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Crushing the Dream of Live Content

Posted Jul 24, 2009 by Jon Wood

Crushing the Dream of Live Content

In his most recent Staff Blog Entry, Managing Editor Jon Wood writes about he idea of a game with full, live content and why it just won't happen.

One of my fondest dreams for MMOs, and one that I’m sure must be mirrored by other fans, is for an MMO company to be able to offer live content as a regular feature in their games. The virtual world that I’m talking about would have GMs in-game, running events throughout the game world, on a regular basis. They would be able to plan one-time story arcs, react to player actions, interact with players on a level that goes beyond simple quest boxes, and more. It wouldn’t replace static content, but would be something extra. It wouldn’t be happening everywhere, all the time, but it would be happening somewhere.

The problem is, we’re never likely to see it happen beyond the current incarnation of the occasional in-game live event (that are getting rarer and rarer as time goes on). The reasons are pretty straightforward, starting with the fact that it is nigh on impossible to actually entertain a large enough number of people in this way to make the entire exercise worthwhile. It is very difficult to create an interactive, one-time, story driven event for more than a handful of people. Sanya Weathers actually sums this up quite nicely in her “RP Servers are Hard” column written two weeks ago. In it, she mentions the “ungodly amounts of time to design, plan, and execute” live events, and she’s right.

Read Crushing the Dream of Live Content


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