MOP reader Witches noted in the comments of last week’s Perfect Ten that Firefly seems to be better-suited for the kind of world that Star Wars Galaxies built, and while I don’t know about better, it’d certainly provide an equivalent backdrop for the way I personally liked to play.
On the other hand, it would still have the dreaded Jedi problem. Here I refer to Star Wars Galaxies lead Raph Koster’s piece from April, which argues that Jedi pretty much ruined the game because they were meant to be rare in the setting. But LucasArts demanded them, and then everyone wanted to be one, and SOE’s design for rolling out the Jedi (holocrons) utterly butchered the character development design of the game and killed player happiness.
Firefly wouldn’t solve the Jedi problem; you’d have a million people all wanting to be River, and no doubt a publisher pushing for a cybermage class to mimic her. That’s fine with me, since I kinda just want to be Zoe and I don’t really care what other people do, but I still know a million Rivers breaks the game as surely as a million Lukes, and even if it doesn’t break the game, it breaks the IP — which is exactly what happened to SWG post-CU.
How would you solve “the Jedi problem” in MMORPGs? Is the only solution to strip “special” characters out forever or never build them into the IP in the first place?