I just wanted to share some views on how I think online gamers have evolved over the years and will continue to evolve.
Multi Game groups
I have become more fascinated lately with discovering new multi game groups that exist, both new and old. One example of what I found were the Multi Game Guilds found in the MMORPGs, which seemed to be formed by gamers who did not want to lose their guild should the game itself be lost. They seem to have their own rules and codes both in and out of character and an active community for it's members.
More fascinating were some of the older MU* groups, that is, text based game groups. One group in particular seems very advanced and discourages it's members from taking the spotlight. Instead they use a private volunteer mailing list. From what I understand, the players can then choose to play as secondary characters in another game under direction of the GM, given room for improvisation. These volunteers seem to enhance events in the game for others, in place of in game AI, tedious building and programming.
There are other games as well, such as play-by-posts and more, but I'll try to get to the point. So far I have found no common ground for these groups, We have been working on a new level of interaction, a common ground for multi game groups and players. This common ground will involve a play by post (forum roleplay) that integrates other online games. Forum roleplay would not be mandatory to use the system but it will be in place for the players and game owners who choose to do so. One feature we want to have is multi game quests between games and players. We have this project broken up into stages to make it as simple as possible to use and understand. It is currently at a very early part of stage 1.
We understand that game owners and players all have different perspectives and preferences. For this project, we plan to have a system that is open to all genres. Yet allow game owners and players to be able to narrow down the choices within the open genre, as some player characters wouldn't be welcome in some genres. To allow them to do so, we are working on easy to understand templates for game owners to be able to find and interact with player characters they want, how-ever they want to. This may be as simple as asking them to enter their game as a mercenary to perform a quest. Role play will be encouraged but only enforced on certain areas.
We aim to have a multi game group to help explore and develope new multi game ideas and systems. We would like to encourage others with simular interest or experience to join as well.
I have reasons to believe that alot of players grow tired of online games because they simply cannot reach their full potential within the game world. I know that there are players who are capable of taking a secondary role, at least temporarily, to help make their game world a better place for others. Granted that some of them are more selfless about it than than others, meaning that one player character may only want to build to glorify their own player character, where as another would build without any desire of fame, fortune or even recognition.
Ironically, many player characters are told not to build nor create art nor productions that would flesh out their game world. Instead they are merely encouraged to harness their "skills" within the game world by repeatedly clicking a mouse button to add to the mounds of repetitive garbage that is already in them from the all-to-simular practice of others.
It seems to be understood that at least a few players have evolved past the average hack -and-slashers. It's not that I feel that hack-n-slashers do not have a place, they do. I feel that all players have a place in a game world and generally do there part to make it bigger and better. I still play like that myself sometimes..but what does a player do when they tire of it?
There seems to be so many players that want more involvment in their world and aren't happy with the content long. The quests and runs become repetitive and areas are never expanded. Often no matter what the characters do in the game, there seems to be no change in the game world, no effect, no consequence..
I'm not suggesting that a team be replaced by player characters, but more so I think that a team could consider utilizing player characters that evolve beyond the average player. It just seems that alot of problems between devs and players could take care of themselves should there be a system in place that could benifit both sides. Here is just one out of many possible examples:
-players want more areas
-players want less repetitive quests
-players want more skills/ items
option 1: why not allow players who are capable of building, to aid in building, in exchange for say items/skills that are not available to the average player but would be to a builder? Itemshop items even?
option 2: why not base a quest for the average player off of this building project? It may sound like a nightmare but are there enough people interested in building to form a guild and be directed under a GM?
I feel that online gaming is evolving and the possibilities are endless.
-J & J