[WF-General] Group ownership of characters

Tess Snider malkin at Radix.Net
Tue Oct 10 01:07:09 PDT 2000

On Mon, 9 Oct 2000, Tom Austin wrote:

> 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.

This is where we mustn't fall into the trap of thinking only in terms of
what EQ, AC, and UO have to offer.  A game, and the relationships within
it, need not revolve around nothing but killing things, gaining levels,
and, lest we not forget, acquiring "phat lewt."  A well-designed game will
provide contexts for interaction which transcend statistics.  This goes
without saying in a more roleplaying-oriented game.  After all, you're
not going to be bounced out of the local tavern at storytime because your
level is too low.  However, even in a hack-and-slasher, there are numerous
inequal relationships that can be explored, such as knight-squire,
master-pupil, and master-servant.  Or, hell, just unevenly-matched
friends...  After all, every Holmes has his Watson. :)  The designer needs
to find a way to make these relationships work out -- not to make them
simply impossible because he's too terrified that a low-level character 
might get some kind of advantage by hanging out with his higher-level
buddy.  A character with a mentor *should* learn faster than a character
without one.


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