[MUD-Dev] Interesting EQ rant (very long quote)

Koster Koster
Fri Dec 8 19:22:33 New Zealand Daylight Time 2000


> -----Original Message-----
> From: mud-dev-admin at kanga.nu 
> [mailto:mud-dev-admin at kanga.nu]On Behalf Of
> Lee Sheldon
> Sent: Wednesday, December 06, 2000 9:55 AM
> To: mud-dev at kanga.nu
> Subject: RE: [MUD-Dev] Interesting EQ rant (very long quote)
> 
> The major exception is of course the scoring system.  While you CAN
> roleplay, or help others, or just explore, or improve your baking, the
> scoring system still only recognizes loot and level.  And since
> Vellious doesn't raise levels, it's now just loot.  Look at all the
> messages from the developers.  They talk about all the cool new things
> there are to do in Vellious.  But what do they focus on?  Loot.  Loot.
> Loot.  Making the loot bigger, better and harder to get.  Despite the
> kewl d00ds who make up a disproportionate portion of the players, and
> really don't need any other measure, it is the monotony of it all that
> I think finally drives people away.
[snip]
> Also, to suggest that EQ2 will solve everything is to suggest the same
> designers see the problems AS problems.  They may actually be happy
> with how the game is being played.  Who knows?

Well, I won't speak for the specific developers, but I can tell you
that there IS a design philosophy centered around item collecting that
is firmly in place, and also that it's hard to argue with the
retention figures EQ achieves, which are astronomical.

The notion of pegging a game so tightly to loot isn't new, of
course. It's the "collectible" mechanic in an RPG context. The game
mechanics mean that the clothes make the character, and there's a
carefully graduated dataset that exposes new potential collectibles as
you advance. No different from Magic The Gathering or Pokemon except
in the actual implementation--philosophically, it's very very
similar. Also not surprising, therefore, that it's insanely addictive,
since we've seen that effect with other collectible-driven games
before.

As far as retention--well, I don't know what figures have been
announced, but I was floored (and frankly incredulous) when I first
heard the stats on how many users have ever quit EQ, how many of the
initial adopters are still playing, etc. Despite all the impressions
that are out there, I can tell you that basically, EQ doesn't lose
players. I don't mean on a month-to-month basis. I mean, basically
ever. The percentage of TOTAL users who have ever quit the game is
tiny. Now, how many of these folks are paying but not playing, who
knows. :)

-Raph
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