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


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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