The Daily Grind: Should MMO studios interfere with server politics?

    
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Last week, a reader named Bob alerted us to a messy political situation on EverQuest’s Lockjaw progression server. Apparently, characters from a large uberguild were caught breaking rotation — that is, killing mobs in a zone when other players on the server had previously claimed that time slot — leading to Daybreak’s temporary suspension of the entire guild.

Those suspensions were subsequently lifted for being too hasty, but that wasn’t really what set my head spinning. All the while I’m thinking what the what. Daybreak enforces rotation now? Daybreak has to sort out who gets to raid what and when in an official sticky thread on a forum, or at least enforces with disciplinary action what decisions a handful of guilds make for everyone else? Players can’t settle these things on their own? And most importantly, how is this functionally any different from just having a raid finder and instancing, aside from the fact that this takes up actual GM time to mitigate?

Color me speechless that studios would rather police a queue — something that was very definitely not policed back in the old days — than just instance the planes. What do you think? Should MMO studios be interfering in server politics and guild diplomacy this way?

Every morning, the Massively Overpowered writers team up with mascot Mo to ask MMORPG players pointed questions about the massively multiplayer online roleplaying genre. Grab a mug of your preferred beverage and take a stab at answering the question posed in today’s Daily Grind!
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dorn2
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dorn2

Craywulf 
You shouldn’t.  EQ1 was a disaster.  A lot of “experts” were surprised by the sudden explosion of WoW.  To the players it was just obvious.  EQ1 had a winning game style but ruined it with moronic crap like this.

dorn2
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dorn2

Nucleon 
1. Scarcity is a bad thing when it’s tied to character progression.  If you want a rare flying unicorn then good on you.  Character progression should only be about time and skill though.
2. The people who like to exclude others to feel special should be kicked in the nuts.  There’s no point in any MMO ever favoring them.  Not only are they worthless trash, they’re actually encouraging a mechanic which leads a game into financial obscurity.

dorn2
Guest
dorn2

I’ve played a lot of sandbox PvP over the years.  Usually some sort of mega conglomerate will form that has the power to lord it over everyone else.  The end result is a lack of conflict.  This is just the nature of humans.  If you’re losing you’ll join up with someone else.  If you’re winning you’ll step on the losers.

Samizdat
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Samizdat

Well, it’s your blog, but I don’t think it’s fair to dismiss players of games you don’t like as “squabbling” and “nastiness”. You had a bad experience, but a portion of your readership likes those games, and we certainly aren’t wronging you by doing so.

sray155
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sray155

breetoplay sray155 From my point of view, many people are in love with the potential that SWG had, not what was actually delivered. The SWGemu project is a recreation of the game as it existed prior to the CU, and all the stuff that I named in my last post about it were problems in the game just before the implementation of the CU. What I see when I log into the emulator servers is the EXACT same game that existed back then –sure, a bit buggy and not complete– but all of those issues I mentioned are not because of the testing: the emu is specifically recreating those things. 

The AFK buff-bots, ridiculously OP armor and weapons, and the ability to solo 20 man content were all in SWG long, long ago. I know because I was there, and the emu project is EXACTLY what remember SWG as being.

breetoplay
Guest
breetoplay

sray155 The core emu is an extreme testbed atm. Most people are waiting for Suncrusher and don’t take seriously the current one. It’s incomplete, there is no proper economy because everyone has 10 characters, and it will be wiped.
Nothing to do with “nostalgia glasses.” It’s absurd anyway given how many people were playing SWG to the day it died. Can’t wait for Suncrusher to finally land.

breetoplay
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breetoplay

Samizdat breetoplay It’s literally my job to care about and report on the genre and what goes on within it.

schmidtcapela
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schmidtcapela

Nucleon 
I see the things you pointed as “positive” in such a negative light that I first thought you were being sarcastic…

But, more seriously: why should I, as a player that hates artificial scarcity and want every player in the game to be able to see all content, ever support a game that goes so against my preferences? Heck, I’ve stopped playing games in the past over the usage of loot rolls for group content, in this day and age where so many games moved to the (from my point of view) vastly superior method of awarding individual rewards.

So, in short: I don’t begrudge games with contested content existing. But, if the game tries to force me to compete with other players for the right to do any piece of content I would want to play, it won’t see a red cent of my money.

Nucleon
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Nucleon

So, the popular opinion is that there’s no difference and we might as well instance it like every other modern game. There is some value in fighting over world spawns. First, it creates scarcity, which though we find it artificial and annoying, it’s hard to argue that scarcity doesn’t make things more appealing. Second, it effectively cuts a huge swath of the player base from having any possibility of ever participating. If not for things like Raid Finder and grouping systems the vast majority of players don’t have the time or ability to pre-plan their gaming session. You can easily compare the number of people that completed Normal raids in WoW prior to the introduction of the group finder to see the massive impact it has on raid completion.

The two things I mentioned above really appeal to a specific portion of gamers. Can we finally come to grips that all games are not for all people, and that there still is perfectly valid reasons not to instance every piece of content?

Craywulf
Guest
Craywulf

Rotations? WTF is rotations and WHY would I play a game where I have to negotiate mob rotations?