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Standing Stone Games | Official Site
MMORPG | Setting:Fantasy | Status:Final  (rel 04/24/07)  | Pub:Daybreak Games
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Dev Diary: Allan "Orion" Maki

Posted by Jon Wood on Mar 03, 2006  | Comments

Dev Diary: Allan "Orion" Maki - MMORPG.com

Staying with Turbine and Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar, they have released a brand new developer diary today. This one comes from Content Designer Allan "Orion" Maki. As usual, we present you with a small sample. Follow the link below to read the whole thing:

To solo or not to solo, that is the question. Is it nobler to suffer the sling stones and arrows of thine enemy whilst standing amongst his troops, without the sturdy shield or trusty arms of friends; or, is it best to form a wall of shields, linked by devotion and gilded by strength, to bolster the focus of my blade?

It's a good question. It's a hard question. It's a question with many answers.

It seems whenever you set out to design a massively multiplayer online game one question – one sticky, important question – finds its way into the discussions of designers and fans. This question draws hard battle lines, across which terrible words are exchanged, mothers' names are dragged through the mud, pets are sacrificed on altars of dark forces and hyperbole becomes the ultimate weapon of choice. It is a question that, at its very core, is somewhat of an oxymoron: 'Will your massively-multiplayer game support solo play?'

Different games have taken different approaches: some games have evoked social play through deep crafting systems, player-versus-player conflict, and group-centric endgame content. Other games have allowed extremely skilled solo players to become self-sufficient gods unto themselves. As with any organic entity – make no mistake, MMOs are organic entities – each MMO and the genre as a whole have evolved over time to incorporate the different personalities of players. Some players desire to detach themselves completely from the real world when playing their games, becoming lost in the actions of their avatars and disassociating themselves from human contact altogether. Others become the social butterfly that they cannot be in the 'real world.' Play styles are as varied as the number of players in the game world, and we as designers must do our best to accommodate them all. However, we are not super-human, nor are we graced with an endless amount of resources or time with which to construct our games. Instead, we have windows of opportunity to glimpse the current mood and mindset of our fans and determine the course of the single question, 'Can I solo in your game?'

To read the whole thing, click here.

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