[MUD-Dev] Ten commandments for the next MMORPG

Matthew Mihaly the_logos at achaea.com
Sun May 21 19:26:17 CEST 2000

On Sun, 21 May 2000, Raph Koster wrote:

> #1: Thou Shalt Not Require Vulnerability to Other Players.
> Consider the number of active EQ Subscribers (henceforth =93customers=94)
> complaining that their server is too crowded. Now take a good look at how
> many people are on the Player-Versus-Player (henceforth =93PvP=94) server=
> Either they are being hypocrites, or as a whole the customers do not want=
> be vulnerable to harm from other players at all times. And yet I find it
> curious that practically every upcoming MMORPG I=92ve looked into has
> Mandatory PVP =96 one (Atriarch) even goes so far as to have permanent Pv=
P (if
> the character dies, it=92s time to start a new character). Others (UO2, A=
> Online) skirt this by making some areas Non-PvP =96 and yet it takes some=
> less than a rocket scientist to realize you won=92t be able to stay in th=
> =93safe=94 areas all the time.

I certainly hope that this customer isn't suggesting that every game that
comes out work like this. Perhaps I (and many others) would like to play a
game where PK vulnerability is required.

> #5: Thou Shalt Test Thy Product Before Thy Releaseth It or Any Part of It
> Should be assumed, and yet everybody but game manufacturers seems to know
> better. Here=92s a clue =96 if it=92s =93your world=94, you bloody better=
 well be
> willing to sign your name to it. Now granted that the very nature of the
> MMORPG genre is such that updates will be constant, and that any changes
> that need to be made can be handled quickly. Nonetheless, there is NO EXC=
> WHATSOEVER for a game to be out for a year before the people responsible =
> it discover something along the lines of Wolf-form having the wrong facti=
> There is an equivalent amount of excuse for quests that appear to have be=
> in the game from the beginning to still appear broken (which reminds me, =
> haven=92t checked Kinool Goldslinger since the last =93quest=94 patch). A
> recommendation? Absolutely NOTHING in the game should go Live until the
> person most responsible PERSONALLY confirms it is working on a Test Serve=
> and this confirmation should be made the same way the player would be doi=
> it. The recent incident in which Abashi actually went into the game and m=
> sure the spells were dropping before he said this to customers (after wee=
> of insisting they were dropping without doing so, unfortunately) is a sta=

This is a silly and naive commandment. I'm quite sure that Verant already
tests stuff it puts in quite a bit. Further, this guy is essentially
contradicting what he says later. He says "this confirmation should be
made the same way the player would be doing it." Later on, he says he
doesn't want to play games where there is only one way out of things (ie
he wants problems that can be creatively solved, not puzzles in which
there is only one way out). If this is what he wants, then there is no way
to fulfill this commandment, as the designer can't know how the player
would be doing it. In fact, flat-out, the designer cannot know how the
players are going to do things.=20


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