Today’s Daily Grind topic comes courtesy of MOP’s resident meme-maker, Schlag Sweetleaf, who urged me to write about this after the piece we did on the player-organized Crashcog Cup in World of Warcraft, which relied entirely on player “dungeon masters” to guide the race along. In other words, it was basically players looking at the structure, goals, and rewards of the MMO as set out by the designers, and then… doing something totally different, making up their own game inside the MMO.
“It brought me back to a time in Dark Age of Camelot,” he told me, “when [the Mordred server PvP] had pretty much failed in its design. I made a Warden, a super defensive character with great survivability at the cost of any real damage output. I set about collecting trophies as best I could, solo and sometimes with my running buddy. It made the game much more interesting to me at that point, and I still carry many memories of that time.”
This is one of my favorite things to do inside MMOs – to set my own goals and not be fussed by what the game is trying to get me to do. Putting on plays, running treasure hunts, attending cantina night, even dropping stuff, it’s all born from intrinsic motivation, and so it’s the stuff we’re more likely to cherish and remember.
How about you? Do you play MMOs as the designers intended, or do you go your own way?