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Reader Comments (10)

Posted: Nov 8th 2008 12:44PM wjowski said

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Chat interface improvements are useless and pointless if the playerbase doesn't use them. The social environment of any MMO is primarily up to the players, no the game developers.

Posted: Nov 8th 2008 12:48PM Ghede said

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Pfft, what surprises me is that more games don't have built in VOIP. It's a pain in the ass to have to type when an unexpected mob barges in when you are fighting another mob.

Posted: Nov 9th 2008 5:36PM (Unverified) said

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do you really want to hear everones voice?
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Posted: Nov 8th 2008 1:13PM (Unverified) said

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This is the best idea for MMO improvement I've heard in a long time. Make it so.

Posted: Nov 8th 2008 2:26PM (Unverified) said

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This is absolutely an important point.

I agree. More emphasis on good, useful, and for the love of god, VERSATILE chat interfaces.

Star Wars Galaxies holds several records in the mmo-business, not least of which includes screwing your customer base over the most, but also on the most creative and deep game mechanics. And this is yet another point in which it shines.

Star Wars Galaxies had the best chat interface ever. It practically parallelled a good IRC interface! - you had tons of functions.

- Windows could be dragged out and placed where you wanted them, or organized in the usual tabs.
- There were several layers of regional channels.
- And you could even create your very own chat channels!
- And while cross-faction chat might be an issue in some worlds, it wasn't at all in SWG, as the socializing actually transcended factions. You were in fact factionless by default, until you took action.

Posted: Nov 11th 2008 9:59PM (Unverified) said

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It seems like in every game, you need a good guild to experience the full game. What I don't understand is why every MMO I've ever played has left this totally up to the player. They should have a looking for guild system, just like they have a looking for group system. Instead of having websites devoted to help players find guilds, put that functionality in the game!

Posted: Nov 9th 2008 2:21AM (Unverified) said

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I've been looking into the social aspect of mmorpgs for awhile now, especially with the new games that have come out like WAR. Being an EQ vet I found that the community and social aspects of that game are superior to basically every mmorpg since. After playing WAR I felt the total lack of social factor in the game, that's after leveling up 2 30+ characters. This was a problem I didn't like so I decided to break down EQ and find out what made it tick.

In the end I realized it's a number of things that create an environment for a community to flourish, but it basically came down to a few major issues. Basically put, in mmorpgs, at least all of the ones that have been released so far, there are levels. This is something EVERYONE who plays the game does, they level. So right off the bat you have the focal point, leveling up your character. Now all you have to do is give reasons to gather characters together to work on a focal goal in the game. EQ did this by giving the best exp to players in groups, at the same time most of the pve in the game required groups. What this did was gather players together to communicate and socialize for a common goal, which was to level and progress through the pve content. It's as easy as that yet games these days totally overlook this vital factor.

Unfortunately where WAR failed was that they adopted WoW's solo leveling quest chain system but neglected to provide the superb dungeon content like WoW has. So players overlook most of the dungeons in WAR or completely bypass them due to their locations and puzzles and instead solo quest to max level. Whereas in WoW players are lured into these dungeons due to their great design and rewards, let alone fast leveling. In the end you have player A. in WAR who levels 1-max with very little social interaction thus not gaining many friends and you have player B. in WoW who probably found a guild from doing instances with random people while he leveled up thus gaining many friends. Friends = reasons to log into the game again, reasons to miss the game when you log off and ultimately a mmorpgs success.

I still feel EQ has the easiest process of doing this and it still had the best community around due to the grouping mechanic of the leveling system, a fully connecting world, and lack of instant action mini game battleground type pvp. Designers should look back at EQ and take notes, there's alot more reasons than I've stated that made EQ have 15 expansions and counting.

Posted: Nov 10th 2008 11:17AM Syme said

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Self-description for identifying game communities during server selection is unreliable. Different people use the descriptions differently For example, I would have chosen a server that had a heavy roleplaying community. Unfortunately, I would have been unaware that most people who describe themselves as "heavy roleplayers" consider the actual game to be little better than a distraction from the complicated personal story they are developing, and they play out-of-character through most of the PvE content including instance groups.

In addition, people use descriptive systems for their own purposes, which may not be accurate identification.

And finally, communities change over time. My server certainly has.

Posted: Nov 11th 2008 10:06AM (Unverified) said

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Aside from the obvious technical aspects of the need for effective communication tools, I believe one of the reasons communities do not flourish as one might expect is because raids groups, guilds, etc. exist for primarily selfish reasons. Most players seeking access to endgame content need to be part of a guild to access the gear...not because of a deep felt adoration toward the players in that guild...though some bonds inevitably do form. A system of guild/group achievements, that are relevant and significant within the context of the game, might stimulate some different behavior. Food for thought.

Posted: Nov 11th 2008 12:05PM toychristopher said

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I actually hate the guild systems in place in most mmos and think that they actually inhibit the social aspect of the game in many ways. I think mmo's need to come up with innovative and more convenient ways of bringing people with the same goals together.

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