Mark continues with Foundational Principle #9 Forced socialization was good, then bad. Is it time for a comeback?
"Over the decades MUDs evolved from their mostly solo-friendly roots to the first generation of MMORPGs (Meridian 59, UO, EQ, etc.) where group play was not only encouraged but quickly became a necessary component to leveling up characters and gaining the best gear. More recently, the genre has further evolved (or devolved, in many peoples’ opinions) to where solo-play to level cap is not only possible but can be the most efficient way to do so when one factors in the leveling time that is “lost” when players seek a group, getting that group organized, choosing the right targets, etc.
Additionally, when you also factor in things such as “ninja looting,” at times seemingly endless debate about tactics, targets, etc., solo-play becomes an even more appealing behavior. Dark Age of Camelot certainly was a pacesetter in establishing this trend since back then, we specifically wanted to make the leveling grind less rugged than in Everquest for example, by decreasing the amount of time people needed to spend between fights, no long boat rides, etc. Finally, as games that are more recent have blurred (or shattered) class distinctions, grouping within MMOPRGs is probably at an all-time low, especially for players who are not part of guilds or the like.
While many players have enjoyed this change, especially at the beginning of this rather slippery slope (for example, I’ve always been a solo player), one of the things that I have been pondering over the years is what has been lost because of these changes. IMO, for the purposes of this FP, it boils down to two words, community and Community. I’ve already talked about the role classes will play in CU so I won’t reiterate that now but rather, I’ll address how both the crafting/housing systems and other group activities can help nurture and foster both types of community.
Over the years, I have both written and spoken about the use of community and Community as non-interchangeable words. Here, I will use the word Community to refer to the current supporters of what will become CU’s core players if our Kickstarter successfully funds.
While these Foundational Principles are the first step in helping to build a Community for CU, they are simply good first steps as the building of a true Community will take more time and effort than my simply waxing poetic about the MMORPG we hope to create. However, when taken as a whole, these FPs, my interviews, talking/interacting with players on forums has already created a small but energized player base with a number of players already setting up fan sites, helping spread the word about CU on forums, guilds talking about the game, etc.
The best part of this for me is that while they are helping to build our Community, small as it is right now, I have also been getting gathering of useful feedback, suggestions, etc. that have been quite helpful in both validating my vision for CU and exciting the CSE team. While these methods aren’t forced on the players in the same manner that long boat rides, lengthy downtime between encounters, etc. were in certain MMORPGS, the results are quite welcome and similar; we have a group of people who are excited and working together to help us accomplish our goal, bringing CU to life.
Again, this Community may be small in numbers now but if our Kickstarter successfully funds, its contribution in helping to spread the word about CU will be anything but small. No matter what the outcome of the Kickstarter, this Community has my thanks and gratitude for the efforts that have made on our behalf whether in spreading the word or simply interacting with each other and me on various forums."
Continue reading here: http://camelotunchained.com/en/foundational-principle-9/