[WF-General] Group ownership of characters

Tom Austin austin at usf.teradyne.com
Mon Oct 9 18:19:52 PDT 2000


I cant say that i was ever a good role player. If role playing is like acting
then in all the online games i played i was more of a character acter then
a method actor. I played my self just in the setting of a fantasy world.
This may apply to the discussion but I wanted that small disclamer.

I have played hundreds of hours -- oh god, more like thousands -- in on line 
worlds. mostly in groups some small some big. some lasted for a few weeks
some have lasted for years. there are half a dozen people I have met on line
that i am in contact with today that I have never met in real life.

~ 
~      This is never a substitution for one person playing one character, but 
~ it does allow group cohesion in the absence of the whole group.  I 
~ (personally) cannot stand role-playing more than one character at a 
~ time...it is distracting.  But there are people who are good at it, and 
~ there are times when it is useful, even needed.

one thing that breaks up groups in online worlds is that people's 
levels get way out of balance over time. Level 20 players and level 50 players
have a hard time having fun even when they really like each other. 
I am skeptical but maybe this is a way for a person that plays 2 hours a nite
to hang in there with people that play 4 hours a nite. or for people that 
have to leave the game for a month to get back into it.

~      Again the main intention (from a gamer's point of view) is to promote 
~ group interaction.  If I have to have everybody who is on my spaceship 
~ there, in game, before I am able to do anything I will avoid being placed in 
~ such a group.  It limits the times and places when I can play my character 
~ and it limits my friends' ability to enjoy the game..
~      People do (hopefully) have lives, which occasionally interfere with 
~ their arranged RPG times.  If there is nothing that can be done about that 
~ persons absence there are only a few options...most of which are not 
~ pleasing to that person's character: death, abandonment, dragged by the 
~ hair...

and it would add a bit of realism for people on your space ship who head 
back to their real lives and not disappear off the space ship.

~      Most of this is projection...the lack of group dynamic is why *I* do 
~ not play online games.  In reality it is very often advantageous to tackle 
~ dangerous situations in groups (not always), but in online games this is 
~ hardly ever true...there might be lots of people in one place...but they are 
~ not a group.


Here's where i disagree. with a good group, and i had a wonderful group
i played with in Achrons Call, the fun only starts when the group gets 
togeather. The reason is because with out the balance provided by the 
different skills of the group we could not go to uncharted areas of the world 
and make it back out again. 
 
~      From a GM/director's point of view this would seem to be invaluble.  
~ The ability to find out where each of your NPC's are, to be able to take 
~ them over, and "depossess" them, to have a group of players who can bounce 
~ back and forth directing the evil nemsis's minions.  These chars usually 
~ have little (interesting) past history, and minimal personality.  They are 
~ an excellent outlet for the people who have little desire to role play and 
~ just wish to hack-n-slash.

Vampire the masquarade, the pc game is getting there. It gives the gm similar
abilities and is being used by some people to really set up great role 
playing secessions. I am very interested to see what Neverwinter Nights 
does with their GM abilities.  

 
~ Again I am not the voice of experience.  I have not seen UO, I have not 
~ actively played anyof these games.  My opinions are from observationof other 
~ (role-playing) gamers, most of whom seem to get frustrated at the online 
~ world's lack of cooperation and group unity.

There is a lot of that and in the end I left UO and AC because of the break 
down of group dynamics but not until i had spent years playing the two of
them. 

Any thing that can be done to make it easier for groups to form and contact
each other online is vital in my opinion. How to do it and not make it too
intrusive to the game play needs some thought. I used ICQ in UO but was not 
too happy.  AC had its own system which was what helped keep our group togeather
for such a long time. It was intrusive but served its purpose.
 
~ I just wanted to clarify...I promise I won't ramble again on this thread.
~ -Scott Tillman
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