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General : Outside the Box: For Instance

Posted Apr 10, 2006 by Dana Massey

A scheduling quirk means you get a double dose of instancing opinion today. Nathan Knaack's weekly column turns his eye to this most solitary of activities with "For Instance". Outside the Box is a weekly column from Knaack, a former Rapid Reality developer.

The biggest concern that has been voiced regarding instancing is the lack of a worldwide, coherent community, simply because it’s difficult to build and maintain a society when everyone is off in their own, personal pocket dimension instead of interacting and forming the relationships necessary to do so. How do you reinforce a player-driven economy when the best goods come from repeated raids through instances instead of from player craftspeople? How do you get leaders to wage epic wars over contested territory if they’re too busy getting the best advancement (experience points, etc) from the high-end monsters in instances? How do you influence people to play their characters, or role-play, when they’re each in a secluded, walled-off section of the world instead of interacting with each other? It’s like the difference between watching a soccer game at home or at the stadium. Either way, there are thousands of people watching the same thing, but where do you feel more connected to society, at the live event or sitting on your couch?

You can read the column here.

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