Legend Weaver: Gaming Articles

Gaming Articles

My wife made a statement to me a few days ago that I thought was very appropriate to gaming and the articles found below. She said:

When a game makes you feel that you would have been better off not logging in, then there is something fundamentally wrong with the game.

I agree with her completely and have collected the articles below and will continue to collect more as I find them in the hopes that someone will read them, and perhaps change something in a game for the better. If I have gotten permission to post the actual article in question, then it appears here in its entirety. Otherwise, I give a link to the materials original location.


Who are the Authors?

Many of these articles are written by the people that play the games they write about. That means that most of these articles are from the people that use the product, not make it. I truely have the feeling that those that make a product loose touch with what they have made. They get so wrapped up in the work of creating the product that they really do not understand what it is like to use what they have created. In myself, I liken it to the time I have spent on Legend Weaver, The Making of Heroes. At some point, I just got tired of changing things that were fundamental to the game. The basic form you see in the game is how it will now remain. Is this good or bad? Both I think. Good in that I can now concentrate on making background material and such. Bad in that if a flaw does show up through play testing it will be very hard to change all the material that has now been written for the game.

So why post these articles?

Because future products that are being developed right now may well benifit from the experience that people have in the current set of on–line games. There is a huge base of very smart people playing these games and they are not the hardest of people to identify. The fact jumps out at you whenever you read what they have written and take the time to think about it.

That is what I really hope for. That someone will read these articles and think about what is being said. These articles talk about what the current set of games do right as well as what they do wrong. Think about what they talk about and maybe (just maybe) you can avoid some of the pitfalls in the game you are working on!


Crafting Crafters Are Your Friends
This is a great article by Susan McManus on crafting and trade skills as they relate to on–line role playing games. Most games in the market treat trade skills as a tack on, barely above the level of a joke. I myself can hardly wait for the game that supports trade skills anywhere near the degree to which Susan suggests.
 
I want to
Forge Swords
This link is to an article by Sie Ming. It is very close in nature to the article found above in that the author is trying to let developers know that not everyone in an on–line game wants to go out and spend countless hours killing things, that there are people that find craft skills much more rewarding when they play a game. I think that these people are being ignored on the most part and that the first game to take them into account will do much better than any of the current producers can imagine.
The author has done several additional articles, all of which are accessible through the link.
 
Ten  TEN COMMANDMENTS FOR THE NEXT MMORPG
This very good article relates a lot of things back to the Everquest Game. Even so, it make a lot of very good points that can be applied to any MMORPG you may be building or thinking of building.
The author is Tom Huskey.
 
An Analysis of
High Level Play
in EQ
This superb article gives you some insights on what it is like to actually play a high level character in EQ. It's analyses of the situation in EQ seems right on (if for no other reason than the five pages of responses that agreed with it when it was posted to the EQ boards). I think this is one of the more important articles here simply because it gives you insights into High Level game play and some of the pitfalls associated with tacking on extra levels as a means to keep your game going. The author identifies himself as Skyrain Dreamweaver.
 
Mud Wimping   Welcome to the Player Wimping Guidebook!
This is a link to a great article on how to destroy a MUD. It is a must read for anyone thinking of building their own On–Line Game. The author signs his name as Tenarius, The Druid of Rectitude.
 
Behavioral
Game Design
  
This is a link to an article on reward versus behavior. It does a great job explaining the positive and negative aspects of rewards, and relates them back to how they relate to a game environment. Once you have read the article you will have a much greater understanding of people's reactions to the games they are playing. Developers take heed! Every reward that you offer a player will result in a very specific play style. A must read.
The articles author is John Hopson.
 
Six Circles The Six Circles of the Adept Game Player
This is a link to an article on the stages a player goes through as he plays an On–Line MUD. The author signs the article as Hedron (the False Prophet). The end of the article lists other essays done by the author.
 
Players Players Who Suit MUDs
This is a link to an article on the personality of the people who play MUDs, how they interact with each other and what they get from their game play. The auther of the article is Richard Bartle.
 
Player Rights Declaring the Rights of Players
This is a link to an exceptional article that asks the question "'Do players of virtual worlds have rights?". The writer, Raph Koster has done a lot of research and has come up with a Bill of Rights for the players of on–line games. Along with this is a large section where his document is "discussed" (a nice way of saying "torn apart"). It is a very interesting read and gives lots to think about.
 
D00dism An essay on d00dism and the MMORPG
Of all the articles I have found and gotten permission to put here (or have had to link to from here) this is my favorite. The article is written very tongue in cheek (which, if anything, makes it more fun to read). While most of its material is based on the authors experience in EQ it is easy to see how it would apply to any on–line game. The author signs the article as Arios Truthseeker.
 
Hackers How to Hurt the Hackers: The Scoop on Internet Cheating and How You Can Combat It
This is a superb article on how to combat cheating and hackers. The article is from a developers point of view, explaining the mentality of the cheater and of the lengths you have to go to combat them. Still a good read, even if you are not a developer, since it lets you know just how far some people will go in order to gain the upper hand in a game.
The author of the article is Matt Pritchard .
 
The Scrolls The Norrathian Scrolls: A Study of EverQuest
This is a very extensive study on who plays EverQuest and why they play the game. I have seen nothing come close to it for completeness and presentation. The author is Nicholas Yee.
 


What I would like to see in an online MMPOLRPG (Long)

I have been role–playing for a very long time and have tried my hand at Ultima Online, Asheron's call and Everquest. After a lot of thinking I list all the things that I would love to see in an Online game. Many of my comments relate back to Legend Weaver: the Making of Heroes and how it would work if adapted to an online game. Although I feel I have work to do on the article it is quite long and has enough in it now to make me feel that it is worth putting up on the web page.



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Material on this page is copyright David Pemberton 1998