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The staff of gets together to bring you some behind the scenes insights on stories, the industry and the site itself.

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Contributors: BillMurphy,MikeB,garrett,SBFord,Grakulen,

Community Spotlight: Player Run Events

Posted by MikeB Sunday December 30 2012 at 6:15PM
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In this week's Community Spotlight, we focus on the thread, "Giving Players the Ability to Run Events" by halobump.

I was thinking about the role of a GM and it occured to me that it seems to be something that doesn't get used much when in actuality it could be a fantastic tool to use for an MMO world.

Sandboxes would suit this very well, but could also be implimented more into other subtypes as well.

How do you think about it? Or not really that bothered?

How does the community feel about player run events in MMOs? Read on to find out!

Inf666 offers a bit of a pessimistic (or realistic?) take on the subject:

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1. It will get exploited to hell. Start a small event for your guild and spawn easy to kill monsters with good loot. Since your guild knows what is coming, they can equip perfect gear.

2. It does not scale well. You have 5000 players on your server? An event incorporates 50 players? For every player to be able to participate in an event every day you will need 100 GMs per day per server. With redundancy lets say 200 GMs. How will you get that number of players to act as a GM without a reward?

3. A mass of events will result in players losing interest fast. What would you rather do: Go into a dungeon with a chance to find an uber sword or play the same event with no reward at all for the 10th time?

madazz is more in favor of it:

It's a great idea and worked well in UO. Depending on the type of event a GM would help too. But yeah, its not the same anymore without the GM doing cool random fun things.

nariusseldon doesn't have a lot of confidence in his fellow player to pull cool things off:

I highly doubt it will be fun. Most players are not good content creator.

I am not opposed to trying the idea out though .. although i have little faith in it.

Player run events have been done in quite a few MMOs, some with dev supported tools and some without. Oddly enough, one of my first experiences in Star Wars Galaxies was a player run event where a bunch of newbies basically all got together and went on a big hunt on Endor. Given our lack of combat skills, the results were quite hilarious to say the least.

Later, SOE threw support behind many of these player run events by giving players tools to spawn a variety of props, mobs, and the like, in order to really bring their concepts to life. These sort of events were a regular thing in SWG and other MMOs and I feel they add great value and sense of community to the game. I'd love to see developers really throw their weight behind these player-driven initiatives and bring some of that back to the forefront.

What do you think of player run events? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!

FromHell writes:

well you really should check out

I LOVE their live radio shows and ingame events for TSW, really fun. Hide and Seek games, giveaways,parties, live DJs and moderation. my new favourite webradio stream

Sun Dec 30 2012 8:12PM Report
MumboJumbo writes:

What Inf666 says concerning a like-for-like translation of GM.

Ie: Scaling for massively multiplayer from merely co-op multuplayer.

So it's better if the sort of things a GM provides are translated:

eg EVE's "burn jita" is emergent "gm-esque" event.

eg GM's create content: So this ie players creating either items, dungeons, buildings etc that fit into the massively playerbase for use in the virtual simulated world.

eg GM's intelligence perfectly balances the mobs: So players or devs should be selected to play mobs and have mob control pack options etc to assault players in the PvE environment.

Quests -> NPC +"!" don't compete with the GM's story, but the more simulated the mmorpg the more emergent such stories arise.

I think if devs create basic arcs for players to find, that could be sufficient for players to do "party-of-adventurers/prospectors" into the mmorpg map. And that's the other thing: The map can be created out of thin air in GM's head so the static map needs to be more explorable eg procedural generation achieves this but - there must be ways to make the map changeable eg weather and days etc are all good background but resources.

Tbh, I'm seeing a good few of these things in pathfinder online design blogs (sry another shout-out but it deserves it)- hits right at the core of rpg design (not surprising looking at the cv's of the design team).

Mon Dec 31 2012 6:24AM Report
Jaedor writes:

My WoW guild used to run level 1 races all over the map for prizes of gold. Never wrecked by players, as the annual party we put on was a blast for everyone on the server.


Blizzard everntually wrecked it with removing the ability for a level 1 toon to join a raid. But until then it was a server favorite and people still ask about it today.

Mon Dec 31 2012 3:01PM Report
Rayshe writes: I think the possiblity is there. In a sandbox it would work great, For example lets take FoM's Faction style and throw it Medeval. put one GM on each "Kingdom" to have events happen at random. Dont spam them or they would feel as pointless as GW2 Dynamic events. Also dont warn people, When people have warning it ruins the surprise. "Poof your kingdom is being invaded by bandits, I hope you have enough people on to defend that city" Tue Jan 01 2013 2:36AM Report
toxicmango writes:

I can easily see how this can be exploited.  Create rewarding events for your friends, and hard or negative events for your enemies.  Or simple leaking of event information so the same people are on hand disproprtionately to take advantage of an event.  As for random disaster events, no player is going to like to wake up and login only to find their guild or city or house or whatever was swept away overnight by an event without warning.  

For something like this to work, you would need dedicated GMs that have no player links or favoritism, or you need events placed and timed randomly so nobody can give information leaks in order for people to accept the legitimacy of negative disaster events or positive rich rewarding events.  

Wed Jan 02 2013 8:46AM Report writes:
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