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Janitor on the Death Star

Posted Mar 16, 2010 by Jon Wood

Janitor on the Death Star's Justin Webb returns to his regular column day with this look at making players feel more heroic in MMOs.

I wrote a bit yesterday about R.A. Salvatore’s talk at GDC. A portion of his talk was about player death and the teasing of the Well of Souls feature. However, Bob also had a lot to say about making players feel like heroes. Since he created one of fantasy’s most enduring heroes, he assuredly knows what he’s talking about.

A lot of Bob’s talk centered around heroic events that he experienced as a player in Everquest. He gave one hilarious anecdote concerning a well-timed use of Supernova in the Estate of Unrest during a twink run that had a lot of the old timers in the audience mumbling in agreement and stroking their beards.

He put forward the argument that a harsh death penalty; a big hard-to-navigate world; challenging content; and a bunch of good friends can all help lead to a world where “heroic moments” can occur. And that it is absolutely vital for the player to feel like a hero when playing a game.

Read Nobody Wants to be the Janitor on the Death Star.


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