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All Posts by MustaphaMond

All Posts by MustaphaMond

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Originally posted in Adam Tingle's article

Inspired by pen and paper gaming; the project wouldn’t focus on the heroics of the individual, but instead the idea of co-existing in a world with others.

 

Okay, I know this is a minor point, but it *REALLY* bugs me when people don't cite the importance of MUDs/etc. when discussing the development of UO. I know they could be argued to be very complicated pen and paper style games (more or less), but the importance of MUDs (and advances seen in their conception/implementation when compared to standard tabletop gaming) is a REALLY BIG DEAL if you wanna understand the development of UO.

 

From Raph Koster's own blog (addressing a set of "oddities, errors, and omissions" found in a series of "History of MMO's" videos found on YT):

  • Saying that the Ultima Online team had never made anything multiplayer before (Ken Demarest, mentioned in the documentary, left very shortly after UO actually had a team put together — and the original core team that was assembled on the programming and design side was all MUD/MUSH/MOO veterans except for one guy).
 
 
Honestly, I like Adam's write up and I think he hits some key points (a lot of people don't even know who Raph Koster was/is, which is a shame), but it just irks me when the contributions of MUDs are omitted. By Koster's own admission, *MANY* of the core elements of UO (and even SWG pre-NGE, for that matter) were lifted from the successful and popular MUDs/etc. of the day.
 
It's a gross oversimplification to attribute the inspiration to pen and paper gaming without discussing how important the earlier experiences of devs and players in MUDs/etc. influenced one of the best sandbox titles ever.
 
/end pedantic rant
Alt replayability
General Discussion « TERA
2/16/12 12:49:18 AM
Originally posted by Pivotelite
Originally posted by Xasapis
Originally posted by teakbois
...

1 starting zone and 1 leveling path = an absolute guarantee of less subs

It makes the world seem small and generic, and it cost Rift heavily.

If that was true then SW:TOR would have been a huge failure (which is not btw). Apart from one quest line per class, SW:TOR is linear like a bullet train. At least Tera has two paths of quest progression minimum (from personal experience and up to lvl 22) once you leave the starter island.

 Like I stated above, I went off exploring and saw the same level monsters in many different locations, I am interested in seeing how this turns out.

What about the variability of the mobs?

Sure, you have found similar levels in different areas, but are their models just slight variations from each other or are they truly different mobs?

One of the more annoying things I found with Aion is that as you progress, you go from fighting the wolf-looking mobs in one area to wolf-looking mobs in the next area to wolf-looking mobs in yet another area. I understand some repetition is inevitable, but it got very old very fast to find so little variability in the mobs (save color changes here and there).

*Edit: I should explain, I am looking forward to this title, I think the different approach to combat is interesting, and I actually don't mind that it borrows ("steals") heavily from Aion. However, I think it's inexcusable for AAA titles to have so little variability with its mobs. I mean, I know there are wolf-type mobs and bird type mobs and pig type mobs, but when you look at a single mob type and move up the level chain, they looked no different than a change in name and (sometimes) color.

indifferent

Originally posted by yorkforce

And I still cannot fathom as to why they dont release UO2....

The short answer = EA owns the rights to the game, Richard Garriott owns rights to Lord British (and a few of the other characters, if I remember correctly).... and never the twain shall meet again, I'm afraid.

This game looks so promising... and because of that and the rule that any MMO that looks half decent is going to be a clunker, I'm sure it will be crap. No, seriously, it looks great and if it truly has an open sandbox feel with a very minimal themepark wrapper, I will be overjoyed. I've just grown so used to being disappointed by this genre I have a "I'll believe it when I see it" kinda approach... and by "see it", I mean "play it" of course.

Originally posted by drbaltazar
Originally posted by MustaphaMond

After experiencing how NCSoft handled armies of bots and rampant RMT after the release of Aion (and reading the horror stories of what happened with L2), I swore to never play another one of their games again. I've seen plenty of people talking up Blade & Soul on MMORPG and all I can say is to look at the track record of this company before you leap head first into any one of their games. I will admit that they make beautiful games and the gameplay isn't all that bad, but their indifference and outright neglect when it comes to their community destroys whatever good momentum their games have going for them. Aion had great potential and from what I've heard of L2, it did as well. That said, I wouldn't trust them for anything and feel like their track record speaks volumes about what you can expect from them and their games.

understand their position!they are based in korea.the GOVERNEMENTt there put into law that selling electronic goods to put food on your table is a good business model and is legal in korea.1what you expect ncfosft to do go agaisnt their government!come on be real here they got to live every day with those politician!yes in america they got arenanet and other corp so they can sidestep this limitation and ask anet to do what is necessary but when those are from their country they have to live with it!

At least during the time period I am speaking about, the vast majority of bots and gold-sellers were based in China. Also, I am speaking exclusively about the NA release, though from all accounts, the EU side was plagued by the same problems.

After experiencing how NCSoft handled armies of bots and rampant RMT after the release of Aion (and reading the horror stories of what happened with L2), I swore to never play another one of their games again. I've seen plenty of people talking up Blade & Soul on MMORPG and all I can say is to look at the track record of this company before you leap head first into any one of their games. I will admit that they make beautiful games and the gameplay isn't all that bad, but their indifference and outright neglect when it comes to their community destroys whatever good momentum their games have going for them. Aion had great potential and from what I've heard of L2, it did as well. That said, I wouldn't trust them for anything and feel like their track record speaks volumes about what you can expect from them and their games.

/signed

If they could pull this off, I would be all for it. Unfortunately, I just don't think it is possible anymore.

For one, the community itself is so different and the playerbase of MMORPG's in general is so used to "easymode" everything, many of the younger gamers (and thin-skinned older gamers) would ragequit in a heartbeat (and generally complain so much in-game it would ruin everybody's experience, especially killing the sense of immersion for RP'ers .... who were a *big* part of what made UO so special, imho).

Also, it has to be pointed out that when UO came out, most of the players were longtime tabletop gamers (DnD in particular) and, more specifically, were actively involved in the various MUD/MUSH/MOOs which were around at that time (some which are still around and going strong). It made for a MUCH different community when the majority (or, at least, a sizable minority) of the playerbase conceded many gaming conventions common to tabletop gaming and MUDs/etc without a second thought. Most of the gamers now would feel shellshocked by a fraction of what most of us just came to take for granted about our experiences in UO, especially some of the more grindy and harsh aspects of its playstyle/mechanics. I wanted to point out this connection to MUDs/etc and tabletop gaming because Raph Koster (UO's lead designer) is on the record numerous times explaining that *MANY* of the mechanics and systems found in UO (and even SWG pre-NGE) were influenced and even outright stolen from the day's popular MUDs/etc. (and tabletop games as well, of course... which is less revelatory).

Essentially, it was a game for gamers by gamers (made mostly from love) where RP was normal and people expected and even embraced some of the things contemporary gamers would balk at nowadays. In contrast, most games now are made by people with degrees (and a lot of student loan debt/mortgage debt/etc. hanging over their heads), working on dev teams that ultimately answer and work for investors and corporate types (not to discount the importance of EA's money in UO's development, a necessary evil that most of the trammel-haters like to ignore). The difference was, back then, EA did not have the pressure or need to expect as much from UO (and previous models of success simply did not exist), so it allowed the corporate types to have a very "hands off" approach to the development process and to let the "geeks" do what they do. Now, a lot of the creative process and design choices are likely influenced by flowcharts, best practices, and investor expectations because clear patterns of success are well-established (primarlily by WoW and even EQ1 before it, which was a big part of EA pushing the changes that ultimately killed UO).

Another important point to address is the assertion I've seen in this thread about how a true successor to UO would be plagued by reds, as if that was a bad thing. Granted, a whole server full of murderous fiends would make for a pretty miserable experience, but it was actually an intended design of the game to have threat/risk present in order to induce players to band together and find strength in numbers. It was a mechanic to promote socializing and group formation. Again, this is coming directly from Raph Koster's own lectures about the matter.  Given the way many gamers today want to be solo-star of their one SP-RPG's (with a crowd on hand to see their achievements), the social aspect of these games has really fallen by the wayside. People used to want to group because they both needed to and, often, the people they were grouped with were buddies and friends from earlier experiences in MUDs, tabletop gaming experiences in RL, and even other online communitites like listservs and the like. Even with the guilds of today, many of us don't know much about our guildies except their class, playstyle and perhaps a bit about their personal lives after months of playing and talking to them on vent/TS/etc. *(Oh, and as I've seen even posters in this thread admit, some of you would probably be surprised how many of the virtuous blues you thought were the best people also had some red toons they liked to log-in and make mischief with from time to time)

With all that being said, I do think there is a place for a UO-style sandbox. If a game like EVE can be viable and "fun" for most of its playerbase, it's not impossible for somebody to come along and create another UO-type game that isn't a totally broken mess like DF/MO. However, the resources and time needed to pull off such a product gets greater and greater as games become more and more refined and polished. With each passing year, the chance for something of this nature becoming reality decreases more and more. There is a reason that Garriott and Koster are heavily involved with social gaming. As Koster argues, often convincingly, social gaming is the next big growth area and the potential for creating new and exciting play mechanics and virtual worlds is wide open in this genre (when you look at the simplistic crap that is farmville, it's kinda obvious that even a half decent social game that adds some depth and complexity to flash gaming will stand proud and tall over its competitors). It's kinda how UO was striking out in a mostly unknown niche and the money behind it had to just let the devs do what they do. I'm no fan of flash/social-gaming, but it *could* perhaps become something amazing that few of us are able to envision at the present time.

Okay... /end wall of text

For those interested, I've found these two talks by Koster (and his blog) particularly interesting (both from the perspective of a former UO player and as a gamer in general):

http://gdcvault.com/play/1015142/It-s-All-Games-Now

http://www.raphkoster.com/2011/08/25/video-of-my-casual-connect-talk/

http://www.raphkoster.com/

Originally posted by I_Return

People who understand the market  are wasting there time trying toexplian it to non watchers..

I guess I'm just "wasting my time" by bumping this thread, but maybe the few ppl here who actually aren't satisfied to be totally ignorant and clueless about the world around them will appreciate this: http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/02/11/us-markets-global-weekahead-idUSTRE81911Y20120211 <--- this is the exact stuff I am talking about (and notice how the markets dropped on Friday... I didn't check EA's price, but I wouldn't be surprised if its stock saw a propotional drop in relation to the broader market).

...

Okay. The rest of you can now go back to your mindless button mashing... back to dreaming up fanciful scenarios about corporate balance sheets that have no basis in reality. Enjoy the ignorance. I hear it's *blissful* this time of year (at least before the house of cards comes crashing down around all of us).

As for me, I will at least know wtf is happening if the shit hits the fan. When that happens and everybody is shitting bricks, I'll be sure to check out the "Recent forum posts" here to look for the entertaining "theories" advanced by those of you who would rather herp derp than learn something. Oh, and about those threads.... inb4 "the failure of SW:TOR and persistent success of WoW accidentally the whole economy!!!!" gets posted over and over and over again ... *braces for it and facepalms*

Originally posted by drbaltazar

@ mustaphamond:trust me EA read more in this then us i am sure,this was a warning to EA.and they know it!i bet ea called bw the same day fluctuation up and down occured.when variation of this magnitude happen,trust me phone get red on those days to make sure to correct the various situation.as for ea stock not varying only because of swtor .investor are not known for their patience and understanding on average ,if  EA or any other corp is perceived static ,and not dynamic (like they are expected to be) trust me the market will react same thing with activision and all other.i bet  the patch leak on torhead helped calm down the market but now bw has to deliver the polish first and formost and this alone is a big undertaking .stuff like the amd suggestion for memory optimisation at the cost of fps if it truelly is in the game has to go etc etc!

 

Between the lack of capitalization, poor spelling/grammar, and incoherence -- I don't know where to begin.... ;o_O

 

Let me try this, because a picture is worth a thousand words... .

Here is a chart for the last year of a "total stock market" index fund (meaning, this a broad representation of the entire US stock market):

http://www.flickr.com/photos/75890859@N06/6814903289/

And here is one for the NASDAQ (which EA is part of):

http://www.flickr.com/photos/75890859@N06/6814903309/

 

Notice how they are virtually identical? Can you see the similarity? (;-_-)

Most of the dips are due to worries about several European countries defaulting on their debt. There are worries that countries like Portugal, Italy, Greece and Spain are unable to pay back loans that many European banks hold. American banks are invested in these European banks, so if the European banks don't get their money, it effectively screws our economy too because our banks lose money when the European banks start to go belly up....

Also, most of the gains you see in the chart are based upon economic data which suggest things are okay (and announcements that the European Union is dealing with the problems effectively). Here is an example of the type of economic data (and market response) that I am talking about:

http://www.latimes.com/business/money/la-fi-mo-good-markets-20120203,0,6751385.story

 

Considering the Nasdaq (which EA is part of) is at its highest point since the year 2000, I would *HOPE* that EA's price has reflected some kind of gain. However, the gains are (likely) short-lived because even though investors are told that the European debt crisis is under control and economic data show an improvement in the domestic and global economy, something always tends to happen that shows Europe's debt crisis is not even close to being solved.

Like this: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/01/opinion/making-it-worse-in-europe.html?_r=1

 

Finally, here is EA's stock chart for the last year:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/75890859@N06/6814903267

While I will admit that EA's chart is not nearly as identical as the first two, if you look closely, you will see that most of the major dips and peaks on EA's chart match the same dips and peaks found on the above two charts.

To put it simply: Most of the fluctuations in stock price are due to global/macroeconomic factors, NOT the performance (or perceptions about the performance) of a single game, regardless of how important that game is to EA's bottom line.

And, if you are having trouble following what I am talking about, I'll steal one of your own lines that you use over and over again: TRUST ME ;P

 

Edited to apologize that I couldn't get the image tool to work properly.

@gw1228 -- A good point and I don't mean to minimize the risk. EA is a huge company though (assets valued around $5 billion and revenue around $3.5billion), so it is possible that even if TOR doesn't pan out as they expect, they will keep chugging right along (I admit it will hurt, though).

@cavod -- I'm sorry about that. I'm half asleep and was just about to turn in when I saw this thread. I shouldn't have posted, especially when I can barely read straight. I doubt the authors of the original article need my info (and, I'm offering opinions more than facts, of course). Still, what I am saying about macroeconomic factors is widely known and discussed in mainstream financial news (e.g., WSJ, The Economist, Forbes, etc.).

TOR *is* important, I just don't think it is what is causing the swings in EA's share prices (at least not yet). There will be a considerable lag between the performance of the game and changes in share prices.

And with that, good night. Didn't mean to crap on the thread. xD

/facepalms

I imagine this is has been mentioned in other threads, but EA's stock doesn't rise and fall solely based upon the performance of one game (regardless how high expectations are for its performance). In fact, there is a saying that is popular in the investment community that is especially relevant now: correlation does not equal causation (meaning, the dip in EA's price seems related to the doubt about TOR's longevity... but, that does not mean the dip was actually *CAUSED* by those concerns).

It is much more likely that the prolonged drop in price is due to this pesky little thing called the European debt crisis which has been weighing down all sectors and markets for quite awhile now. You see... the slowdown of the global economy and lukewarm consumer sentiment/spending likely has a lot more to do with the price decline than perceptions about the performance of one game.  Likewise, recent employment figures and other positive economic indicators are likely behind the uptick (but, considering the persistent problem of European debt, I would guess it will be a short-lived improvement).

TL;DR You ppl are making a big deal about something for all the wrong reasons.

Originally posted by Sharook
that trinity is some sort of artificial bullcrap you see in pvp, since taunt does not work on PCs -> and thus the healer dies first, then the dps and the tank get's ignored because he is not dangerous without the other 2

after so many hours it eventually gets boring to fight against stupid automatons that are driven by an aggrolist and not the slightest notion of AI. no matter how challenging it might be in terms of npc-damage, hp, numbers, loot etc.

I agree with everything you've said, but want to add a point about the above... In good PvP contests, when the healer indeed is the normal target of both teams, I have felt the most effective teams shift their playstyles in a way that still conforms to the holy trinity.

What I mean is this: if the healer becomes the main target in PvP contests, despite their inherent squishiness, they become and play like a de facto tank (if they aren't too squishy, they are like pallys from other games).

Most good groups adjust to this and the healer (with any back up healers) stand ready to keep the healer alive in the same way they would the tank. Many gamers who prefer to play only PvE games find it hard to make this adjustment and frequently ragequit because they expect humans to behave like mobs.

Still, in good PvP, each team's "on paper" tank acts instead as CC/DPS and mainly tries to run interference and provide a distraction, hoping to pull damage spikes from enemy DPS away from their healer (if the devs have given them the correct skills to do so) and putting some DPS pressure on the enemy team if at all possible...

Your point that AI is a woeful replacement for human competitors is correct, of course, but I still think in many random PvP encounters, the holy trinity is still there, it's just different classes/jobs are filling the roles.

In a related sense, some of the best PvP contests are when two teams both effectively protect their healers and are struggling to spike the enemy healer's HP down enough to win. When the sides are even and ppl are playing well, you see a lot of ingenuity and "valor" ... When PvP is all about zerging or gear > skill, yeah... the trinity is bunk. But, it is still there when the groups are even and they understand how to adapt their play...

Originally posted by EndDream

UO, hands down, it was a combo of the  sandbox environment and the fact that every type of player had to be in one game (because there wernt any other choices). I've never really been a roleplayer but I had an RP character in UO because there were so many options.

second

My first experience with MMO's and RP'ing was the joy of playing UO pre-trammel. As a young gamer who was just getting into the world and marvelling at all it had to offer, I normally kept to myself and just did my own thing. One thing I would do is kill a deer and, prior to butchering it, I would bow and have my character act like he appreciated the deer's sacrifice. Some RP'ers in a nearby tavern oversaw this and took me under their wings. Even though I was poor at RP'ing, I will never forget how fun and how cool it was to play with these gamers and to experience a much deeper level of gaming because of everything RP'ing added to the game.

Contrast this with my attempts to play LOTR (Landroval) and, following all the RP'ing guides, I made my best attempts to RP with the hopes that a RP'ing guild would once again notice me (or I would notice them and be able to approach them and hopefully make some friends to RP with.... RP'ing with NPC's and by yourself gets old fast). I did everything I could to RP ... walked in town, responded with emotion given the quests I was being given, etc. And, I guess the wrong people passed me be or I was just too crappy at it to warrant their attention. So, I uninstalled the game and now I'm back to Civ IV and dabbling in FFXI a bit.

Sad days.

*snip*

sorry for the somewhat off-topic but aside from that one link, are there any other books you'd recommend on the subject? and thanks for the post very interesting.

and for everyone else, prehistory means no writin - suck it

Books can be difficult to come by since this line of thought is fairly recent. A lot of the stuff I am writing about comes from journal articles and textbooks that cite very recent articles. Most of these claims are based on new developments in neurobiology, which have yielded stunning new insights into language which were thought of only in a theoretical light just 20 years ago. Plus, in all honesty, my background is applied linguistics and I only have a very superficial familiarity with this topic. Still, maybe these will help point you in the right direction of better resources:

 

1) Steven Pinker's The Language Instinct: How the Mind Creates Language is a good introduction to the topic, though dated.

2) Another book that does a decent job describing the likely co-evolution of the brain and species is The Symbolic Species: The Co-evolution of Language and the Brain (Terrence W. Deacon). This is somewhat dated too considering recent developments... And his dismissal of Chomsky's Universal Grammar is rather unconvincing (there are detractors to Chomsky who dispute some of his claims, but a lot of his theories are still supported by current research in linguistics)

3) A fairly succinct overview of the general debate about the issue can be found here: http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1200/is_n24_v145/ai_15517386/

4) An intro to a rather interesting series of videos that tend to approach the topic from a "late origin" perspective. You might be able to find this DVD on Netflix or at your local library: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OuUAPVFFCRQ

5) This gives a very quick and easy treatment of the paleoanthropological aspects of language, namely the study of the physical "speech" structures of early hominids: http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Introduction_to_Paleoanthropology/Origin_of_Language#Origins_of_language

Finally, if you would like an academic overview of the two major camps, then this would be useful: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1364661303001360

(an interesting book I forgot about):

Grooming, Gossip, and the Evolution of Language (Robin Dunbar)

 

I must be honest that most of the links I include above (and am familiar with) tend to support an innatist view of language (versus the social-interactionist model that is also popular). It is a very complicated/complex topic, and I shouldn't have been so heavy-handed in explaining it earlier. In truth, nobody will ever know unless we can invent a time machine and go back and see what early hominids were all about. Anyway, I hope those are interesting resources for you and I am glad you find the topic worthy of more study. I apologize to OP for going horribly OT (and also to thebigchin11 for deluging him and others with so much jargon).

Regardless, I really love this idea for an MMO. I think devs could do some great things and it would make for an excellent sandbox. But, I fear gamers just don't have the patience for something of that nature. Still, it is a cool setting for a game. There are a lot of possibilities, even stuff that borders on the prehistoric tribes having to deal with technologically superior overloards a la "Chariot of the Gods" / "Stargate". If gamers could just get away from the "kill 10 rats" themepark style of gameplay, a setting like what is described by some in this thread could be amazing. Despite my rambling and OT posts, this is one of the best threads I've seen on this forum in a long time. Lots of cool ideas. I should have let the literature/language thing slide, tbh. Anyway.... Later^^

Originally posted by thebigchin11

Ouch my eyes.

If you are referring to my wall of text, then my apologies. I forgot that most of the people on this site are more accustomed to the bells and whistles of the latest cookie cutter MMO than actually being interested in bothering to read something. Heaven forbid somebody take the time to write a thoughtful response to what somebody said. I might be wordy, but at least I tried to contribute something greater than a snarky comment that showcases my laziness.

Originally posted by Homitu
Originally posted by thebigchin11
Originally posted by Homitu
Originally posted by Requiamer
Originally posted by Homitu
Originally posted by Karesh

Pretty much like the title stated, feel free to post your ideas, etc.

I always find people's opinions and ideas interesting, so that's pretty much my reason for creating this thread.

There would be a fundamental paradox with a prehistoric MMO.  Prehistory by definition refers to a time before recorded history.  That means a time before people (whatever races inhabit your MMO world) could communicate via language to pass down stories and lore either orally or through written text.  This would eliminate all possibilty for lore, background story, context, and, logically, even communication in your MMO, which are all rather essential "MMORPG" features.  A game lacking these features could hardly be called an MMO or RPG, thus the paradox.  

 

The only way I can comprehend a "prehistoric" MMO is if you control a particular beast in a sort of Darwinian, cut-throat, survival of the fittest jungle world.  You would focus on strengthening your beast in typical RPG/MMO progression fashion.  Perhaps a milestone to shoot for would be to "evolve" a la Pokemon.  Perhaps if you work with others to take down a larger beast, you then (inexplicably) gain control of that beast as a means of "progressing."  

I don't want to be rude but i think you should check a dictionary because your definition is really off.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prehistory  

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/prehistory

 

Actually, my definition was spot on.  The only ammendment would be that prehistoric peoples, although non-literate, could communicate in a primitive way without a fully developed language.  

 Cave paintings are a form of literature.  These things evolve gradually, there is no line in the sand (other than the arbitrary era's we give them which in practice must overlap). 

 

Cave paintings may be a form of expression of thought and, therefore, a means of communication, but it can in no way be confused with literature, which involves the use of a devoloped and mutually understood written language.  And yes, prehistory did "end" in various locations around the world at various points in history.  

 

Anyway, these are all just semantics.  The only definition I gave of prehistory was that it is the period before recorded history.  

Literature linked exclusively to written language? O RLY?

Tell that to Homer (if he existed), The Beowulf poet (i.e., not the scribe who wrote it down hundreds of years after it was composed by an Anglo-Saxon), The Epic of Gilgamesh poet, the tribes who passed down most of the major books of the Old Testament, the Anonymous writers of a whole series of Lyrics and Ballads, etc. Those are all considered great works of literature and they were all composed, memorized, and passed down generation to generation orally. Writing didn't become involved until hundreds of years after the fact.

True, the poems/songs/etc. may have possibly been lost to the ages if scribes didn't eventually transcribe them and put them down in writing. In fact, there is evidence that many extant earlier forms of some of these works were lost because they weren't committed to text (or, if they were, they were somehow lost or destroyed). None of this, however, changes the fact that they are great works of literature, even though they existed only within the realms of the oral tradition.

It is a relatively recent phenomenon to link literacy and knowledge to written text, but writing and written language is a relatively new development within the context of humanity's history. The printing press and the mass production of literary texts happened almost yesterday given the timeline of human civilization, and even with the proliferation of writing, for most periods of history, the masses were illiterate and a sign of knowledge and learning was based more on a person's ability to memorize the important works of the day, as well as use rhetoric adeptly (see: Plato's "Theatetus" where Socrates laments the new fad of holding writing and "book knowledge" above the memorization and masterful oral recitation of great works).

Literature as we think of it now is, indeed, linked to written texts. But, I just had to amend the record because the prominence of writing is such a recent change that it does a great disservice to many of the great bards, minstrels, and oral poets of the past to contend that literature *must* be written. Members of the oral tradition were literary giants too, despite the fact that their songs/poems/etc. were not recorded until they had been passed down through history orally over multiple generations.

Now, back to OP. If the OP intends this MMO to be "prehistory"  in the sense of Clan of the Cave Bear, then perhaps language and "literature" as we are speaking of it did not exist as the cultural powerhouse we tend to imagine them to be. However, even in this popular image of cavemen grunting and being devoid of language, there is a lot of controversy. In light of this issue, there is a growing camp of anthropolgists, arcaeologists, and linguists who are starting to dispute many of the earlier conclusions made about the speech of prehistoric humans. Most of the earlier conclusions that prehistoric humans could not speak were based on analysis of the skull structure of Neanderthals (which seemed to show a lack of space for the development of areas of the brain most responsible for speech). However, recent fossil evidence and a deeper understanding of the brain and language in general has shown that prehistoric humans had anatomical structures that were nearly identical to modern humans with respect to language:

The recovery of a fossil hominid skeleton with a complete hyoid bone from Mousterian deposits in Kebara Cave, Israel, provides new evidence pertaining to the evolution of speech. Previous studies of speech in the Middle Palaeolithic (most notably those on Neandertals) have focused on the basicranium as an indicator of speech capabilities. This work critiques the use of the basicranium and instead presents the anatomical relations of the hyoid and adjacent structures in living humans as a basis for understanding the form of the vocal tract. The size and morphology of the hyoid from Kebara and its relations to other anatomical components are almost identical to those in modern humans, suggesting that Middle Palaeolithic populations were anatomically capable of fully modern speech.

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ajpa.1330830202/abstract

Admittedly, this doesn't mean that prehistoric humans *did* speak and utililize language in a way that mirrors the literature and oral tradition of the classical period. However, considering that prehistoric humans were considered to be devoid of speech based on erroneous conclusions about the brain by earlier scientists, it is entirely possible that humans were capable of speech. In fact, most evolutionary biologists contend that the major factor that set humans apart from primates was our ability to use language to communicate, especially, when it comes to abstractions.

TL;DR = The notion that prehistoric humans didn't speak or use language is coming under more and more fire. Humans likely spoke, and in some sense, it is not out of the realm of possibility that tribal shamans and leaders of successive generations would use recitations of lineages and cultural tales to impart important historical, cultural, and spiritual knowledge to their people.

Originally posted by Chieftan

In those days I would have killed for a MMO that just let you play the stupid game.

In UO you had gangs of PKs literally around every corner.  Easily the most exploited and abused multiplayer game ever.

 

That's funny, because UO's "gang of PKs" seemed to be how the devs "encouraged" players to band together and to form guilds and watch each other's backs. I think that was one of the best parts of the game, tbh. Plus, it gave you an adrenaline rush like no other (and when you successfully evaded a PK, or managed to hunt one down with a group of people, it was thrilling beyond all else). Sorry to hear you didn't like it, but I for one, loved it.

this thread makes me cry and rage because it hits on the sad truth about MMO's and RPG's in general.

I don't think we can ever go back to those days.

I for one feel that something wonderous and special has been lost.

Greed sucks.

I guess I understand why devs make games that the casual player will enjoy (because they want to make the big bucks), but the "art" and "magic" of creating new worlds and experiences has been lost to the pursuit of profits.

TL;DR = *BAAAAAAAAAAAAWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW*

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