This week’s dev-written Saga of Lucimia blog asks everybody over the age of 35 to think back to bygone days “when reputation used to mean something” and miscreants were blacklisted by the community.
“For the most part, there is little cooperative spirit in most modern-day MMORPGs, even on the so-called PvE servers,” the indie sandbox’s creative director Tim “Renfail” Anderson asserts. “Instead, it’s a free-for-all storm of mayhem where play-nice-policies are no longer enforced, and player toxicity is allowed to run rampant in favor of generating the most amount of money possible to satisfy investor needs.”
“In a group-based game where you couldn’t really solo anything, reputation was the most important currency anyone had. If you did something bad enough to justify your name being posted in the forums, you very quickly found that no one would group with you. If no one would group with you, your forward momentum was halted; you couldn’t progress through the game. The bad apples of the community were quickly rooted out, and either rage quit, changed to a new character, or learned how to play nice with others.”
Renfail argues that Lucimia is going all-in on “old-school” mechanics “to ensure that community toxicity is kept to an absolute minimum.” While noting the play-nice policies won’t be easy to implement, he does say the team is “considering setting aside an official section of [its] forums where players can post video clips of players who slip through the cracks” of those policies.
Worth a note is that this is a studio that in 2016 put up an advertisement seeking an unpaid community intern who was female, “photogenic,” and not “easily offended,” such that she’d be able to withstand an “R-rated internal working environment where religion, politics, sex, and other NSFW subjects are talked about on a daily basis.” The studio did later edit that job description, but not before commenters took it to task.
I recognize Lucimia’s community ideal from the earliest days of then PvP-centric Ultima Online, but not at all from EverQuest, where my server was utterly dominated by extreme toxicity from particular PvE uberguilds that made blacklists useless. How about you?