Saturday, September 23, 2006

The Central Tension in Multiuser Worlds

The central tension in multiuser worlds is between a player's conflicting desires to both effect changes in the world experienced by other players while not being unduly subject to the changes wrought by other players. This is a fundamentally unsolvable dilemma.

Two strategies for mitigating the conflict are to reduce the level of impact a player can have on the world or to increase a player's sense of opting in to the impact another player has on her.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

PVP Guilds

Blizzard is apparently creating a parallel mini-guild structure in the expansion for pvp arena teams. I think it would be great to go even further in a game and establish several other parallel guild structures. Friends lists are a simple and common example. But also, a guild structure for crafters/merchants (cartels?). A guild structure for pvp teams in general (armies?). Etc. People need to have more than just one social circle in a game and the game needs to support that.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

PVP Zones

While raiding Ironforge tonight, we ran into the usual situation where the other faction chooses not to flag until we are in disarray from a guard zerg. Imagine instead that there was a way for us to temporarily turn the zone into a contested zone. Perhaps by killing certain key (and reasonably defended) npcs or taking certain points. I'm imagining it as a slow transition from a safe zone to a contested one, giving people who want to opt out of pvp time to evacuate or stop the transition. The contested zone status should also be on a cooldown to prevent a permanent state of seige in what is designed to be a safe place.