Toldain Talks

Because reading me sure beats working!


Toldain started as an Everquest character. I've played him in EQ2, WoW, Vanguard, LOTRO, and Zork Online. And then EVE Online, where I'm 3 million years old, rather than my usual 3000. Currently I'm mostly playing DDO. But I still have fabulous red hair. In RL, I am a software developer who has worked on networked games, but not MMORPGS.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Writ Dilution

With the new guildhalls coming, and our guild needing to level up a bit. I thought I would start grinding writs with Fahfrd, my Defiler. He's a level 60 (well, 62 now) Provisioner. Yes, I meant to do that. No, he most certainly does not defile the Soaring Espresso in any way.

I discovered something while doing this, though. The amount of status earned from doing a writ seems to depend on your level, and it decreases if you ding while working on the writ.

Here's the writ when I got it, while level 61

Here's the writ when I turn it in after dinging 62

The thing I want to know is, why bother doing that? Is it that much of an exploit to get a writ, level a bunch, then hand it in? This really feels like micro-management. And it kind of breaks a contract. When I got the writ, it said it was worth 10270 status. But it wasn't. I don't mind when a level designer throws tricks at me, but this kind of silent dilution erodes trust. It's kind of like nerfing a weapon or a spell, and not saying anything about it in the update notes. But that never happens, does it?

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Monday, August 25, 2008

Mitigation vs. Avoidance

My favorite tank, Chuman, says that avoidance has become really important for RoK tanking. Since he's MT for Lineage, who have successfuly cleared Veeshan's Peak, he has some credibility with regard to raid tanking.

Chuman, self-buffed, has avoidance of about 70%. I take nothing away from Chuman, he's a good player, and is using what's available to great success. Good for him. But I find that this indicates that something in the game is fundamentally unfair to the brawlers. You know, the "avoidance" tanks.

There are a lot of ways to increase avoidance for plate tanks. Shields, AA's, and items with boosts to avoidance skills are all possible. There is no such option for leather-wearing brawlers to get their mitigation up. There is a combination of effects in RoK that make brawlers very likely to get one-shotted, not just on raids, but vs. instance nameds, too.

  • Mitigation in RoK has ticked downward off its normal path. (See this chart).

  • Mobs can now double-hit and crit, and also get "extra big" non-critical hits.

  • Mobs in RoK swing slower but hit harder.

A tank has two jobs: Keep the attention of the mob, and take the resulting pounding. Healers need to keep you up, but spike damage is more of a problem for healers than the "death of a thousand cuts".

Overall, incoming damage is reduced by not getting hit, and by mitigating the damage when you do get hit. So speaking math-wise, over all damge reduction is the product of mitigation and avoidance. As an example, let's consider Chuman versus a level 80 mob. With 70% avoidance, he gets hit 30 percent of the time. With 55% mitigation, he takes only 45% of the damage output from those hits. So Chuman actually takes, and must be healed of, .30*.45 = 13.5% of "potential" incoming damage.

The best brawlers, with Fabled raid gear, seem to get to about 37 percent mitigation. So, they feel .53 of each hit. In order to match Chuman and take the same fraction of potential incoming damage, such a brawler would have to have avoid (hmm, scribble scribble scribble) .134/.53 = 75% of all incoming hits.

Ok, that's feasible. With gear and adornments focused on avoidance skills, and in defensive stance, a brawler ought to be able to get to 75% avoidance. The problem with defensive stance is that it is enough of a hit to offensive skills that brawlers will have difficulty holding aggro of the mob in defensive stance.

The other problem is that there are a lot more spikes that will kill you at 35% mitigation than at 55% mitigation. This suggests that to tank successfully as a bruiser, I need to focus on getting lots of health, and group with a shaman for the wards. Wards will typically stay up longer on me, since I avoid more hits (though not a lot).

The situation isn't as dire as I thought, yet I see very few bruisers being MT. We have a lot of interesting skills to offer, namely temporary immunity to stun, mez, root, etc. and temporary immunity to spells as well. Not to mention Sonic Fist and Feign Death, two of the coolest pulling tools ever invented.

Last weekend, we were doing an Unrest run for Hassaan's Guardian epic. We ended up doing a lot of feign death breaking to pull just the shards we needed to gather Garanel's bones. Boy, that took me back to the days I played an EQ1 monk and we'd do FD pulling and breaking all the time.

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Wednesday, August 20, 2008


I can't possibly do as good a guildhall preview as Niami Denmother did at Traders Corner, so I'll just link to hers.

...and then talk about it of course. First, though, Niami points to a thread on the SOE Forums with some updates.

The costs of these things are pretty daunting. Here are the (now updated) costs.

  • Tier 1. Level 30+ guild. 5 rooms, in every city. Purchase price 50p, upkeep 50g and 50K status per week.

  • Tier 2. Level 50+ guild. 10 rooms, in Qeynos and Freeport. Purchase price 250p. Upkeep 2.5p and 100K status per week.

  • Tier 3. Level 70+ guild. These are so big that an amenity that lets you port around within them is going to be available. These are off the coasts of Antonica and Commonlands. Cost is 1000p. Upkeep is 10p and 200K status per week.

Status upkeep is drawn from personal status donations to escrow (as is plat). Which gives me a big "Whew!".

I've contributed maybe 400K status to my guild in over 4 years of playing. And I've ground enough writs to become Exalted with the Concordium. To think of that going away in two weeks would make me weep. On the other hand, I have personal status to burn.

Apparently status reduction on items will not work on guildhalls, there's too much room for items (1500). That's the official line. Though seeing as how the maintenance costs are much bigger two, I'm not sure I buy that argument. At the very least, SR could work at a reduced rate, couldn't it?

Really, though, it's best for them to say no, and see how it works out than to say yes now and no later. You don't want to take things away from players.

The list of amenities available for purchase is long and salivagenic.

  • A banker

  • A mender

  • A druid portal porter

  • Crafting equipment

  • Fuel vendor

  • A broker

  • A beacon, giving each guild member the ability to port to the guildhall

  • A strategist, which allows a leader to plant a flag somewhere that everyone else can port to from the strategist.

  • A harvesting storage depot

  • A harvesting NPC

Wait a second, a harvesting NPC? You mean you can have a harvet bot working for your guild and it's legal? I see no further comment about this, I just can't believe that's what it is.

Here's what Niami says: "The harvesting NPCs will be of a specific type (miner, gatherer, etc.), and you can tell them to go out and harvest for a certain tier of resources. In a couple hours, you can then check back in with him and get the results of 100 random pulls from the proper node type."

I'm curious about something. We already have a bunch of crafting stations in our makeshift guildhall in Qeynos. Those will just move on over, won't they? At no further cost?

There are even more amenities planned, and further ones conceptualized but not promised for this release. Each and every one costs plat for purchase and upkeep.

I'm very interested to see what effect this will have on the overall inflation that's been happening ingame lately. In any case, this has got me more excited about the game than I've been for a good long while.

My guild is smallish and doesn't raid. On the other hand, we have some very good players. I think we may be able to manage to get a T3 hall. But don't tell SOE I said so, they may decide to drop the costs on the biggest hall.

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Tuesday, August 19, 2008

A Guard's Life

Guard Woodrow was happy to have the Tower of Three as his assignment. Traffic was low, and what there was were mages, who ignored him. Some of the Guards preferred Qeynos Harbor, with high traffic and excellent opportunities to practice observation skills. But the quiet duty suited Woodrow fine this morning. He'd been up late at Fish's last night. The dancer there who did the Antonia Bayle impression had let him buy her a flagon after her show. There was promise there, thought Woodrow.

Woodrow caught sight of someone approaching and let his arms drop back down to his side. Hmm, blue robes, red hair, high must be Exalted Toldain Darkwater, thought Woodrow. He's pretty well known around Qeynos, and some of the Guard saluted him, but not Woodrow, not at the Tower of the Three. In Woodrows mind, salutes were reserved for Guard members in uniform. And that meant armor, not some pansy robe. But Woodrows face remained impassive. With luck, Exalted Toldain would pay him no attention at all. That's what most of the Concordium did. Then Woodrow spotted the giant hammer the Exalted had at his belt. That meant trouble.

Toldain looked right at him and said, "Care to spar?", and pulled out the hammer. Really, it was damned polite of him. Most who did this didn't even bother with the pleasantries. It was just out with the hammer and WHACK! to get things started.

Woodrow did his best to fight back. He concentrated and swung his sword in a blow that he knew would cut an ordinary person in half with one swing. He never saw the Exalted move at all, but his blow connected with exactly nothing. Woodrow continued to make what should have been deathblows as Toldain brought the gigantic hammer around and up. Someone so slender should not even be able to lift that thing, thought Woodrow, just before another WHACK!

And just like that it was over. There was a faint musical hum, and a shimmer in the air, but no more high elf. Woodrow gave a small sigh and put his weapon back in the sheath. That was exactly what he had hoped to avoid by getting guard duty here. Still, he thought, the guards in Qeynos Harbor had it much worse. They got to "assist" the Qeynosian elite in their travels far more often than Woodrow. What crazy mage invented that hammer anyway?

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Monday, August 18, 2008

The Shadow Odyssey

With FanFaire last weekend, SOE officially announced the upcoming expansion as The Shadow Odyssey.

Here's the bullet points from SOE's press release, paraphrased by me.

  • The expansion will center around Innothule swamp, which was a zone in first-release Everquest, and even then had an excellent, creepy mood.

  • The expansion will feature goal-based dungeons. I think this means something like Everquest's Lost Dungeons of Norrath, e.g., an instance with a goal. In LDON, you could have one of four or so different goals for a particular dungeon. What if this time around, the goal changed the behavior of mobs in the dungeon somehow? That would be cool. What if they decided that this was another opportunity to make players grind? My experience of LDON was basically: do 20 dungeons, still can't buy anything that seems at all worthwhile. Not so cool.

  • There will be a mysterious group of Erudites who will sell you gear for void shards. See item above re: grinding instances.

  • A Dungeon Delving mission system that "lets players replay content with new and different experiences. See above comment re: different behavior.

  • Two new deities, Rodcet Nife and Anashti Sul, Five new Heritage quests, AA cap raised to 200. No raise of level cap mentioned.

  • They mention "nostalgic Everquest dungeon themes, such as Najena, Mistmoore, and The Sebilisian Empire. The geography is a bit confused. And I thought we already had Mistmoore Castle in the game. But these are themes? What are those, house decorations? Actually, it would be way cool if I could decorate my basement like Mistmoore Castle for Halloween.

Tipa adds two tidbits from FanFaire. This expansion will focus more on grouping. I think that's probably good. In support of that the game will introduce hirelings. Hirelings are NPC's that can be added to your group. Presumably they come with an AI, I'd bet that there aren't going to be hirelings corresponding to every class, more likely one for every archetype. The AI's will be easier to write that way.

The design problem here is if the hirelings are too good, then nobody will group with actual characters, preferring hirelings. But if they aren't that good, why bother? I think the design goal for me would be to make them able to cover a simple role, e.g., heal the tank, or hit my target, in a simplified way. That is, a healer hireling is better than no healer, but not as good as a competent healer. Healers these days have a lot of other utility, so one way is to just simplify what a hireling can do. A hireling scout will never evac you, for instance. Maybe a simple buff that isn't any better than an Adept 1? Something like that.

At least one of the "mission dungeons" will be Befallen. Tipa summed up my feelings:

Also returning is the dungeon of Befallen, which is a little odd, since we all kinda thought Stormhold was Befallen, given the NPCs like Gynok Moltar who spawn there, the heritage quests like the Bone Bladed Claymore that go through there, etc. and now, here’s Befallen.

It won’t really feel like Befallen unless you can fall into a deep hole, die, lose all your stuff and have to start over.

Ah, Befallen memories.

Lobilya and I both got a chuckle from this and then immediately swapped our favorite Befallen stories.

Hers was about how she first fell in the hole and died, but being a rogue, managed eventually to sneak down and drag her corpse back. After a while, she would earn money by jumping down the hole with her sneak on, and dragging other people's corpses back for coin. Not to mention that back when lockpicking didn't break sneak, theives would practice on the upper doors of Befallen, in order to skillup.

When you wandered into that first big room and you saw the door opening and closing for no apparent reason, then you knew that a thief was practicing.

My favorite Befallen story concerns my monk, Aquino, who one day after dying twice in Najena, decided to move to Befallen, where he died three more times in a 24 hour period, losing a level in the process. The goblin casters down there had a dot they did on you called Blood Boil, which featured several small ticks followed by a big hit as it expired. I died to that thing after beating my opponent at least once, and it always was nerve-wracking watching that thing tick away.

I never had to start over though. FD FTW!

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Thursday, August 14, 2008

Nostalgia Trip

Wow, does this ever take me back. It's the post that got then-guide Tweety fired by Verant, and had a great deal to do with getting her hired as Community Relations Manager for Dark Age of Camelot.

For example:

By illiterate, I mean you fucking cretins who send me petitions that read “Ur gona get my coprse rezzed, plz.” What the hell am I, psychic? How did you die, where did you die, and so on is stuff I need. If you tell me in a format I can comprehend without calling over my twelve year old neighbor, I will send you a tell that says, “Hang on, let me check out your corpse. Yep, you died to that bug all right. Here’s your rezz. Good luck, friend.” Your fucking cryptic petitions mean ten minutes of agonizingly rotten typing and stupidity that have me wondering where the hell I left my universal translator. Plus, any petition I get in dewdspeak automatically biases me against you. Why? Because it’s the d00ds that are usually trying to snow me, and get something for nothing (like a free rez for a death caused by jumping off a wizard spire with 150 HP), and who feel entitled to absolutely everything.

I share this prejudice. I don't like heavy d00dspeak, and I'm inclined to think less of someone who doesn't bother to use grammar or spelling or punctuation. But then, I write a blog, don't I? This post has helped me figure it out though. If someone can't be bother with rules about spelling and grammar, they won't be bothered about rules of social behavior either. To them, breaking the rules makes them more powerful and free, and that includes eating my lunch, rolling on the notrade Fabled that just dropped that they can't use, and I can.

On reflection, I think I can see one more reason why game companies have got rid of heavy death penalties. It makes their customer service so much easier. Sometimes bugs do happen and people get killed for unfair reason. With a small death penalty, it's no biggie, you just revive, maybe /bug about it, and move on.

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Wednesday, August 06, 2008

WoW Recruit-a-Friend

I got this email from Blizzard today:

Our new Recruit-A-Friend ( program has added features that reward you even more for bringing your friends into Azeroth. Recruit-A-Friend and earn:

- An exclusive ZHEVRA in-game mount* when your friend pays for 60 days of subscription time.

- 30 Days of FREE** WoW gametime when your friend pays for 30 days of subscription time.

Also, from the moment your friend creates a character and starts adventuring with you (including the trial period), both of you will receive these additional in-game benefits:

- You and your friend will earn triple the experience when grouped together.

- For every two levels of experience your friend earns, they can grant one level of experience to any one of your characters of lower level.

- You and your friend will have the ability to summon each other from any point in the world.

For more details on the new Recruit-A-Friend program please click here (

To recruit your friends now click here (


Wow, that's a great deal, with abilities I've never seen offered by an MMO before. Bestowing levels on someone, worldwide summon, and triple experience when grouped. Not to mention the mount. I guess they aren't too worried about jealousy, everyone has a mount by now.

On the other hand, it kind of makes them look desperate to me.

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Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Weekend at Chardok

I did a couple of runs into Chardok this last weekend, focused on getting an update for the templar epic. Once again, Chardok provided some of the most interesting gameplay in the game. Some of the tricks were legitimate gotchas, but at least one seemed like a big cheat. To avoid too much stress, I'll tell you now: we had many deaths, but none were permanent, and in the end, we got the update.

This anonymous comment was left on my previous post about Chardok:

Just in case you don’t know: When you get in the library, pet pull each book, from each room. Then you pull the Di’Zok. If you pull the Di’Zok first the books will add and you will die they are not linked and the Illusionist won’t be able to mezz the 4 mobs fast enough. When you get to the second room with books, to open the hidden passage there will be a clickable book that spawns on a timer on one of the lower shelves.

Wow, that would have been really useful to know if I had just read the comment before we went back in on Saturday. In order to activate the librarian (a golem), you need volumes I, II, and III of Mutagenica. These drop in an earlier pair of rooms, but on our previous trip, they seemed to be a quite rare spawn. Prices on the broker seemed to confirm this, as volume I was going for about 5 times that of volumes II and III. We had one of them going in.

We got to the librarian without any great mishap, and a couple of nameds killed. But at the far end of the corridor we spotted a named. I don't remember his name, but I remember how the fight went. We seemed to be doing well, burning him down pretty fast when suddenly the entire group was face down, dead. Except for the tank who was alive, but deep in the red. Needless to say, we wiped. Ok, what WAS that he hit us with?

In my log, it said that he hit me for "11,500 points of focus damage" Well, that makes it understandable why I'm dead, 11K isn't quite enough to kill me twice over, but it's getting close. Curiously, the plate-wearing tank took exactly the same amount of damage, 11,500 of "focus" damage. I've never heard of focus damage, what the heck is it?

That ended Saturday's run, it was late, and some folks headed to bed. Sunday we tried again once everyone showed up. Our first try we got to the librarian under a vow to leave that named alone until after we picked up the epic update.

The golem got the books and proceeded to open the secret doors and amble along to the library. So far, so good. We pull the Di'zok at the end of the hall even before the librarian got there, and the books came too. We couldn't control the encounter for some reason. My mez didn't stick well enough, maybe due to AE dots, or maybe because of resistances. Or perhaps we had a big hit, or perhaps folks weren't quite ready for the pull. Maybe all of the above. Mandoralen, our SK tank, did FD on Kat, the fury, so we wouldn't have to go back to the beginning of the zone. However, she died from a dot while FD.

This is when we discover the new respawn point recently added. It's just before the large hanging bridge which is guarded by the two gigantic golems. In fact, it's just around the corner from the two gigantic golems. Thus ensued a comedy of errors while various people pull the golems by mistake and die. We finally got organized, put up a mender bot on the spot, killed the golem (I got killed and went back to the mender bot) and ran across the bridge. It LOOKED as if the war was on, with droag distracting the Di'zok guards, so we raced past them just as they woke up and went straight for us. Another wipe. (Actually, Jioja, our ranger survived since he never engaged with the fight, it happened too fast. Or he's just that smart.)

The good news is that we got to use the new respawn point again, so we revive and the mender bot is still there! Bonus points! Uh, except that it despawns at the precise moment we click on it to heal again. I could swear I heard it say "psych!" as it despawned.

Ok, now we don't have a volume I, so it's back to those rooms to see if maybe, just maybe we might be able to get another. It was our day, we got 3!

Ok, we're feeling better now, so we gave the library another try. We take it really slow, and let the librarian go all the way into the first room and sit down. The Di'zok in that room has wandered off to the left somewhere, so we creep through the room and into the right corridor without getting any aggro, at all.

The next room has a similar setup. A Di'zok that's aggro, and three books that are not, nor are they linked. None of them see invis, but we don't really know how to open the door to get past this room, so we figure we'd better kill them.

We managed it by mezzing/petting the Di'zok while killing the books. That seemed to work, though it was a bit dicy. We find the switch and open the door. The corridor leads to a "T". To the right is a room with a bunch of nameds that the bruisers need to get into for their epic. But we don't have a bruiser, so we avoid that, at least until after we get Milia's update.

To our left, there it is. At the back of another room is an afflicted Di'zok, which Milia must cure with an item that she has concocted to get her update. However, there are three more "non-aggro" books in this room, plus a Di'zok that hates our guts. This time, the troubador, Phritz, charms the Di'zok and Milia races in and hits her cure. At which point the Di'zok breaks charm. It only lasted maybe 5 seconds, but it was enough. Interestingly, the books didn't aggro until the charm broke.

Of course, seeing how she got her update, we engage the fight that is upon us, and we manage to win, by mezzing the Di'zok while killing the books first. Close, but we got it. Now, to try for the other room.

There is a named Di'zok and 2 named books, along with the usual "non-aggro" books. Mandoralen was able to body pull the two named books singly. Alone, they are easy pickings for us. Next, he says, I'll try something. He takes out a bow, and shoots one of the books. It comes, with nothing else!!!.

It's at this point I realize that we've been had fair and square by the dungeon designer. A very worthy trick, that exploits the player psychology. Who kills things that they don't have to?

So, to my anonymous poster, I say, you are right, a pet pull will work, but it isn't necessary. The books don't aggro for other books, just for the Di'zok. The Di'zok doesn't care about them either. Knowledge is power.

Unfortunately, we wiped on the way out of the library, as we were rushing to get to a named. At that point we packed it in, happy for the update.

This is my idea of a really good time in an MMO. It starts with good comrades with good attitudes. Add in puzzles, the need to scramble, using our abilities in interesting ways, and the threat of respawn.

The RoK instances have many of these elements, but the threat of respawn, and a long fight back to where you were make dungeons that much more interesting. And it's a good thing I like them, since next we will be going deep into Sebilis to get more updates.

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Friday, August 01, 2008

Grindstones and Noses

Tipa has been complaining about level grinding.

I’ve had my level 75 cleric on Luclin for about… four months now. The level cap on EverQuest is 80. There have been three expansions since I last played her, The Serpent’s Spine, The Buried Sea and Secrets of Faydwer (I played TSS just long enough to get to level 75). A new expansion, Seeds of Destruction is about to come out.

And I don’t care. I haven’t even joined one group her level. Because I know what my job will be — sitting on my ass watching other people have fun while I press the heal button occasionally.

That character is, if you couldn't guess, a cleric. In EQ, not EQ2.

Just counting my main characters, I figure I have heard the ding 2270 times (counting AAs in the EQa). And that’s really low, since I have bunches of alts in every game I didn’t count. Also that doesn’t count DAoC, FFXI, LotRO or the others. Call it 3000 times counting everything.

Color me impressed. I might have 1000 levels, if you count AA's and toons in all games. But then, I try to never grind levels as the reason for fighting. In consequence, I level more slowly. I try to do something that I think will be fun. If I can't have fun logging on, I don't do it.

I can't say I blame Tipa for this attitude, it's easy to feel led around by the nose.

It's very hard not to get caught up in it anyway, and I celebrated when I hit the level cap. First of all, leveling gives you lots of positive feedback. You get new or improved skills, you get more hit points, and there is a very pleasing sound played in your ears. We are all being trained by the game companies to play again, and play more effectively, even though only a few of us are actually Ratonga. We're being dragged around by our behavioral noses, or should that be whiskers?

And there are lots of social rewards and pressures. You want to keep up with your friends who are leveling. There is significant social status to be had by dinging 80, and by getting the kewl l00t. There's always the question of competition, and trying to be the first, or top 10 or 100. Competition is a great social motivator. If you fall behind, you will have a harder time getting folks to group with, and after all, isn't that why you play this game? Ouch, you've got my social nose, and your rubbing it on that grindstone.

On the other hand, all these rewards result in extrinsic motivation. Research on heavily reward-based behavior in schools shows that explicit rewards both increase the amount of behavior (in this case, leveling, e.g., playing the game), and result in burnout, which I would describe as an abrupt cessation of the desired behavior. Somehow, when the rewards are explicit, it stops being play and starts being work.

When the only reason that you do things is because its fun to do it, and you are playing around, then there's less burnout.

Two former guildies, Chuman and Cosecha (of Butcherblock) run the guild Lineage. They raid weeknights. But Chuman has said to me, and others, "It's not about the drops, it's about the kill." This is what I would call intrinsice motivation. That group has learned together, improved their game, adjusted their strats, and overcome pretty much all the toughest obstacles in the game, while becoming better friends and have a really good time with one another. I've been on a few of their raids, I know both how good they are and how much fun they have. That's what I'd call intrinsic motivation. It can still exist in the game.

Unfortunately, I can see several business advantages to features of games that I don't especially like:

  • Level grinding keeps more people in the game longer. Which keeps them as paying customers longer. As does the raiding grind.

  • Deeply leveled characters represent a big investment of time and emotional energy, not to mention money. People will be less likely to walk away from them and stop paying their monthly fee.

  • Games that can't be soloed effectively will have fewer players, because most players are group-averse.

    There are good reasons for being a little aversive to a pickup group, and voice chat only makes it worse. Coarse, rude, and offensive speech is often greatly mitigated when people have to type it. But when they can just push a button and babble away, you end up with lots more of it, and none of it is reportable.

    Also, skill level varies greatly, and in most current games, the best way to grief people is to group with them, ninja loot, overpull, get everyone killed, and then whine in broadcast chat about how you want a good group. So people are group-averse. Hence, a group-centric game, while it would promote group-oriented players, would also restrict playership.

  • An increased death penalty would increase the tension involved with dangerous situations, and encourage better play. Of course, It would also mean more unhappy players mad at the game company for making things so hard. And it would make players even more conservative about grouping, and give greater scope to ingroup griefing. Is this the path to greater revenue for your game company? I think not.

Sorry for the burst of cynical pessimism. There might be a game design out there that solves some or all of these problems. It might not be a persistent world mmo, who knows? I think it might take a game company that is willing to think a little smaller, accept a niche role. Tipa is looking at a lot of the play-for-free games out there, that's probably a good direction. Especially for those of us with sore noses.

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