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Reader Comments (36)

Posted: Mar 10th 2012 10:45AM Jorev said

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I dislike anything that dummies down the gaming experience and current MMOs that autosave quest information, maps, etc. do just that.

Having a notebook that the player has the freedom to write and draw maps into is the way to go. These then can be traded or sold or shared.

Posted: Mar 12th 2012 1:16AM jimr9999us said

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@Jorev

That's such a great idea...the game would have no maps or quest maps at all...but you could draw them and sell them!

Good stuff :)
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Posted: Mar 13th 2012 6:05AM Jorev said

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@jimr9999us

Every player should have a notebook, but you could also create a specific tradeskill as chartographer, which could develop advanced abilities and possess the skill to use improved techniques, tools and ingredients to draw elaborate colorful detail specific maps.
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Posted: Mar 10th 2012 10:56AM Hipster said

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If you can accept all the negatives about Mortal Online. Their next expansion is bringing notes/books back.
http://www.mortalonline.com/awakening

Posted: Mar 10th 2012 11:58AM AlienFanatic said

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@Hipster

It's a game I'm fascinated with, but at a distance. If only PVP wasn't an essential component of Mortal, I'd give it a go. But I'm not the kind of person who likes to be ganked while I'm just trying to chill.
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Posted: Mar 10th 2012 1:03PM Feydakin said

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Oh yeah I do. I was in a well known RP guild on the Atlantic shard in Ultima Online (Knights of Sosaria) back in the day, and it was a great tool for player driven story. I owned the large keep in what is now Felucca, in the player driven town called Elysium next to the Wandering Wisp Tavern. I used to read every book that i came across in the game. I remember one time following a lone of riddles all across the world in books that someone had made. The houses the books were in were set up to tell a story and had clues and whatnot in them. It was so awesome.... it's a nearly dead art form in most MMORPGs now.

Posted: Mar 10th 2012 1:20PM (Unverified) said

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@Feydakin

As someone noted above, these books were added to Eq2 a few years ago. Players have used them in their homes (which also can be greatly customized) to create various interesting puzzles, stories, etc. for players to enjoy.
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Posted: Mar 10th 2012 3:18PM clik said

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Oh look another reason why UO bitch slaps all of today's pseudo MMOs.

Posted: Mar 11th 2012 8:59AM jlong64 said

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Thanks, I'll give it a look.
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Posted: Mar 10th 2012 7:09PM Space Cobra said

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Some commentors, IMO, seem to miss what this brings to the gaming table.

While we can do this with in-game missions, these are tools that can supplement such missions, especially out of the particular player mission. And they can be used for other things in the game proper.

With forums and all, yes, we have those (actually, we've had those in UO's time, too) but there are several things to remember. Heck, I don't get to forums all the time, but I like exploring and if I bump into such a book, I might sit down and read it in-game. Actually, one of my hopes was for more player-creative interaction within the game without alt-tabbing out. (Didn't they have Signboards/Bulletin Boards in EQ1, too? You could post a fast message for others to read.) And I don't mean when you click on a UI-menu choice, the game throws you in a web-browser. I mean, coded-crafted in game forums and while I think it should be limited to several hubs/areas in big cities, I know (and don't mind) if we get a menu-option (or magic book) to access them from afar.

Also, sorta in reference to signboards, I would prefer to read the scrawlings/writings without actually clicking on the board to read. Just approach and read it and if it scrolls, well, then you can click on a button (or, better yet, just have an in-game scrolling signboard where your mouse pointer can click to scroll).

There can be abuses, but I think there may be ways around it. Maybe if one funnels most of the input of such things into one GM easy-to-read area for oversight?

Posted: Mar 11th 2012 11:02AM cray said

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If there was way to moderate player-written books, it could be a marvelous feature. I think the only way it could work if there were some pre-written sentences to choose from a massive selection. There would be certain sentences that could not be joined together to prevent abusive innuendo. Of course all the sentences would be based on the game's themes and lore.

It would be a massive developmental project, but it would be the only way it could work.

Posted: Mar 12th 2012 9:37AM ApathyCurve said

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@cray

/facepalm
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Posted: Mar 12th 2012 12:54PM Anmaeriel said

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@cray Reminds me of the sentences some reporters ask of you in the recent Pokemon games. They give you banks of dumb words and it's impossible to make anything creative.

I say no, for the sake of creativity!

(Moderating is okay though, there could be a "Report this book" button.)
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Posted: Mar 11th 2012 4:55PM godot9 said

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Too bad this role-play feature has largely been subsumed by the wiki/forum setup. I see it as just a symptom of the MMO game evolution - from RP adventure to side-shooter in 3rd person format for all those impatient people.

Check out my Blessed Coldain Prayer Shawl (#8)! What's this? A stain!? Noooooooooooooo!

-Sweetfang

Posted: Mar 11th 2012 8:07PM Lionhearted said

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Is it really gone? I've been creating an entire mission/quest in a mediocre game like STO, using the Vault, and features like the Vault are exceptionally popular in games that have them (so much so that I don't understand why almost all games that can don't create one).

My guess for why player-written books don't exist in most (if not all) modern MMOs is because they're a) not at the top of most players' lists, b) probably not well used in older MMOs and c) even less read than written in those games.

I don't think they're bad ideas and, even if most players won't read them, they can still serve a greater purpose by just having them there, if anything to keep record of the history of the genre. (It's so hard finding the history of these games, both from the developers' perspectives and the players, and given all the hours put in by developers and players alike, that history *should* be kept).

However, ultimately, it's less important than having a fully-fledged quest system (with plenty of quests to max out a character and beyond), trade skill system, server stability, bug fixes, etc. etc. etc.

I'm willing to bet it would be easier to feature a good section of a website devoted to player stories, pictures, blogs, guilds and timelines. It would also be more easily accessible by players who care about the history of games, and those who would stumble on some of it. Some of it could even automatically be kept, a la player WoW's online character sheets. It would be even better if there were similar pages kept for guilds, keeping track of who they've killed and allowing players from those guilds to put little personal stories about them in it.

That sort of ability to keep history is even more important for older games, that were much less cookie-cutter and everything had to be figured out from scratch, and when gear was so poor that strategy still reigned supreme (sometimes that's still the case, but in more gimmicky ways).

People may think I'm crazy for saying this, but a 100 years from now, there will be 'video game historians' that would be utterly fascinated by this kind of stuff... and they're going to be desperate for information, because of these entire worlds that exist, we haven't been much better at keeping track at what's happened in them than people were before the printing press.

Posted: Mar 11th 2012 9:16PM Graill440 said

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There were a few folks i loved to read in Asherons call, not so much guides as huge explanations of the games mechanics done by some truly talented folks. My favorite was a piece about how to pvp in Asherons call, this person had a monthly piece and we discussed this person with tears in our eyes we laughed so hard.........

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