Originally posted by Amaranthar I agree with you. I think many do. It strikes me as silly that in many modern games you have to be a certain class to start a campfire.
Ultima Online was the first major MMORPG. Anyone could start a campfire. It was even a separte skill and used to make a campsite that you could safely log out at (instantly after it was set, as opposed to your character still being there for about 30 seconds) out in the world.
But they were going to go farther, but it didn't make it in to the released game. They had code where they could attach something like to things like any item with "wood" in the name. And when fire touched that item, it could start on fire and burn. So had they got that into the game, you could do exactly what you said, plus more. You could have cast a fireball at a stack of wood and started a campfire. You could have also cast a fireball, or used a torch, on a "wooden door", and maybe start that on fire too.
There's obvious problems allowing that in a game, but not something that can't be overcome. For example, if someone starts your locked house door on fire, and it burnt to cinders, they could then enter your house, and they have destroyed your door barrier, and you might not log in for a few days to boot. But if it were a crime to "attack" your possessions (the house door), and if that crime came with a punishment that players don't want to face, then only those with a real purpose would do so. And if stealing is their purpose, if you can have defenses built into your house (armed watchmen of unknown number, magical wards) then they may have to face that punishment sooner than expected. And if killing those watchmen NPCs gives even greater criminal punishment, etc., etc. Overall, a great game could be made with features like this. IF players would accept the possibility of loss in their MMORPG. And I think there's a mass of gamers out there who would, in the right game.
Originally posted by BadSpock
As a veteran of the player driven worlds of old, I have seen the same things repeat time and time again.
Greed, harrassment, intimidation, bullying, narcisism, and worse.
It's been my experience that in an online world where your real self is annonymous, and you are given freedom to negatively effect other players without real fear of repercussion, the altruistic among us are vastly, and I mean VASTLY out numbered by the stereotypical "PK" and/or "Griefer."
The genre as a whole obviously saw this too and saw it as a problem, and thus refined and created new systems and rules to prevent the bad apples from ruining the experience of others.
Have they gone too far in the direction of safety, security, and conflict-avoidance?
I believe so.
But that doesn't change the fact that the more power and control you give to the players, the more opportunity you give for players to take power and control from their fellows.
The evidence of the popularity of a less dog-eat-dog structure is readily apparent in the absolutely massive growth of the MMO playerbase once the 2nd generation titles came out.
Now, this is strictly in a player conflict kind of way, as more cooperative "PvE" sandbox type games are a lot more free of these worries (SWG for example.)
Long story short?
No player who feels like they are a second class citizen in the game world will continue to pay to play forever.
Hence we've seen a dramatic shift to focus on the individual, and yes, that often comes at the expense of the whole.
New to the board here but this thread is why I joined so here is where I will make my first post.
I played UO a couple of months after release and it was my first mmorpg. I suppose since it was my first, is why most other games are compared to it for me. I tend to agree with both Amaranthar and BadSpock's responses but I always hold hope that a way to accomplish this will be found.
I always describe the PKing, Stealing, possible loss of items a "thrill" of the game. I've had my house looted, been PK'd, griefed you name it. We've all had to get up and walk away from the pc, but at the end of the day, it's a game and I either got back at them or died again trying and had fun doing it. I made plenty of friends that tore me a new one at first meeting and the other way around.
I miss it and sadly I don't think we will ever see those days again.
Just my .02