse camping and constant griefers can be avoided. Maybe like giving the player a full minute of invulnerability from PvP attacks to prevent corpse camping on a revive...

But during my trial time in WoW my fondest memory was when I logged into the starting horde area and some lvl 70 alliance griefer was slaying the 30-some low level players like flies. Eventually after so many respawns from the adjacent graveyard he got low on health (some lvl 40/50-some happened by and helped as well) and bailed. A massive swarm of the 30-some tiny level players chased him across the wasteland... eventually catching up and delivering sweet karma to the last inches of the rogue's health bar...

Then everyone danced for like 2 minutes on the guy's corpse celebrating the victory.

Good times...

Azhrarn-101:

keideki:
If you want a world like that play Eve online. Although I would be interested in a fantasy MMO with the same kind of system.

I would recommend keeping an eye on "World of Darkness" then, as it's CCP first venture towards Fantasy. An MMO based (for now) on the White Wolf "Vampire" Pen and Paper RPGs, with the option to add the rest of the White Wolf supplements (Hunter, Mage, etc.)
A very similar system to EVE with meta-game politics, territory control and all that. As well as EVE's real-time skill training system, so no classes as such and just skills to train.
Not sure on the economic side of things, as CCP hasn't been that forthcoming with details about the game at this time. But it is coming, not to mention that it'll look gorgeous using the Incarna Engine that powers EVE's Walking in Stations component.

Yeah, I've been following the news on that one. Vampire the Masquerade however is set in modern times, so rather than traditional fantasy, its modern fantasy. I was thinking more along the lines of what Ultima online was like, like the article said. More of a medieval setting.

Been debating against this theory for more than a decade now. MMOs need more elements to prevent stagnation, simply 'you can lose everything you have in the game at any second' or 'if they beat us to him we don't get another chance for a week, in which case they'll probably beat us again' certainly hit nerves with people (latter being EQ), but I call BS on the notion that there's anything particularly redeeming about adding anti-social elements. I left UO specifically to get away from that reality, and I left EQ primarily due to its anti-social leanings (designing a zone to be closed when you kill a boss, really Sony?)

Eve might be CLOSE but c'mon, folks... If I want to make a character you can see, work them up to start a company without needing to be a cog in a player corporation as a second job, build a factory you can see, and establish a city you can see in environments that have more than rocks and debris, there's not much if any to choose from.

Star wars galaxies (Which I stopped playing after the initial "jedi holocrons" were introduced in 04ish) had a lot of good ideas that were done really half-assed. Though they were the only one's to do Jedi characters right before they were an initial class.

Mixing world building with story content that allows for player content hasn't been done all that well just yet

Personally, my problem with this type of game is that there are [i]so many[/b] arseholes in the game worlds. It'd be fine if every now and then, you got attacked by a random bandit or thief, but typically, i'm usually the only person attempting to make an honest living within the game world.

i mean, i'm playing a few space empire-style rts's online at the moment, and only a few of them aren't populated by people who will pound you planet into dust on a daily basis, never giving you the chance to retaliate. You end up joining guilds merely to offer you a modicium of protection, based soley off the name in those little brackets. Your guild might not be the best, but people think twice when seeing that you're part of one.

[/mini rant-opinion dump thing]

Art Axiv:

ldwater:
Play EVE.

Nuff said really - plenty of bastards in that still!

Or *pick your free MMO game of choice*.

I feel like the word "free" could be omitted and still be mostly true.

The problem is comeuppance, in that there isn't any.

To compare UO to real life is flawed in that real life has real consequences, and I can't see another human being's "level" just by clicking on them. In UO or any MMO, people intentionally grief lower leveled players because they know it's safe, or at least, they hold a sizable advantage. In the real world, picking on someone smaller than you works some of the time, but other times gets your nose broken or worse.

Also, there's the whole concept of "real" punishment. In MMOs it's easy to say "well if I steal from or kill 20 people, I'll probably get arrested once and have to pay a fine, but net profit." Whereas in real life, you get caught once and you might be doing hard time, playing hide the salami with Bubba in the showers.

You institute real punishment for the griefers, and a system where you can't tell someone's "power level" by clicking on them ... and you'll have a world where those griefers don't need to be strictly monitored, or replaced with carefully crafted NPC aggressors

ldwater:
Play EVE.

Nuff said really - plenty of bastards in that still!

First post ninja'd!!!!!

This reads like the ramblings of some asshole who misses the chance to fuck up other people's gaming experiences for his own pleasure. Like people who loved the undead event in WoW that became a griefer's Holiday for a week.

Age of Conan basically lets this guy see why is argument is bullshit. People are not going to pay to be pissed off. If you allow people to killed as soon as they begin the game, the game will collapse.

This guy should just go back 4chan. It was made for people like him.

Guys I found a game that looks like it might satisfy the requirements mentioned in this article!

http://massively.joystiq.com/2011/06/09/e3-2011-first-look-at-wizardry-online/

Sorry guys we're in a minority. Some people might like to be masochistic about their gaming experience and get a thrill out of that but most of them are going to whine that they can't do it and it's just not good business for the MMO companies to make a difficulty level only set for the hardcore.

Blizzard is SLOWLY starting to realize that there needs to be a difficulty leaver but they're only implementing it for raiding at the current time (there are now going to be 3 difficulty settings for raids), but trust me a few in their team does feel that the content in WoW is way too bloody easy for gamer-gamers. I don't expect anything to be done about it in the near future but... the consensus is there, at least the few I've talked to.

I'm hoping this becomes something they address about their overall leveling experience/servers/game model.

A couple of really difficult servers could be really entertaining.

Karavision:
This reads like the ramblings of some asshole who misses the chance to fuck up other people's gaming experiences for his own pleasure. Like people who loved the undead event in WoW that became a griefer's Holiday for a week.

Oh come oooon. That was hilarious. And I died like a bazillion times.

FelixG:

JMeganSnow:

I'd like to design an MMO like this some day--a game in which there are *absolutely no NPC's*. However, there would be a small contingent of *paid players* whose job would be to generate conflict. They'd do things like run in-game organizations, hand out quests, start wars with each other. Their purpose would really be to act as the spur and encouragement for other people to do the same.

EVE in Nullsec is exactly like you described, everything is player run, the leaders start wars, give out jobs to lower members and independents, the ships and products are mostly manufactured and sold by players and there are often price wars and corporate espionage ect.

Players will do exactly like you said even if they arent payed, they just need the tools to do it!

I can only imagine how much more fun a number of games would be if they incorporated the freedom of EVE or UO into it.

The point of paying people would be to create higher-quality, professional-grade content with, you know, an editing staff and so forth. I'm aware that players do this sort of thing on their own recognizance, but it tends to be salted with "u get 30 gren stonez 4 me?!?!" instead of more coherent and entertaining work.

This guy summed up why I left Ultima Online...I left right at renaissance. I and another fellow went in to business, buying a 'Tower' deed and establishing an inn in the middle of nowhere, through the forest between a couple towns. We held tournaments, the 'Guards' system was enabled, we had a store (selling the legendary Black Cloth!), etc. When Renaissance hit, we...lost everything, pretty much. All the PVPers went to their half of the shard, leaving our tower without purpose. Without the PKers (in their adorable skull masks and death robes), our tower was near abandoned, because there was no reason for it anymore...

Ya know, after reading through the comments, I don't seem to see much of the people who have been on the receiving end of the mugging, stealing, and losing it all for all of their gaming careers asking for this back, I see the people who benefited from the pvp grief wanting it back. So you are saying that I should lose everything that I put into my character because my Service Provider decided that right now was a good time to monkey with my service? That those countless people who decide that just because they are high enough lvl that most people shouldn't tangle with them, that raiding a starting area is alright? I don't see an argument to actually start playing these games. I see elitism at work (I've been playing this much longer than you have, I have the RIGHT to kick your ass whenever I choose), and that will never keep a game fresh and exciting, it will turn away new people, new Ideas, new player base.

I'm not saying there isn't a place for these things in the modern MMO, just that these things do not bring in more money, they keep old money there.

RoseArch:
Haven't played WoW I see.

Bahahahhahaahahahahha.... You're not serious, are you?

OT: Lord of the Craft. A role playing minecraft server. In-game I'm the dwarven don of a local mafia-style guild. An orc is my right hand guy. We employ elves, humans and other dwarves as well. We take honest people's money. We don't give a fuck. Officials have actually been bribed in-game. The local government is kind of scared of us. Every person involved is a human being controlling a character. It's all in character. I'd like to see a real mmo top that.
Oh, and we have a player base in the hundreds. Not bad for a minecraft server.

On a completely different section of this argument, here's how I see it.

You have a choice as a mmo creator. Freedom or security. Actually, it's quite similar to politics. You can't have freedom and safety, you have to choose one. Sure you can even them out (moderation) but you can't have the best of both worlds. If you want to create a fun-filled pvp world, it won't be safe for the n00bs or the pros. But especially the newbies. If you create a completely safe world, there will be a shit ton of rules. A lot of boring, restricting rules. I personally like the former but there are a lot of people out there who would rather play a farmville-like mmo then a brutal medieval simulator.

Thurston:
The problem with allowing the dickheads to run rampant, is that newbies willing to try the game get ganked/cheated/screwed etc. So they are likely to leave. The non-dickheads and other newbies become increasingly harassed, since they are the only available victims, so they are likely to leave.

Then the dickheads can only prey on each other, which means they may actually lose the fight, as they are not fighting newbies. So they leave.

Dead world.

Business failure.

I don't go online to my favourite MMO to balance in a web of carefuly crafted alliances, and use my cunning to set various groups at each other's throats JUST ENOUGH to raise the price of my crafted healing gimcracks. You can do that if you like. But doesn't sound like much fun for my limited leisure time. Given the numbers in these theme-park MMOs as compared to cut-throat worlds like EVE, I have some agreement.

I think the real world has enough dickheads for me. It's nice to escape to a world for a bit each day where all they can do is mouth-off, and even then, I've got /ignore

I'm afraid to say, to all of the people who want this type of game.. this pretty much sums of the reality of it.

I wish I'd played UO back in the day.. and EVE still holds some interest for me.. but I cannot justify the expense in both time, and money, to play an MMO that leaves me able to be screwed over by anyone who wants too, or who wants my stuff.

As another poster mentioned, the problem isn't with the fact that I CAN be robbed, the problem is with the fact that I do not have an authority to protect be other than the whims of other players.

People like to go on about how "realistic" or "organic" these worlds are.. but they are far from it. If I get robbed in the real world, I call the bloody police and hopefully they get caught, my insurance will pay for things if I get truly messed up, including things stolen from me. If a rival company, in the real world, decides it wants to destroy my stock, or my building.. if it decides to lie and spread deception about our business.. the law gets involved.

Not so EVE.. there is zero fallout for people who do these things. No, player based fallout is NOT good enough, because unless you are part of one of those huge corps it doesn't happen. Hell, unless you are a popular part, it doesn't happen.

The subscription levels of these sandbox, psychotic, MMOs say all that needs to be said.. if you want to play one, say thank you that one is provided for you, but accept the FACT that you are in the vast minority of MMO players. Do not demand to much from your developers, lest they suddenly realise they could be making far more money with a game that doesn't pander to griefers and bullies.

of coarse...years and years ago, when I was a kid, I always thourght this kind of thing that was missing from runescape (my first and last MMO)

this kind of lawless online world would be a perfect fit for a fallout MMO

Sorry... but I just don't see it. Everyone in the comment section is clamoring on how it was more of a challenge and stuff when you could freely interact with other players... and maybe that's what your experience with the game... but more often than not, that was not the case. First and foremost, no high level player ever walked around outside an area where they could be ganked and killed like that by a group of "players working together"... and almost every pvp fight horribly lopsided before it even began. People didn't group together to take on a strong opponent... people grouped together to blockade cities and kill lowbies. And saying there was intelligence in the trading systems? That's the most asinine thing I've ever hear... Trading simply came down to if you knew more about the game and knew the value of what something was worth, it wouldn't take much to cheat the other player into giving it to you, especially if they didn't know what something was worth.

You can say a game needs to have danger and tense situations in order to be fun, or increase it's enjoyment, and I won't argue with you. But having a system where, simply playing the game longer gives you the ability to remove the enjoyment from other players is a broken system.

I spent years playing a MUD (the only place where you can really find holdouts maintaining this philosophy) watching it slowly slip and slide down this path. And I regret to say that I was, for a while, part of it. This isn't a problem with game design so much as it is with players - on both ends of the spectrum.

Griefing exploits the freedom in a system. You don't want more bad players, you want more bad characters. This means players of thieves who know when to stop or even when to give items back for instance. This means players of cutthroat murderers who nonetheless avoid killing newbies. Griefers create player conflict. You want character conflict (this has a sort of built in player conflict, but as a secondary effect).

Incidentally, there are good ways to police griefing without just trying to make it functionally impossible. If you give the players the means, they'll usually police it for you (in which case administration becomes about appeals rather than cases, which removes a lot of the burden typically).

And then there are the "victims". The problem here is also one of attitude. These are the people who have forgotten that their "progress" in a game is about fun. This is an easy thing to do since most games try to give you measurable rewards for your grind. It can be really hard to realize that the value of the items is that they presumably make the game more fun. Crucially, they do not have intrinsic value. I remember when I came to this realization. Sadly, the game I played has so many people in this state that it was, in many ways, quite a bit too late, but even then I had a tremendous amount more fun once I realize that that was the goal, not items, not gold, not experience - fun.

The problem I think is that there's just no good way to force people to have this revelation. We've trained people to measure their success in games in simple, quantified rewards rather than in fun and that's a tough thing to undo.

TheZooblord:

Fensfield:

TheZooblord:
[Above]

Thank you so much i'm checking that out the second this roleplay's done in Final Fantasy XIV o.o

Hope it works out! I love it, but there is probably a reason it only boasts about a few thousand (single digits) players. Hard to get into and crappy combat mostly. But I think the free will and being able to explore the environment that players have created is worth it :).

Well, that and their servers cannot really take any more load than they have at present.

On a side note, when have battering rams ever been a threat? They are so terrible at what they do that it's like trying to use an extremely large, but incredibly old man to break the door down by swinging its fist against the wood, only for him to shatter his bones after a few strikes.

jawakiller:

RoseArch:
Haven't played WoW I see.

Bahahahhahaahahahahha.... You're not serious, are you?

Seems like you haven't played that game either. Bungholes run that show. In the end, I was being a complete and utter bastard in that game for the 80 levels of having the Horde being a massive dick to me. So what did I do? I took my eighty, and a few other people, ran over to a Horde starting town and shot the hell out of everyone for an hour or two. Literally.

I can agree with the article. An elaborate PvE scene is always nice, but nothing quite beats the feeling of actual danger during a game.

Probably one of the most fun (and short lived) experiences I had was on a private PvP server for Lineage 2. Getting into fights while trying to protect my lower lvl friends while they exp was genuinely fun.

Even in Dark Souls, I enjoy throwing down a soulsign for the farming spot in the Darkroot Garden. If I get summoned, it means chances are the person I'm helping is going to be invaded by a Forest Covenant member or 2. A 2v2 is quite the rush in an already high-stress game, and a 2v1 is just a chance to make the would be hunter become the prey.

kodra:

Mike Kayatta:

Thanks! Originally, I really wanted to mention the Galaxies thing (though I didn't have room for it) because it's such a great example of how developers listen to all the wrong people when making changes. I think the point was proven the second that game lost most of its player base after its "reworking." The whining vocal minority is such a pain in the ass. I think devs should start prioritizing complaints by level and/or time with game. Not ignoring the newbies, mind you, just listening more to the vets who have been spending subscription money for months and months...you know, the actual reason the game became a success to begin with.

First off, I think you are mistaken with what faction represents the minority and what faction represents the majority. From what I understand, UO was experiencing a downward subscription spiral that continued up until the released Trammel.

Secondly, your secondary idea is sorta backwards from a business perspective. The vets are a much more secure player base given how much they've invested in the game. The newbies that are getting nowhere in the game are the most likely to leave. Easing their entry into the game is the most important thing the developers can do to foster a larger playerbase. The concept of "love it or leave it" is going to get most of the new players opting for the latter.

I'm going to have to say here that while staying the same to satisfy your playerbase may not be sustainable, it is also a pretty good idea not to throw out the baby with the bathwater. The fact that they left after the company decided that they could do whatever they wanted without thinking about their "more secure playerbase" (which at that point makes your playerbase think that you've decided that gives you free license to screw with them for more cash) means that perhaps your customers might actually be people instead of livestock.

If these changes had been made gradually over the course of several months, it may have been easier to figure out what would not work, without alienating the people who are already paying, which by the way, are your bread and butter, and shouldn't be so easily sacrificed for unproven gains.

Sometimes you have to ask yourself if you really want new customers because you know you will be able to support them, or if you're just scraping for more money and will milk the game for all it is worth as you burn through every last possibility before sinking the ship.

Not that it's bad to do that, depending on what type of game you have, but years later, to have used a trend to rake in the money and then not give anything of meaning back to the community...it's somewhat irresponsible.

Anyway, a few notes on consequences...

What do you really risk when you participate in these activities? How would this compare to the people you take advantage of, or defend against?

When you force the good to deal with the bad, it becomes an endless chore for the good to defend without any reward besides what they already own, while the bad either get struck down and end up wasting their time, or end up gaining far more than they would have gotten normally.

Do you think the bad would be so willing to spend their time doing this if they already had something of worth to risk, or had to spend every day to ensure that their livelihood was maintained or fall forever, losing everything that had meaning to them?

While it sounds "easy" to be good, perhaps you should consider that taking the knave's way out holds no challenge in itself.

krellen:
There are plenty of places to get your PvP fix around, if you're looking for player conflict. However, I believe you are fundamentally wrong when you say what players want is completely unregulated free-will and open conflict. If they did, games that offer that - like EVE - would dominate the market. They don't; I think consumers have voted.

Spoken like a true CEO. Rather than actually trying to figure out the actual cause of the effect, you just pick the cause that suits you best, and go with that.

While I have no doubt that there are some people who would list "too much freedom" as a reason for not playing EVE, that's but one facet of the game. There are many other factors that can attribute to a player not liking a particular game. Take me, for example, I would LOVE to play EVE. Why don't I? The game has a vicious learning curve. Even the most basic of actions can be extremely complicated. I would love to jump into an open world environment with absolute freedom, but with EVE there's just too much complexity.

But no company is ever going to consider that angle, because CEOs are just too narrow-minded to consider multiple factors. EVE Online has an open world, and a small user-base, therefore open-ended worlds must not be what customers want. Never mind that there are people like me out there who would love an open-ended game, but don't want to take the necessary college courses to make EVE understandable.

I've been robbed, looted and murdered while working. Had my pack llama slain before me in town and been forced to do all kinds of running around to deal with it.

I've been pickpocketed of tools just for kicks.
I've had a serial killer decide my home was a great place to sit in front of.
I've had my neighbors chase me off of my mountain mining paths simply because he thought I was dangerous.

I loved every moment of it.

Why? Because I learned to play smarter. I learned how to pack my bags properly and I learned the importance of gift giving and being friendly. I played a merchant. I wasn't going to turn around and blast them in the face with some pillar of flame. I had my tongue and my legs to handle problems.

We had plenty of ways to stop griefers and I think a few private shards of UO have solved many of the policing issues(I won't name it but it wouldnt' be too hard to find) with player bounty hunters/detectives and Paladins. The former track and sick guards on killers by forensic study of slain players the guards then place the killer in jail for a set amount of time and take coin/items from the criminal some being returned to victims and some to the detective. The later Paladins are just what they sound like. People who complete a very difficult quest to join the order and forsake politics and guild conflicts to only hunt evil players.

Is it perfect? Of course not. But it was a hell of a lot more fun then the static pvp in WoW.

I actually had an interesting experience similar to this. Take a few steps back in time to the original Neverwinter Nights and it's exps. The Persistent world servers (narfell in particular for me) offered something along these lines if you were willing to get into character. The governments in the game were run by player characters, and live DMs could jump in at any point to throw a curve ball to otherwise static NPC and Enemy character interactions while out working for exp in the wilderness. Rogues were able to pickpocket small items from you and if you caught them you could turn and cut them down for it. If you wanted you and some friends could take up arms as bandits on the roads or miners through perilous caves for ore all with dangers set by players and DM's.

But it wasn't a completely lawless world. There were world rules to keep griefers completely shutting the game down. You had to play your character. Paladins couldn't go around cutting down other Paladins on a whim. (They could and would execute evil aligned characters though if they sensed them) and turning hostile to other players it would let them know so you had some ability to prepare for a random attack normally with an ooc ? about why your suddenly hostile to them. (but short of being ganked in the middle of a town you should have weapons on and ready to be attacked anyway.) But every action has it's consequences. Smart traders always walked with guards. Adventures always walked in packs and if you spent your day robbing from the weak you will have a militia come down from the city looking to skin your hide for it.

There were rules but... there was a lot of freedom to build what you wanted from the molds the game left you, you could build from a merchant to a bandit, to a righteous hand of your god and as long as you kept to the few cardinal rules of the world you were free to be a evil striking paladin or a glorious bastard as long as your willing to play through to your consequences.

Actually something else it did that kept the griefing off (but not for that reason..) is it hid player levels meaning people had to ask if they really needed to know (mostly in group gathering points so the unknowing level 2 doesn't wander off with the level 18s to fight ice giants who could squash them and send them to the fugue plain first class) So short of trying to guess by peoples current equipment that guy you try to jump could suddenly turn out to be an 19th level sorcerer who blows you half back to the sword coast.. the level hiding thing was meant to keep people from trying to metagame using info their character doesn't know.

Death actually meant something in this particular game as well. Dieing sent your soul to the fugue and your body stayed behind with all your gear where the rogue who slashed you up might be picking the good bits from. You got at least one mulligan in the form of a gem all characters started with.. but once it was gone it was 2 levels to return on your own... or 1 level plus a diamond from the kindly cleric who called you back. Levels were hard earned making death a real pain and something you went far out of your way to avoid when you could.

That's just my story on this anyway -shrug-

There's a thin line between a "bastard" and a "griefer". A "bastard" roleplays a thief, a bandit, charlatan or what have you. They stab you in the back for profit. I'm alright with that, provided there's opportunity for revenge.

A "griefer" stabs you in the back because he can. He goes for the new players, not for the loot but because there's no chance of defeat. Rather than make full use of available skills he glitches to a rooftop, or kills you while in transition so you can't react. He's not there to play the game, he's there to break it. And possibly hear the lamentations of everyone who has to deal with him.

We all know which type is more prevalent in any given game.

I think Wurm Online is the new (Old-Style) Ultima-Online, that this article is talking about. I could never get into it for it's lack of: a decent tutorial, extremely bad interface, bad graphics and just generally unintuitive and non-immersive gameplay.

The freedom was incredible though, it was Minecraft-before-Minecraft for me in a sense.

weirdguy:

TheZooblord:

Fensfield:

[back a page]

Hope it works out! I love it, but there is probably a reason it only boasts about a few thousand (single digits) players. Hard to get into and crappy combat mostly. But I think the free will and being able to explore the environment that players have created is worth it :).

Well, that and their servers cannot really take any more load than they have at present.

On a side note, when have battering rams ever been a threat? They are so terrible at what they do that it's like trying to use an extremely large, but incredibly old man to break the door down by swinging its fist against the wood, only for him to shatter his bones after a few strikes.

Mm, maybe that server load has something to do with it, yeah. Love the game either way.

I really hope Salem takes off and becomes popular, at the very least so it gets developers thinking about free will again.

And haha, I haven't had any personal experiences with battering rams yet, so I wouldn't know. Just felt like mentioning that they existed.

On another side note, I hope Salem has better combat. Or at least more intuitive and easy to understand combat.

To make an additional analogy, combat in H&H is like playing speed chess online using an exotic, confusing variant of the rules, except with a raging bear.

I'd have no problem with a few MMO's being released with this model, but I strongly disagree that all MMO's should move to this model. It isn't "whiney" to not like it when far stronger players, who KNOW they are far stronger, can just pimp-slap you around whenever they feel like it. And it is NOT like real life (well, in Somalia maybe) if there is no form of police or law enforcement that gives the new players at least a degree of protection. Yes, powerfull players can probably try to form their own Player-Killer-Killer guilds and try to hunt these guys, but you'll be at the mercy of enough players enjoying doing that for fun to offer a decent amount of protection. As far as the EVE model, it sounds fun to have those huge battles and alliances waging large-scale wars, but from what I hear as an outsider, a lot of the big powershifts occured whenever a player agreed outside of the game to join another corporation and steal their old corporations assets on the way out. Such Meta-gaming might hold its own appeal to some people, but I think it is completely unreasonable to demand all MMO's arrange their worlds so that people who like this have complete freedom to do so, at the expense of all the other players.

My only experience with a game like this was Space Merchant, an old browser MMO. I will admit that, despite that combat conisted of clicking on the shoot button, waiting for the page to load, and see what the Random number gods said you did in damage, I have never had my heart-rate go up as much in any other game as when I thought I had a player on a trade-route mapped out and put down some mines on his route and waited for him to run into them and start shooting, something that rarely happened more than once per day, if that. But I wouldn't want all my games to work like that. I am looking forward to the large WorldvsWorldvsWorld PVP of Guild Wars 2. It sounds like you can have a controled version of the large scale battles run by the players, but when you're tired of it you can just go to the safe PvE areas.

And I would like to mention:
http://www.thenoobcomic.com/index.php?pos=270

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