A long time ago in a galaxy far far away I was out questing. I stopped by the nearest Cantina for some healing and I walk into this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E6mHwinwUw4
Yes, those happened, no I did not know about them until I walked into it, and yes I felt like a kid that just opened their parents “locked” dresser drawer...my perspective was forever changed when I found that dirty little secret (the cantina crawl not the...well...nevermind too painful to remember).
We know CU will have bars/taverns/cantinas. We also know you can go to these bars to enjoy a brew and watch the chaos in the depths. Thats already pretty innovative, but what else can we do in them? How to they enhance the experience of the game? What's the point? Why even have them? I have facebook to talk to people, and forums to talk to e-people, so why do I need yet another chatty Kathy hotspot to hang out, shouldn’t I be RVRing? Why spend so much time, energy, and money on a fancy chat room? Speaking of, do those things even exist on the interwebs anymore, remember when ICQ was cool, hell, remember when myspace was cool, hell x2, remember when facebook was cool? What does that tell us? That the social lounge crowd is fickle and moves around more than a gypsy, so why bother humoring them with a bar full of time wasted?
(goes into a few chat rooms, quickly returns) O.O
Yep, they do, nope, they haven’t gotten better...worse, much, much worse...those people need a hobby, other than chat rooming...
The Tavern should be a social escape but I see no reason that some of the tavern activities can’t contribute to the war. But before we get to that, what can we do in them? Watch the chaos in the depth has been mentioned. Gambling would be nice. Blackjack or a modified CU version perhaps? Betting on duels or at least bare knuckle pit fighting? Dance? Arm wrestler? Other mini games? Maybe we have a spa/salon/barber room in the tavern where players can go work on looking cool? Maybe appearance editor is a skill you can pick up and level similar to image designer in SWG. Not a class the likes of a builder or fighter, but a secondary mini skill you can snag? Lets add dancer and musician to those mini skills, now we have some energy in the room!
What else? Access to the PVP ranking charts, player bounties, and other list type info could be exclusive to the taverns. After all, where is the best place to get info irl (other than the interwebs)? A church or a bar naturally. If we create enough reason for people to hang out at the tavern then the merchants won’t be far behind. Maybe each tavern has a town square area that gets built along with it. That area can be surrounded by shops and crafting related things? Physically making them the center of the towns is important to keeping them busy. Speaking of, maybe the Tavern is where you go to look at drawings for houses or clothing or weapons and armor? NOT BUY THEM, just look at drawings of them for refference. Maybe you can also access some herald like stuff from them? Now we have merchants and crafters involved but like cowbell “I gotta have more”!
Our ingredients are looking pretty good, but lets take it up a notch. SWG had combat fatigue. If CU had something similar it means dying a lot over time gives you wounds. Only a few points off of your health for example. But if you ignore those wounds and continue to die they add up. Soon your health is at 55 out of 100 because you have 45 wounds and were too lazy to get them fixed up. You can have those wounds healed up on the battlefield, or maybe you can go to the Tavern and have them healed up slightly faster by engaging in Tavern activities? So now we have social, we have fun, we have it benefitting other parts of the game, and we have some relevance. Wanna add a pinch of (to borrow a phrase) BSC, maybe when you die you come back to the taverns! Maybe not...
It’s a tricky balance. We want to drive people to the Taverns to enhance the social environment of the game, but we can’t make the tavern into a buff house. We need convenient and fun things to make players want to use them, but not feel like they HAVE to use them. “But why Tierfull? Why spend to much time and effort on fluff? After all the very idea of a bar brought the mighty EVE to it’s knees!” Actually it was a monocle, long story...btw get your facts straight imaginary audience!
Because it keeps people invested. It keeps them in CU and away from other forms of entertainment that might pull them away. It keeps CU feeling energized, populated, and like a living world. How many times have you logged into game X, went to the “main town” saw it was empty, thought the game was “teh lame now” and “dead” and logged out? As much as we all like to think we are Wolverine, we all forget that even Logan needs him some social interaction once in awhile. FYI I don’t think I’m Mr. Snikt. I think I’m Superman minus the powers, the muscles, the good looks, and with a beard...speaking of, “pop quiz hot shots” how does Superman shave? I dare you to figure it out without googling it!
Look, we are humans, and as much as we like to think otherwise, we are social animals, and it’s through our social interactions that we form bonds that get us to protect one another. Most, MOST of us have a need for social stuff at some point, and I believe that is why MOST of us play MMORPGs. They are personal, they are a community, and it’s the social interactions that make the experiences in them unique. If it isn’t the social aspect then what is it? I could kill, fight, craft, beat, etc in single player games. Heck, I can even play FPSs and have some social interactions. But those pale when compared to MMO-social. MMOs SHOULD take it to another level. They SHOULD give us a world to live in. They SHOULD make us interact and rely on one another but not for us, for themselves.
Social interactions are the glue of MMOs. When developers removed having to interact they unknowingly removed the glue that has kept players in their game. Back in the day you didnt leave a game, you made a damned life altering decision to abandon your friends! It was like moving to another country! I keep stressing MOST, I myself mostly solo and rarely get overly involved with guilds, but I think the majority of MMO players would agree, with me; fighting is fun, crafting is great, but the community is what keeps them coming back and nothing binds a community like a Tavern. (see I was bringing it back home, and to think you thought I was going off on another rant, psh, you offend me!)