MMORPG developers have a crap load to learn from the social networking movement that is currently swarming the internet. Heck, they have a lot to learn from the internet itself and how people communicate and mesh. If you really sat down and looked at it, MMOs are just sad when it comes to human interaction which is actually kind of funny considering that realistically MMORPGs have long been ahead of the game. They were getting people together even before the advent of ICQ. Yet here we sit, behind everyone else.
I would be remiss if I didn’t follow up my previous post with a new rule. I apologize to whomever if I am stealing this rule from someplace, but I haven’t been able to figure out reference to it. I very well may have found it somewhere previously and just forgotten where, or I came up with it such a very long time ago that I forgot whether I came up with it or not. Either way, it doesn’t matter, I think it is good enough that it deserves a spot in the MMO game design pantheon.
Today I wanted to talk about three laws that share a common theme in game design. This theme is why a player plays online games in particular. What do they want and what are they hoping to get out of their experience? None of these laws are very original in their naming convention, they are Baron’s Law, Rickey’s Law, and Elmqvist’s Law.
To continue on my line of game design laws for MMOs, I decided to make it easy on myself and just head straight into it and look at Raph’s first law of game design. This rule is actually four in one. I think the point of it was to get under your belt the four most obvious things that a designer should keep in mind. The rules start with a general line stating: “The secrets to a really long-lived, goal-oriented, online game of wide appeal.” I will go into each individual portion seperately.
It has been years since Raph Koster first collected the wisdom of various MMORPG enthusiasts and developers and wrote down a list of Laws of Online World Design. I don’t even think he has touched it for many years, I bet the last edit happened sometime after Dark Age of Camelot was released, given that one of his references came from a DAoC developer. While I think that he had many rules that were in fact very accurate, I can’t help but think of how the MMO world has changed since he first laid them out. I mean Raph must have learned a world of things from SWG alone, let alone something like the advent of WoW.
On with the second part of my review of the annuals for Campaign Cartographer 3. This time I will deal with the months of May through August. This middle bunch I found overall rather lacking in appeal which is more than a little disappointing given how well I thought of the original four episodes. Still there is some quality here.
Given that I got sick over the weekend, I decided to take the day off yesterday, and now again today, so that I can recoup and return to work both healthier and with more energy. In the meantime, I have decided to take the extra time that I now have and use it to go over the mapping bug that has been bothering of late and return to Campaign Cartographer 3’s Annuals that I have been neglecting the past couple of years. I decided I would post my thoughts on these annuals here, but instead of doing the whole thing in one big long post, I decided to split it up into chunks of 4 months at a time.