Game talkThe Commandments of Online Worlds

 Posted by (Visited 23289 times)  Game talk
Jul 032006
 
  1. Thou shalt not mistake online worlds for games, for they encompass far more; nor shalt thou forget that play is noble, and game is no epithet.
  2. Thou shalt not disrespect thy players, nor treat them as mere database entries or subscriptions, but rather as people, for thy power is granted you by them.
  3. Thou shalt not remove fun or implement unfun for the sake of longer subscriber longevity, nor shalt thou consider thy sort of fun to be the only sort of fun to be had, for many and mysterious are the ways of enjoyment.
  4. Thou shalt not blindly do what has been done before, but rather shalt know why all is as it is, and how it could be different.
  5. Thou shalt create and follow rules that bind thyself as well as the players, for thou art of the community, not above it.
  6. Thou shalt not make thy world a place for players to do real harm unto one another, or for thee to do harm unto players.
  7. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s userbase, but instead be true to thine own userbase, for thou hast made them a garden, and thy job is cultivation.
  8. Thou shalt make every activity within thy world one that stands alone enjoyably; if it be a game, then thou shouldst make it a fun game on its own merits; if it be other, then thou shouldst make it true to itself. Thy world doth not make boring things into enjoyable things merely because it is thy world.
  9. There shalt be no number nine.
  10. Honor thy ancestors, for they solved most of thy design problems.

  124 Responses to “The Commandments of Online Worlds”

  1. land. I wish him the best, and expect more great things from him. /eyes peeled for amazing stuff 7/4/06 Raph didn’t wait long to come out swinging. The godlike one hit a few forums and he posted this wondrous sermon from the game mount:The Commandments of Online Worlds

  2. at least resemble some wholeness is presentable. It’s really scary how many times I contradict myself in this process! But yeah…before I go off on a “I take myself too seriously” tantrum – for your amusement: The spectacular Raph Koster’s written”The Ten Commandments of Online Worlds”

  3. The Commandments of Online Worlds Raph’s funny – and compelling – ten commandments of online worlds.

  4. The Commandments of Online Worlds Raph’s funny – and compelling – ten commandments of online worlds. —- Full Artical: http://feeds.feedburner.com/Wonderland?m=1235

  5. The Commandments of Online Worlds Raph’s funny – and compelling – ten commandments of online worlds.

  6. Raph Koster has released his latest rules / laws / suggestion post on designing better online worlds games, this time in the form of The 10 Commandments. Keeping in theme, one comment suggests that Blizzard has become the Golden Calf. lol! On a more serious note, The Forge has a great comment on law #8.

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  8. have an environment of kindness among these friends. What commandments would you add to the list? Related Links and Previous Posts Interacting with people makes good games great What Uru Live could have been (and now could be) Raph Koster postedCommandments for Online Worldslast year, with a target towards game developers.

  9. 11. Thou shalt not make fundamental changes to gameplay after launch, unless it makes thy game more fun, and even then, not unless thou hast a very very goodeth reason.

    Bruce

  10. [...] Comments [...]

  11. If yuo want no changes to gameplay, buy a standalone game burned on a CD. Online=change=evolving. Known henseforth as Orrey’s Tenant

  12. That’s basically #7. :)

  13. This explains those dry storms, the lightning, the fires….

  14. [...] Only Raph gets away with this stuff. Why? Honor thy ancestors, for they solved most of thy design problems. [...]

  15. I eagerly await the representation of World of Warcraft as the golden calf.

  16. IMO, there’s nothing wrong with doing something that’s been done before as long as you do it really well.

  17. I said “don’t do it blindly.” I didn’t say don’t do it. :) Plus, #10 suggests that looking to how it’s been done before is a good idea, yes?

    Scott, why would WoW be the golden calf?

  18. > Scott, why would WoW be the golden calf?

    Because much like the golden calf of Exodus, we all blindly worship it, and make lots of decisions based on it which will seem somewhat silly in retrospect.

    Plus, it’s made of MONEY.

  19. Ah, I thought perhaps you were suggesting Blizzard had attained its success via animal sacrifice or something. :)

    At least your analogy suggests that at some point either the forces of righteousness or the inevitable population shifts of tribes in a semi-rural low-tech environment (depending on your religious point of view) will result in the calf being melted down, thereby giving hope to the rest of the industry.

  20. Who said they didnt sacrifice animals? It would explain the Tauren.

  21. I thought there was noooooo rule 6?

  22. As amusing as that is (and it is), might not be bad tenets for devs to live by :)

  23. Hey, those tablets were heavy. I wouldn’t have bothered lugging them down here unless I thought they were in dead earnest!

  24. Okay, I realize that my comment over on Broken Toys may be seen as unduly harsh, so allow me to further clarify my opinion.

    My issue with Raph and his penchant for world building comes down to he and I have a different view of what games are about. I tend to think of Raph holding a very cerebral view of what encompasses “fun”. My idea of fun comes from a much more visceral place. To my way of thinking you can try to recreate every facet of life, from the economy, the ecology, etc, and it won’t make a lick of difference if the underlying concept of the GAME is not fun.

    Every game that Raph has ever been involved with has failed that test as far as I’m concerned. To be sure, I do admire a lot of what you’re going after, but when my reptile brain isn’t stimulated it doesn’t amount to much.

  25. *Waits for “Animal sacrifices at Eidos and Electronic Arts” to appear in the newspapers*

  26. Big Gulp, I don’t actually think we disagree. The thing is that the visceral part is not something you can write about very much (although that’s what I tried to do in the book). So most of what I write is about the other stuff.

    As far as whether a given game appealed to you — as I said in the post, “nor shalt thou consider thy sort of fun to be the only sort of fun to be had, for many and mysterious are the ways of enjoyment.”

  27. [...] Raph Koster has a good post today entitled the above. He’s basically right on the money as far as I’m concerned, but I wanted to comment on a couple of his ‘commandments.’ #10: Honor thy ancestors, for they solved most of thy design problems. [...]

  28. “Ah, I thought perhaps you were suggesting Blizzard had attained its success via animal sacrifice or something.”

    I’m sure you can expect the black helicopters soon.

  29. I’d like to suggest to Big Gulp that not all reptile brains are the same. Raph has been involved in at least a few games that were fun for me, at least, in one case, until the worldy aspects were yanked.

    It is possible to have a visceral reaction to aspects of worldy simulations. For some, being the first to happen across that high quality vein of ore can provoke a strong sense of enjoyment.

    Oh, and lol @ Blizzard as the Golden Calf. Great analogy. I can think of at least one company that has sacrificed a child on the alter to that false god.

  30. Will any MMOG ever allow putting stuff on the ground again, ala UO?

  31. # Raph said on July 3rd, 2006 at 11:03 am:
    “Hey, those tablets were heavy. I wouldn’t have bothered lugging them down here unless I thought they were in dead earnest!”

    Poor Ernie. I dread to think how they got in there in the first place…

  32. I’m just a player, but… (A) Putting stuff on the ground represents additional strain on the hardware all around. You need to keep track of where the stuff is and do something to display it. We’re a long way from “If players don’t sacrifice objects, the mud will crash.” but it still takes up some level of resources on the client and the server. (B) While not the ‘ground’, Eve does allow you to jettison containers at arbitrary points in space. Of course, then people can steal your stuff and the ‘can’ expires in something like two hours. Permanent and even secured containers are available, but the must be placed X distance from anything else. Which means, even in 3d space, it’s hard to find a place to put one near anything useful.

    If you let stuff rot or be stolen when it’s on the ground, some people will be unhappy. If you don’t allow for either of those, you have a horrible littering problem that eats up your real estate.

    I am sure someone will do it again, but not anyone who is trying to play it safe. Which is…nearly everyone?

  33. To expand upon what I think Big Gulp was saying, it’s a diffence in approach that seems to show quite clearly. Raph starts with a world and seeks to add game elemnets to it, which often times just dont seem to measure up on the fun scale to a very directed game experience that also has worldly elements. They appeal to very different sorts of players, and failure to communicate the underlying nature of said MMOG’s leads to much wailing and gnashing of teeth.

  34. Will any MMOG ever allow putting stuff on the ground again, ala UO?

    Since we are talking MMO’s and not MMORPG’s perse: PS allows it, ATITD allows it (although picking things up at random is restrcited).

  35. SirBruce said:
    Will any MMOG ever allow putting stuff on the ground again, ala UO?

    I hope so. It adds to the ability to roleplay and generally interact with other players. Trash? There’s ways to handle that, like goats.

    Another thing, when talking about “fun”, can we accept that interesting is also fun? I’ve seen so many people talk over the years as if only killing and getting loot is fun. Curse the golden calf, melt it down into something different.

  36. Im trying very hard not to refferance mana from heaven…heh. Good stuff

    #2 Is troublesome, explained in Hosea 4:6

    “my players are destroyed from lack of knowledge.
    “Because you have rejected knowledge,
    I also reject you as my game;
    because you have ignored the law of good design,
    I also will ignore your other offerings.”

    Which leads to a 12th commandment:

    12. Thine Database is devine, for it begets knowledge of players, creation without knowledge is an empty vessel, for it leads to purgatory, the name of which is the Video Game Bargin Bin.

  37. Rofl, so true! If only all developers shared your view :).

  38. Raph Koster is not employed by SOE anymore…

    His contract just ran out (of course his NDA lasts way longer than that) which is kinda sad cause he should have some pretty interesting things to say about SOE and how working for them is like.
    Today he threw out a neat little post with some rules abo…

  39. Instead of 9, you could put: “Do unto thy players as you would have them do unto you.”

  40. Personally I think rule number 5 needs some rephrasing since it does not actually say everything that it should (IMO).

    You propose:

    “Thou shalt create and follow rules that bind thyself as well as the players, for thou art of the community, not above it.”

    I think it should be (and since English is not my native language, I’ll subconsciously hide a few mistakes in my sentence ;)):

    “Thou shalt create and follow rules that bind thyself as well as the players, for thou art of the community, not above it. Those rules must never forbit any party to criticize the other or itself.”

    What I mean to fix is that you could setup rules that do not allow criticism (when it’s not wanted from a business perspective). For example have a look at how the SWG gameplay forums looked when the NGE was released to Testcenter and the period after. Many, many people voiced opinions and of course many were not exactly polite, but apart from that there were huge amounts of deleted posts.

    There is a problem in my opinion when a company sees their own forums as some kind of advertising platform, a problem that circumvents the actual intention of a forum (being the communication platform for the community).

  41. Instead of 9, you could put: “Do unto thy players as you would have them do unto you.”

    So we should start paying the players? =P And expect it to come back, of course. Somehow. Net zero! More seriously, I think #6 covers the principle of the Golden Rule better than citing it verbatim. If you factor in money there, then it means don’t rip off your players, nor let them rip off each other. Unless you’re EVE or SL. =P

    What I mean to fix is that you could setup rules that do not allow criticism (when it’s not wanted from a business perspective).

    If you censor, it generally means you’re placing yourself above the community anyways. Because you’re claiming the right to choose what may or may not be said. Which, obviously, is then not a universal right. The forums act as a binding point for the community.

    when talking about “fun”, can we accept that interesting is also fun?

    The most remarkable thing about discussions of fun on this webpage is that half of the people who use the word haven’t read Raph’s book on the subject. While it’s certainly not the Gospel (have there been enough Biblical analogies in this thread?), it’s a better starting point than anything anyone else has offered here.

  42. You should have seen the 5 that were on the tablet he broke on the way down…

    #15 Thy game shall not be prettier than it is playable.

  43. [...] About The Commandments Submitted by Abalieno on July 3, 2006 – 23:36. I’m impressed. [...]

  44. Michael, you’re giving the game gods a pass again. No. 6 only talked about not doing harm, or allowing players to harm each other. My Golden Game Rule would also encourage game gods to do good, if they want players to do good back. And yes, that might in fact include some incentives programs, some payouts of bonuses, free content now and then, whatever, to build up good karma.

  45. When game gods do overtly good things, cannot that often end in unintended harm?

    I’ll take a cue from Futurama’s maybe-God and say:
    “When you do things right, people won’t be sure you’ve done anything at all.”

    Incentive programs can hurt those who don’t take advantage because that isn’t the way they want to play the game. Yet, it may be a more efficient way to play because of bonuses given to the players. You never want to say “Go ahead and play the game however you want. But, if you play how I want, you’ll be better off!” I hate to be conflicted between personal enjoyment and playing the game “correctly”.

  46. Oh, and more directly related to the Futurama quote, because I was slightly distracted while typing and lost my train of thought.

    Incentives can be alright when they’re “hidden” in the game design. As long as the player doesn’t feel like they are being pushed to do anything specific to play correctly. For instance:

    If you give someone EXP for killing a wolf, and killing wolves is the main objective of your game. That is OK. That’s an incentive to kill wolves as opposed to running around in circles for 5 hours.

    If killing wolves if the main objective of your game, and you give bonuses to players who help newbies kill wolves (following the theory that it will create social bonds and improve the community). That is not OK.

    Helping newbies is not the objective of the game, and whatever good intentions you have in giving bonuses for doing it will be misinterpreted, likely abused, and alienate those who simply don’t care about helping newbies.

  47. Hey, those tablets were heavy. I wouldn’t have bothered lugging them down here unless I thought they were in dead earnest!

    cue spit-take … THAT was funny! :D

  48. I have yet to decide that I like any VW business model. I’ve mostly settled on, “Give it away and pray for donations,” but that also pretty much guarantees that I’ll have to provide my own capital. Which means I have to make money on my own before I can consider it.

    In other news, I just noticed the ads on the bottom. Everyone should read the blurbs, even if they don’t click-through. =P

    One interesting corollary to the Golden Rule in this context, though, is it practically mandates user-created content.

  49. Free 10 commandmnts Study!

    Ooo… analysis of Supreme Court ruling on which displays are OK!

    Great ads Raph.

  50. Michael, Proke-

    You’re required to censor, by law — in California, and in most of the rest of the US. If your customers are creating a Hostile Work Environment for your employees, you are legally required to take reasonable steps to assure that a) the harassing behavior stops, and b) that it will not recur.

    Posts of polite, constructive criticism, you can’t touch. But for the most part, companies don’t touch them, and don’t ignore them; they just disagree with them and don’t implement them.

  51. Number three is the clincher and there are plenty of games that do have mechanisms seemingly designed to keep people subscribed, such as endless grinding to level. And that includes the games I play!

    “Oh, but levelling doesn’t have to be your goal…” people will cry and, sure, that’s unarguable.

    However, if you put a progression path infront of someone and tell them that, at the end of that path, they will have the strongest character, the coolest armour, some other great assets and the ability to go anywhere in the game world and do things that a great percentage of the server can’t do… er, is that not appealing to a majority of gamers who are, through the sheer nature of being gamers, competitive beasts?

    It’s obviously easier to keep people on a drip-feed of quests/missions while they climb the slow ladder of progress, rather than making the levels fast to achieve and offsetting that with 1000s of different quests/missions instead.

    Personally I prefer a game where you can reach the zenith faster, but spend more time playing and enjoying that character in missions, driven by rare loot, etc, rather than being led by the whole, “I need to get another five levels before I can even think about that next dungeon…” kind of thing.

    Also, when you reach the zenith faster, you can then go and play all the other classes easily, too. And that’s a lot of fun. Yes, Mr Koster, you continue to be a smart cookie :)

  52. 10. Honor thy ancestors, for they solved most of thy design problems.

    That’s the 10th commandment in The Commandments of Online Worlds written by Raph Koster.

    The rest are in his website -> The Commandments of Online Worlds.

    (reposted here for backing up purposes incase the original source disappears)

  53. [...] Oh the gamer gods are on good form these days!Raph Koster gave us his 40 Rules just t’other day and now he has been up Mount Improbable and extracted these Ten Commandments from inside the corpse of poor old Ernie (Well, he said he found two tablets in Dead Earnest)(Ah please yourself ;) )Now, anyone fancy printing these out and sticking a copy on the cubicle wall of every dev at a certain MMO company?The Commandments of Online Worlds[...]

  54. Blur, I don’t understand your thinking, and this confuses me about a great many gamers in the same way. I don’t mean to insult you here, but I think you are missing a key point.

    However, if you put a progression path infront of someone and tell them that, at the end of that path, they will have the strongest character, the coolest armour, some other great assets and the ability to go anywhere in the game world and do things that a great percentage of the server can’t do… er, is that not appealing to a majority of gamers who are, through the sheer nature of being gamers, competitive beasts?

    How are you thinking this can be done? Just about all the players will get to the end of that progression path. So how is it that one or a few players would be able to do what you promise, do things others can’t do? How is it that a static progression cannot be achieved by everyone?

    It sounds to me like you’re talking about the same system as WoW, only speeding up the levelling time so that everyone gets to the end game sooner, and expanding the end game raids, quests, whatever. It still sounds very static, directed, and sterile. How many “coolest armors” can there be for the player?

    Rare items? That’s always cool, but if they’re built into static, pre-directed quests, who’s not going to get them? How rare are they then?

    And after reaching the zenith, you suggest playing other classes? Yeah, it’s fun, but again, it’s a dead end. Levelling games are like that. They have an end game. It’s predictable, all is predetermined and directed in a linear path, and it happens the exact same way to everyone.

    There’s a different kind of game play all together. Where you live in a world simulation, and you don’t know what tomorrow will bring. And it has no “end game”, it just keeps evolving and changing. You may reach the pinacle of you skills, but that doesn’t mean your cattle are safe. It doesn’t mean your ship doesn’t sink, or that mysterious isle has been found. It doesn’t mean your home isn’t surrounded by nasty things once again, or you home city is safe from marauders.

  55. Amaranthar-

    It confuses me too, although I’ve seen it in my own gameplay habits. I’ll pass on smelling the roses if it gets me to level xx faster. Then, once I’m at level xx, the roses just don’t seem as sweet anymore; that one cool quest you’re revisiting is just too easy to be much fun, that one cool item you really wanted just isn’t useful anymore, that kind of thing.

    On the other hand… The Trench Run from A New Hope happened exactly the same way for everyone, but that’s been durable somehow. There are people (myself included) who reread Lord of the Rings every year for ten years straight. Directed experiences, if they’re high-quality, can be enduring.

    And as far as openended gameplay… there’s such a thing as coming to the end of that, too. After a while in UO, unless you fall in love with the place, there’s just not that much to do. There are only so many mysterious islands (treasure chests) to be found; only so many times saving your cattle from dragons / rustlers / hoof&mouth is entertaining. Your ship sinks, negating the fruits of 2000 hours of gameplay? Pop quiz: a) “Oh jeez, I have to start again…” or b) “That stinks, I quit.” Which do most players choose?

    Of course, all this discussion just folds back into #3.

  56. So how is it that one or a few players would be able to do what you promise, do things others can’t do? How is it that a static progression cannot be achieved by everyone?

    Because, quite simply, these games are played by different people, for different periods of time, each starting at a different date on the calendar. At any given time, the number of high level characters is heavily outweighed by lower level characters, many of whom will drop out of the game before they get anywhere near what constitutes a high level.

    I would actually love to see the curve associated with the number of players crossed with the highest level they ever achieve. Because, yes, what you say is possible. Given ‘x’ amount of time, anyone can reach the endgame in an MMO… but it’s not what happens in reality.

    There’s a different kind of game play all together. Where you live in a world simulation, and you don’t know what tomorrow will bring. And it has no “end game”, it just keeps evolving and changing. You may reach the pinacle of you skills, but that doesn’t mean your cattle are safe. It doesn’t mean your ship doesn’t sink, or that mysterious isle has been found. It doesn’t mean your home isn’t surrounded by nasty things once again, or you home city is safe from marauders.

    Right. And doesn’t it sound great? Because, see, that sounds ideal to me. I think you’ve done me the disservice of assuming what I mean with your earlier remarks, despite what you propose (above) being completely in-line with what I’ve been saying. As you acknowledge, you still have to reach a pinnacle of skills, then it’s “game on”. Anything can happen. I don’t see what I sid earlier being out of step with that at all; ie: attain the ultimate level of character easily, without mindless grinding, then have a character who can interact in a real and meaningful way with the game world, unfettered by not being able to take part in content because, “Oh, that’s for a Level 47 and I’m only Level 39…” or other nonsense like that.

  57. Blur, have you seen Abalieno’s “world traveler” model? I’m not sufficiently familiar with it, but I think he’s reading and may be able to provide some links to his stuff.

  58. But why no number nine?

  59. It amazes me what some people expect from their $15-$20 a month! I pay several thousand a month to live in the real world, so why would I expect a utopia for so much less?

  60. 9 Must be where the expansion pack goes Philip :)

  61. [...] The other extreme of rectitude is to wash your hair with a bar soap. Something I have been known to do when in dire straits. On many occassions, i agree with Raph wholeheartedly.  This is one of those occassions.  A few years ago, i lost my hair completely due to a medical treatment.  It grew back eventually, but in the meantime i stopped using any kind of shampoo or bodywash because they made my skin literally bleed (also down to the treatment).  Bar soap became my rule.  I kept to that rule when my hair grew back and frankly, it’s always in much better condition than it was during the bad old shampoo+conditioner days.  Thicker, too.  Be advised.Of course, the semi-serious business of Raph and Scott on this bizarre comment thread was this entry, which in the main i have to agree with.  #2 stands as long as you respect them but not their game-design ideas which uniformly suck, and #9 is the kind of appalling design that gave us an alpha class in an MMO – no really.  No, it is, because that’s where the “Balance is everything” rule should have gone.Anyway.  Read, enjoy, use soap. Published Tuesday, July 04, 2006 11:58 AM by Cael [...]

  62. “I pay several thousand a month to live in the real world, so why would I expect a utopia for so much less?”

    And yet people expect so little and are willing to do so little for the thousands they shell out. Irony of all things.

  63. On the point of not changing gameplay mechanisms, it’s really a user expectation issue. Eve Online, for example, keeps on moving the ball on fundermental game mechanisms..and this leads to some um…lively forum debates on said mechanisms and where the game “should be going”.

  64. EVE is just crazy. I started the tutorial with the best of intentions, very eager to try the game… and I was skipping stuff and falling asleep before it was over. An intensely complex game, that one. I shudder to think about learning it, only for it to change!

  65. >You’re required to censor, by law — in California, and in most of the rest of the US. If your customers are creating a Hostile Work Environment for your employees, you are legally required to take reasonable steps to assure that a) the harassing behavior stops, and b) that it will not recur.

    Don’t be silly, Jim. The First Amendment protects your freedom of speech. If your employer or school or club censors you, you have recourse to take your speech elsewhere to a blog or your own samizdat if it comes to that. Don’t exaggerate. The customer is always right, too, btw.

    If Raph is serious about being an enlightened game god, he must leave no. 9 open for the residents to write — do at least THAT much! And it should probably go something like this:

    “When, in the course of simulated events, it becomes necessary for one avatar to dissolve the political bonds which have connected them with another,” — i.e. the right to overthrow the game god and get a new one.

  66. Proke-

    Your example touches on the real issue here, and it isn’t Rights. It’s Jurisdiction.

    A company can’t control what you say about them on your own website (provided it doesn’t fall under Libel or Trade Secret laws). But it can control what you post on their website or within their game– and has a legal obligation to do so, to protect the work environment of its employees.

    It’s about de facto power; to think otherwise is incredibly naive.

    And it bears repeating here, that there are likely only ever to be two ways game gods get replaced… One, their higher-ups give them the boot, or two, the players vote with their feet and move to a new game. Revolution from below is pretty much impossible.

  67. Prokofy Neva wrote:
    The customer is always right.

    The customer is not always right. Wait not for thy explanation. Use Google.

    Cael wrote:
    Balance is everything.

    Back on topic…

    Balance is everything, and balance is nothing.

    I don’t think mechanical balance is the be-all-end-all of a virtual world, especially when such balance is used to ensure that the player is protected from the conflicts of loss, displeasure, and discontent. Balance should reinforce fun, not hinder fun by removing or saturating all "negative" emotions from the experience. A truly balanced experience is a truly boring and unfulfilling experience.

    The spice of life is found in the battle for the mind.

    Players should experience sorrow, and players should experience happiness.

    That’s a perfect balance.

  68. [...] My older, slightly hairier clone Raph Koster put up his 10 Commandments of Online Worlds. Number 6 gets me, because he doesn’t want PvP in his game worlds. World games. Whatnot. [...]

  69. Doesn’t balance usually refer to the idea that players should find any given mode of playing a game as rewarding (in terms of game-measured advancement) as any of the others, and so doesn’t ignore those activities even though they might have fun with them?

  70. Someone should immediately put Raph in charge of a new SW MMO. Since he left the old one, it’s all been downhill.

    This is someone who respects his customers and their present investment into a virtual world. Something that some major corporations could really learn from.

  71. EVE is just crazy. I started the tutorial with the best of intentions, very eager to try the game… and I was skipping stuff and falling asleep before it was over. An intensely complex game, that one. I shudder to think about learning it, only for it to change!

    I have been playing Dragonrealms for roughly 9 years. In that time, it has changed dramatically. The thing is… all of said changes are gradual, they are announced, and once you know things, then all you need to be aware of are the changes as they happen. It’s a difficult thing to immerse in as a newbie, but I’d hope that, like Dragonrealms, EVE lets you do things without a whole bucket full of knowledge.

    Doesn’t balance usually refer to the idea that players should find any given mode of playing a game as rewarding (in terms of game-measured advancement) as any of the others

    That’s a positive outlook at a negative-mitigating habit. The idea behind balance isn’t to bring everything up to a particular standard of enjoyment, but instead to make sure people doing certain activities don’t upset the ability of others to enjoy their things. I also don’t believe you can perfectly balance a game once it reaches a certain level of complexity or reality, though that doesn’t stop anyone from trying or believing it can be done.

  72. Jim, companies have a way of responding even if only going into crouch mode that lets us know that expression outside their hallowed forums still affects their actions. It’s not all as cut and dry as you make it seem.

    >Revolution from below is pretty much impossible.

    We’ll see about that!

    >The customer is not always right. Wait not for thy explanation. Use Google.

    Like…*Google* could be relied upon to give me an accurate report on this concept?!

  73. Like…*Google* could be relied upon to give me an accurate report on this concept?!

    Who would you listen to?

  74. The customer is always right? Most customers would suggest that you should provide more and of a higher quality, and do it for less and faster. I don’t think replacing the Big Mac sandwich with a steak sandwitch on fresh bread for fifty cents is going to end up being a good business model. The customer is always valued and respected, but he’s no more right than you boss. :)

  75. No, the customer IS always right. The problem is that the customer is also a bit stupid. If the customer thinks your product stinks, he’s absolutely right! But the fact that he keeps buying the bad product and insisting you change it to his liking makes him stupid. If he doesn’t like the Big Mac, he should take his money to another fast food chain. And yet, I know people who eat the same “crap” food every day and complain about it rather than try out a new place.

    A decent section of your customer base is also going to be weak willed. He may actually enjoy the Big Mac, but because a few of his coworkers hate it, he’s going to say he hates it too. So he’s paying for it AND loves eating it, but it still saying that its bad. Gaming communities are chock full of people like that.

  76. Raph I’d be interested to hear if one of the reasons you left SOE was because of their failure to listen to or believe in these Commandments.

    Because as a former player of SWG, I see several of them which weren’t just broken, they were smashed in the face until unrecognizable.

    IMO SOE is guilty of breaking at least half of these commandments from when SWG launched until right now.

  77. Mnemon, although the departure was quite amicable, it’s also very true that SOE and I were heading in different directions. So yeah, I’d say that was one of the reasons.

  78. I certainly appreciate the honesty on the matter :-) Good list otherwise. I’d venture to say anybody who follows those rules has a pretty good foundation to build a game upon.

  79. Re: Rik >The customer is always right? Most customers would suggest that you should provide more and of a higher quality, and do it for less and faster. I don’t think replacing the Big Mac sandwich with a steak sandwitch on fresh bread for fifty cents is going to end up being a good business model. The customer is always valued and respected, but he’s no more right than you boss.

    Rik, I’m trying to understand how to have this conversation with you. It appears to be a common and very flippant belief of tekkies that this old 19th and 20th century sales adage from America, “the customer is always right,” is somehow quaint and outdated now.

    How did you come about this belief? Because mere facile dismissal of it with impatience and rectitude will not persuade me that the customer is now wrong in our free market economy.

    You all are the ones constantly telling me to bring about game democracy by “voting with my feet”. These feet are what “the customer is always right” is all about.

    Is it because you think your personally-known IT technological sector spreads to all and everything, and is populated by savvy prosumers who want upgrading to quality for less, and want to be able to work the upgrading modules themselves? So if you see clutzy non-tekkie consumers, you can only laugh and say, “they are wrong, they aren’t as smart as me”?

    But prosumers, savvy tekkies, businesses that are related to the Internet, that’s just one sector, and one part of the economy. Frankly, even those sectors that one could say are “computer” or “Internet” contain within them just plain old-fashioned hand-holding and shoe-leather work, showing people around, answering their questions, helping them, and taking seriously their rightness.

    The fact is, people want both Big Macs, and some of them want steaks even at Burger King with the ranch burger or whatever, or they want to go to Smith & Wollensky’s. There is a range of consumers, and some are right somewhere, sometime. That’s the task of those marketing, to find them.

    The idea that you can step on consumer needs and wants by airily and arrogantly dismissing their notions as impractical or not cost-efficient will get you:

    o life as a college student continuing to live off your parents or trust fund and collect one degree after another only to pay off loans later in an imperfect job

    o life in a big IT corporation or in IT in some other company where your bosses, whom you hate, in fact have accepted this harsh market truth that the customer is always right — and are working night and day to satisfy that rightness.

    I don’t know where you fall on the spectrum of these things, but I have to say, the old-fashioned notion of “the customer is always right” is merely the bedrock of universality and individual civil rights which you tekkies often so airily dismiss in the name of some better collectivized notion of experts running perfect committees to create utopias. That’s how it seems to me.

    The customer is always right is a credo that means:

    o you must try to find out what the customer’s need is, and satisfy it, even if he seems cranky — otherwise, he will take his business elsewhere
    o you must help fit his need/want to what you have, helping to justify why his expectations can’t be met, with polite service
    o you must be reasonable about offering refunds if the product is defective, even if you can make a case for him partly being to blame
    o if you turn away a customer, you have indeed done something wrong — you failed to make a sale.

    Now, in a game or virtual world, if the customers start screaming, stop making all these flexible tails for Furries, make it all less laggy, we want no-lag sims, you can say, “Oh, the customer is wrong. He should understand that new content is uber alles. He should realize his utopian quest for a lag-free sim is just immature. With great sims and great features, comes great lag.” etc.

    Well…except lag drives people out of games. They go where there is less lag. So you can try to mitigate their lag seriously and not be a jerk about dismissing their valid concern, even if their notion of how to obtain it is in fact utopian.

    It’s that lesson — failing to make a sale, because it was a “NO SALE” transaction — is what many young people need to learn. Their belief that they can be paid endlessly, and always make a sale on their niche, high-end product to a tiny group of prosumers is hampering their understanding of this truth.

    Re: Who would I listen to?

    I always like to try to take a sampling of many different searches, whether Google or Yahoo, and there is never a substitute for picking up the phone and trying to get a live human being to talk to.

  80. “The customer is always right.”

    Sigh. You’re talking past each other here.

    Obviously, Prokofy is correct, in that a customer-centric mindset is paramount. The adage’s origin comes from customer service, in the literal sense of the word, not the modern call center derivation.

    Equally obviously, the customer has no sense of the constraints, no sense of whether what they want is damaging to other customers, no sense often what it is that their need actually is so it can be filled. So no, the customer is not always “right” when they start talking about how they want which need filled. Sometimes the complaint they voice isn’t actually what would drive them away, for example.

    But they’re still right at bottom. You just have to listen more closely, ask more questions, and walk in their shoes.

  81. >the customer has no sense of the constraints, no sense of whether what they want is damaging to other customers, no sense often what it is that their need actually is so it can be filled. So no, the customer is not always “right” when they start talking about how they want which need filled.

    Actually, no. Not in a nation of shopkeepers. When all the shopkeepers ask each other if the customer is right, you have a lot of people thinking about whether a need is damaging. So you’re saying that it’s only the Internet’s stripping away of tools for empathy and accountability in a village or even a city made the customer go all wrong? Well, what, feedback systems can’t be devised?

  82. http://www.halbecker.com/articlesby/column26.html
    http://fusionbrand.blogs.com/fusionbrand/2006/01/the_customer_is.html
    http://www.marcspages.co.uk/articles/0103.htm
    http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2006/04/the_customer_is.html
    http://headrush.typepad.com/creating_passionate_users/2006/05/dont_give_in_to.html

    From the first one:

    We have all heard this expression before, “the customer is always right”. Well, contrary to popular belief, I don’t think so. In fact most times THE CUSTOMER IS USUALLY WRONG! But here is the thing most people forget, THE CUSTOMER IS IN CHARGE.

    The Seth’s blog one is also a very good way of putting it.

  83. I always like to try to take a sampling of many different searches, whether Google or Yahoo, and there is never a substitute for picking up the phone and trying to get a live human being to talk to.

    Then do that.

    Here’s one you wouldn’t get on a basic search without knowing about it: Don’t give in to feature demands!

    Seriously, it has nothing to do with IT. It’s a business practice. The absurdity of a literal interpretation is a reason of why its usage is, today, outdated. It’s a hundred years old. What happened to cutting edge?

    Also, take a look at The Customer is King; it makes a point that agrees with you and disagrees with you at the same time.

  84. o you must try to find out what the customer’s need is, and satisfy it, even if he seems cranky — otherwise, he will take his business elsewhere
    o you must help fit his need/want to what you have, helping to justify why his expectations can’t be met, with polite service
    o you must be reasonable about offering refunds if the product is defective, even if you can make a case for him partly being to blame
    o if you turn away a customer, you have indeed done something wrong — you failed to make a sale.

    I agree with all of those ideas to a degree, I disagree they are summed up in that motto. A million years ago, this motto was placed on cardboard signs and set up near the register to help the hired-but-didn’t-train staff to be nice to the customers. That motto was used too often to mean “Just do what the customer wants” and is now tied to that old mindset, a box people used to think in. These days, Customer Service is tied to ROI, and that old school thinking just doesn’t belong. You can’t satisfy every customer, you can’t explain that to every customer, you can’t accept every return, and sometimes you should turn away a customer.

  85. Raph wrote:

    The adage’s origin comes from customer service, in the literal sense of the word, not the modern call center derivation.

    The phrase "the customer is always right" was made popular by a Selfridges retail advertising campaign intended to promote customer satisfaction. As a sagely business adage, the phrase is not. According to the related Wikipedia entry, Harry Selfridge — who died penniless and insane — learned of the phrase while visiting a marketplace in India.

    James Mapes: The customer is not always right.

  86. Nice commandments Raph :) I just wish EA hadn’t violated them way back with UO and I really wish SOE hadn’t violated them (horrifically) with SWG. I keep hoping someone will come out with a UO2 (hint hint) but alas… doesn’t appear to be going to happen.

  87. The point you seem to miss Prokofy is that you can give customers bad news empathetically and at the end of the day still have them on your side. It’s called “service recovery” – rebounding from either a bad experience or bad news in the customers eyes.

    I think a lot of folks in the gaming industry are too quick to turn off the information valve flowing to their customers because of perceived criticism, or because of a notion that customers just don’t get it. And a lot of times they’re also using the wrong tools.

    Now, in a game or virtual world, if the customers start screaming, stop making all these flexible tails for Furries, make it all less laggy, we want no-lag sims, you can say, “Oh, the customer is wrong. He should understand that new content is uber alles. He should realize his utopian quest for a lag-free sim is just immature. With great sims and great features, comes great lag.” etc.

    First, this is no doubt referencing an official forum for an MMO. IMO it doesn’t make sense for a company to have a set of message boards that’s for anything other than 1) the community to discuss issues itself 2) technical support for large issues.

    You’re much better off having either a chat room or some sort of 1-on-1 online customer service feature.

    Why? First, message boards breed trolls, who end up spending more time in the forums talking smack than actually playing in the game. (Besides I’d argue if your community is talking outside the game en masse you have a problem with the social aspects inside your game).

    Having a patrol of company reps just fuels the fire and puts you in more bad situations than good situations (IMO nothing could be worse than SOE forum reps going into forums and locking and deleting threads en masse). Your company reps essentially become bullseyes.

    And while its a small group of people doing this, its tough to say that without sounding like an ass. (Again … SOE made this mistake with a very very bad PR statement from and admin once. It was something like “we’re taking note of your comments, but you need to keep in mind you’re just a small voice. A lot of people in game don’t think this is an issue.”)

    Second, its not an effective way to answer questions anyway. Your reps posts easily and often get lost in a flood of responses. So even when you do everything you need to, it gets lost in the translation.

    Now that void can quickly be closed by having online moderated chats, in game “town halls” where your reps are in game and mail bags. Turn your correspondence with the community into content for your launchpad and web site. And it’ll be a lot more prominent.

    So take your question above. A customer makes a post about these issues. Here are your options …

    1) Make a post in the thread. It gets tacked onto the back of the thread and is quickly lost in a sea of flames and other nonsense.

    2) Lock the thread. Makes it look like you’re sensitive to the issue.

    3) Delete the thread. Now you look like you have somethinn to hide.

    I don’t see a win situation for you there at all.

  88. Obviously SOE is going to gaming hell.

  89. [...] Raph Koster has posted his Ten Commandment of Online Worlds over at his site. I liked them enough to post them here as I study game software development in school, these will be a nice things to have in the back of my head. Share and Enjoy:These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages. [...]

  90. [...] Originally Posted by Raph 1. Thou shalt not mistake online worlds for games, for they encompass far more; nor shalt thou forget that play is noble, and game is no epithet. 2. Thou shalt not disrespect thy players, nor treat them as mere database entries or subscriptions, but rather as people, for thy power is granted you by them. 3. Thou shalt not remove fun or implement unfun for the sake of longer subscriber longevity, nor shalt thou consider thy sort of fun to be the only sort of fun to be had, for many and mysterious are the ways of enjoyment. 4. Thou shalt not blindly do what has been done before, but rather shalt know why all is as it is, and how it could be different. 5. Thou shalt create and follow rules that bind thyself as well as the players, for thou art of the community, not above it. 6. Thou shalt not make thy world a place for players to do real harm unto one another, or for thee to do harm unto players. 7. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbors userbase, but instead be true to thine own userbase, for thou hast made them a garden, and thy job is cultivation. 8. Thou shalt make every activity within thy world one that stands alone enjoyably; if it be a game, then thou shouldst make it a fun game on its own merits; if it be other, then thou shouldst make it true to itself. Thy world doth not make boring things into enjoyable things merely because it is thy world. 9. There shalt be no number nine. 10. Honor thy ancestors, for they solved most of thy design problems. taken from here lol __________________ -=Byke’ TheBadger=- Live the greatest Star Wars saga ever told…yours. "Tell me what you regard as your greatest strength, so I will know how best to undermine you; tell me of your greatest fear, so I will know which I must force you to face; tell me what you cherish most, so I will know what to take from you; and tell me what you crave, so that I might deny you." Darth Plagueis SWG= Alderaan Soe= Deathstar [...]

  91. Is the customer always right?
    I think this is relative to your distance from the customer, and your perception. From an elevated or far removed position, where your dealing with abstractions, say as a symbolic analyst of some sort, perhaps you may not have a decent appreciation of where the income streams come from, and therefore saying: “The customer is never right, hes just a means of profit, or just dumb” is a convieniance (a convieniance bought and paid for by your employer I might add, and if your in the executive suite paid for by your shareholders(PS: shame on you)), and more often than not spoken in ignorance (the same ignorance the customer has in fact, the ignorance of a larger picture aka operational integrity, ignorance cited in previous posts on this thread) stating that the customer is not always right, that this business rule is dated and worn out, can always be justified but fundamentally is tantamount to saying that banana’s are yellow, and well, even monkeys have empirical knowledge….

    If you believe that the customer is not always right then you are neither an owner nor have you been, you are likely an employee and are likely to remain such, or be unemployed. You can test my theory by going to your next meeting (I’ll assume your an employee, because any client facing position already knows the customer is always right) with your employer’s client/customer. Tell them they cant have what they want further that they are ignorant and probably stupid, and perhaps thier customers are the same and should be treated as such. But I suggest you be prepared to leave that rarefied air of theoretical comfort and stand in the unemployment line…

    When your an owner or have a stake in an organizations revenue based upon its performance, yes the customer is always right, when you are an employeee or far removed from having to worry about those pesky revenue streams that drive business in this capitalistic world we live in feel free to think however you like on your own time. But I suggest the following equation while your at work: If A equals success, then the formula is _ A = _ X + _ Y + _ Z. _ X is work. _ Y is play. _ Z is keep your mouth shut. — Albert Einstein

    Do not get me wrong though, customer expectations have to be managed, this is why you cant have morons taking care of client management (or under trained customer service reps) the key to good client management (and customer service) is transparency. Nothing generates buy-in or economic good will faster than generating empathy about why there are limitations on service or why expectations cannot be met by your organization, the way this magical feat is acomplished is via honesty.
    trust = retention. Period

  92. Allen Sligar should be ashamed of writing this:

    If you believe that the customer is not always right then you are neither an owner nor have you been, you are likely an employee and are likely to remain such, or be unemployed.

    As the sole proprietor of a strategic branding and integrated marketing solutions company, I think you are extremely off base.

    Customers are no more always right than your boss or the President of the United States of America. Simply because they’re not always right does not mean they are not in charge. Further deliberation on this subject is of no benefit to me; therefore, I will conclude that if you desire to believe that customers are "always right", I will happily congratulate you on committing to everlasting mediocrity and leave you be.

  93. Now Morgan, dont get huffy, I’ll concede this:
    “Simply because they’re not always right does not mean they are not in charge”

    I’ll also concede that neither:
    “bosses or presidents are ALWAYS right”

    As a sole proprietor, in a client/industry facing position you have a responsibility to manage your clients no?

    It is in your economic best interest to manage them and ensure thier success and satisfaction no?

    I hope for your sake youll concede these two points then reread my last paragraph. Related to client retention, buy-in, transparency, honesty and managing client/customer expectations. In light of this now read the first line, noting perception in particular.

    I’m not lecturing you here, nor am I busting any sixsigma karate moves on you, not my style.

    I’ll clarify for you with brevity: Creating the perception that the “customer is always right” is managing the clients/consumers expectations. Just as the “customer is always in charge” is managing thier
    expectations. Failure to do either is doing a disservice to those who pay your bills.

    Am I harsh? yeah sometimes
    Am I unclear? yeah sometimes
    Am I honest? yeah sometimes
    Are we trying to say the same thing, two different ways? likely
    Am I mediocre? my mom dosnt think so…:)

  94. Allen Sligar wrote:

    As a sole proprietor, in a client/industry facing position you have a responsibility to manage your clients no?

    Clients manage themselves. I have charged myself with the responsibility for the well-being of my clients. This necessitates that I provide my clients with what they require in accordance with their particular business environment. I have turned down many prospective clients who would not accept that what they desire is not what they require, including an award-winning upcoming hip-hop group. As a solutions company, we must confront these challenges in our way to produce work for which we are proud to claim credit. To sacrifice quality for an extra buck is sacrilege. We do not have a price on quality because we do not provide low-end services.

    General Theory of Design

    Design consists of creating things for clients who may not know what they want, until they see what you’ve done, then they know exactly what they want, but it’s not what you did.

    — Brian Sooy, designer of the Lucerna type family for the Holy Bible published by Tyndale House Publishers.

    I think that nicely sums up the issues. To be successful in business, you cannot stop at what the client wants. You have to find out what they need. There are, however, a few businesses where providing what customers want works, such as in retail where assortments of options are presented and the power of choice is bestowed upon the customer. This model works to the extent that customers must commit themselves to research their situation prior to purchasing; thus, we have social programs to encourage consumers to be smarter buyers.

    Allen Sligar wrote:

    Creating the perception that the "customer is always right" is managing the clients/consumers expectations. Just as the "customer is always in charge" is managing their expectations. Failure to do either is doing a disservice to those who pay your bills.

    If you’re saying what I think you’re saying, then you’re saying what I’ve already said. Read post #68. Is that what you’re trying to communicate?

    From my perspective as a vendor, the phrase "the customer is always right" does not communicate "improve customer satisfaction and encourage customer loyalty". The phrase instead communicates, "Do only that which satisfies customers. Never surpass their expectations." You should now understand why I wrote regarding resignation to mediocrity.

  95. [...] Not sure if this was posted before, but I found it very inciteful. You have to wonder if he came up with these before or after he left SOE. http://www.raphkoster.com/2006/07/03/the-commandments-of-online-worlds/ 1. Thou shalt not mistake online worlds for games, for they encompass far more; nor shalt thou forget that play is noble, and game is no epithet. 2. Thou shalt not disrespect thy players, nor treat them as mere database entries or subscriptions, but rather as people, for thy power is granted you by them. 3. Thou shalt not remove fun or implement unfun for the sake of longer subscriber longevity, nor shalt thou consider thy sort of fun to be the only sort of fun to be had, for many and mysterious are the ways of enjoyment. 4. Thou shalt not blindly do what has been done before, but rather shalt know why all is as it is, and how it could be different. 5. Thou shalt create and follow rules that bind thyself as well as the players, for thou art of the community, not above it. 6. Thou shalt not make thy world a place for players to do real harm unto one another, or for thee to do harm unto players. 7. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbors userbase, but instead be true to thine own userbase, for thou hast made them a garden, and thy job is cultivation. 8. Thou shalt make every activity within thy world one that stands alone enjoyably; if it be a game, then thou shouldst make it a fun game on its own merits; if it be other, then thou shouldst make it true to itself. Thy world doth not make boring things into enjoyable things merely because it is thy world. 9. There shalt be no number nine. 10. Honor thy ancestors, for they solved most of thy design problems. _________________ [...]

  96. See but the customer isn’t always right or in charge, and providing good customer service doesn’t always mean kissing your customers ass and being a yes man.

    This is a great case of somebody missing the point of what customer service is about and just saying what the customer wants to hear in order to appease them. As Morgan is saying, this isn’t great customer service – at least not all the time.

    Lets say you own a Best Buy. Two scenarios and you tell me which is better customer service …

    1) A customer comes in, picks out a computer. As a sales rep you come over, he tells you he wants this one, so you ring it up and send him on his merry little way. The customer is always right so it must be the right computer. And he’s in charge so you must ring it up for him!

    2) A customer comes in, picks out a computer. As a sales rep you come over and he tells you he wants this one.

    Using your specialized expertise, certainly something customers are also paying for, you know a lot of people aren’t that knowledge able about how computers work. So you ask him some questions before ringing him up. Like what are you using the computer for, why did you pick this model, what are you looking for in a computer, etc.

    At the end of the exchange you’ve done one of two things … picked out a better computer for your customers needs, or gave him piece of mind that he’s picking out a great computer for what he wants to do.

    I used Best Buy on purpose because this is exactly what they started doing a few years ago. They found sales clerks were quick to ring up a customer instead of making sure the customer was really getting the product that best suited their needs.

    There was also and added benefit that most customers then also bought secondary products and ultimately left with greater customer satisfaction and having spent more money.

    That’s the perfect example of why the customer isn’t always right and why that expression is BS. If your mantra was “the customer is always right” they would be walking out having spent less money, with a computer that might not meet their needs and ultimately less happy about the experience.

  97. [...] From: http://www.raphkoster.com/2006/07/03/the-c…-online-worlds/The Commandments of Online Worlds [...]

  98. [...] Lest nach wenn ihrs mir nicht glaubt :;P (lieg auf dem Boden und bekomme keine Luft mehr vor lachen :)))))) http://www.raphkoster.com/2006/07/03/the-commandments-of-online-worlds/ er hat ja so recht……….. The Commandments of Online Worlds 1. Thou shalt not mistake online worlds for games, for they encompass far more; nor shalt thou forget that play is noble, and game is no epithet. 2. Thou shalt not disrespect thy players, nor treat them as mere database entries or subscriptions, but rather as people, for thy power is granted you by them. 3. Thou shalt not remove fun or implement unfun for the sake of longer subscriber longevity, nor shalt thou consider thy sort of fun to be the only sort of fun to be had, for many and mysterious are the ways of enjoyment. 4. Thou shalt not blindly do what has been done before, but rather shalt know why all is as it is, and how it could be different. 5. Thou shalt create and follow rules that bind thyself as well as the players, for thou art of the community, not above it. 6. Thou shalt not make thy world a place for players to do real harm unto one another, or for thee to do harm unto players. 7. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbors userbase, but instead be true to thine own userbase, for thou hast made them a garden, and thy job is cultivation. 8. Thou shalt make every activity within thy world one that stands alone enjoyably; if it be a game, then thou shouldst make it a fun game on its own merits; if it be other, then thou shouldst make it true to itself. Thy world doth not make boring things into enjoyable things merely because it is thy world. 9. There shalt be no number nine. 10. Honor thy ancestors, for they solved most of thy design problems._________________Ehemals MasterDoc Horde Dantoine Infinity Master Doc Buffing 24xx for 3h30min 12k only Banktips only No refunds Watch your Bf Currently no Queue……………Smile)))) Wer einen Rechtschreibfehler findet der darf ihn behalten [...]

  99. Are we trying to say the same thing, two different ways? likely

    11. Thou shalt not expect clarity of communication in an impersonal medium?

    Was that one of those tablets Raph dropped comming down the mountain?

    That’s the perfect example of why the customer isn’t always right and why that expression is BS. If your mantra was “the customer is always right” they would be walking out having spent less money, with a computer that might not meet their needs and ultimately less happy about the experience.

    Point taken, but alas it has been covered….

    (or under trained customer service reps)

    Rereading this entire thread made my brain tired. However I realized there was a point of digression where meanings were confused and otherwise muddled which explains why the thread degenerated somewhat. And it revolves around definitions…..

    Client
    Customer
    Consumer

    Therin lies the problem, perceptually we assign certain value and otherwise differentiate between those three words. Likely an issue that cant or shouldnt be solved on this thread.

    Further I just noted Raph never used any of those words in the commandments. Leaving me scratching my head until I realied what a great analogy this is:

    Wise guy brings ambiguously worded tablets down from mountain resulting in confusion and mayhem, later day scholars sit around mincing words and defining meanings, and otherwise theorizing about this or that.

    Meanwihle the great algorithim in the sky is laughing its ass off because it thought that burning bush was pretty keen…..

    WTG Raph….

  100. Allen Sligar wrote:

    Further I just noted Raph never used any of those words in the commandments.

    Prokofy Neva introduced the subject of "the customer is always right" in post #49 as a response to Jim in post #37. Jim argued that companies are righted and required to provide a safe work environment to employees while Prokofy Neva argued that the First Amendment and the so-called "adage" rights customers to behave any way they please, even if they endanger the work environment provided to employees.

    I should note that companies, especially companies larger than one-man shops, that prioritize customers before employees tend to fail. BioWare is often recognized as a Quality of Life champion in the games industry.

  101. [...] The Commandments of Online Worlds 1. Thou shalt not mistake online worlds for games, for they encompass far more; nor shalt thou forget that play is noble, and game is no epithet. 2. Thou shalt not disrespect thy players, nor treat them as mere database entries or subscriptions, but rather as people, for thy power is granted you by them. 3. Thou shalt not remove fun or implement unfun for the sake of longer subscriber longevity, nor shalt thou consider thy sort of fun to be the only sort of fun to be had, for many and mysterious are the ways of enjoyment. 4. Thou shalt not blindly do what has been done before, but rather shalt know why all is as it is, and how it could be different. 5. Thou shalt create and follow rules that bind thyself as well as the players, for thou art of the community, not above it. 6. Thou shalt not make thy world a place for players to do real harm unto one another, or for thee to do harm unto players. 7. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbors userbase, but instead be true to thine own userbase, for thou hast made them a garden, and thy job is cultivation. 8. Thou shalt make every activity within thy world one that stands alone enjoyably; if it be a game, then thou shouldst make it a fun game on its own merits; if it be other, then thou shouldst make it true to itself. Thy world doth not make boring things into enjoyable things merely because it is thy world. 9. There shalt be no number nine. 10. Honor thy ancestors, for they solved most of thy design problems._________________Check out all of my videos! [...]

  102. [...] Slowly but surely the ideas about game design are shifting. As an example we find Raph Koster’s recent Commandments of Online Worlds which include: Quote: [...]

  103. [...] A little piece of advice from Raph Koster For those that don’t know who Raph is, he’s the one that envisioned the origonal SWG game system. I’m certain this is dirrected to John. Not sure if this was posted before, but I found it very inciteful. You have to wonder if he came up with these before or after he left SOE. http://www.raphkoster.com/2006/07/03…online-worlds/ 1. Thou shalt not mistake online worlds for games, for they encompass far more; nor shalt thou forget that play is noble, and game is no epithet. 2. Thou shalt not disrespect thy players, nor treat them as mere database entries or subscriptions, but rather as people, for thy power is granted you by them. 3. Thou shalt not remove fun or implement unfun for the sake of longer subscriber longevity, nor shalt thou consider thy sort of fun to be the only sort of fun to be had, for many and mysterious are the ways of enjoyment. 4. Thou shalt not blindly do what has been done before, but rather shalt know why all is as it is, and how it could be different. 5. Thou shalt create and follow rules that bind thyself as well as the players, for thou art of the community, not above it. 6. Thou shalt not make thy world a place for players to do real harm unto one another, or for thee to do harm unto players. 7. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbors userbase, but instead be true to thine own userbase, for thou hast made them a garden, and thy job is cultivation. 8. Thou shalt make every activity within thy world one that stands alone enjoyably; if it be a game, then thou shouldst make it a fun game on its own merits; if it be other, then thou shouldst make it true to itself. Thy world doth not make boring things into enjoyable things merely because it is thy world. 9. There shalt be no number nine. 10. Honor thy ancestors, for they solved most of thy design problems. __________________ [...]

  104. [...] The Commandments of Online Worlds on Raph Koster [Jul 11, 2006 - 1:34 PM] 0 Comments The Commandments of Online Worlds on Raph Koster [...]

  105. [...] In fact, the next game is probably about the same as the last one, with a differently colored bell or whistle. Apparently, our ancestors have not only solved most of our design problems, they may have solved all of them. Otherwise, we would not have 8,000 versions of DikuMUD with pretty pictures. [...]

  106. [...] Holy commandments This made me laugh at: http://www.raphkoster.com/2006/07/03…online-worlds/ The Commandments of Online Worlds Thou shalt not mistake online worlds for games, for they encompass far more; nor shalt thou forget that play is noble, and game is no epithet.Thou shalt not disrespect thy players, nor treat them as mere database entries or subscriptions, but rather as people, for thy power is granted you by them.Thou shalt not remove fun or implement unfun for the sake of longer subscriber longevity, nor shalt thou consider thy sort of fun to be the only sort of fun to be had, for many and mysterious are the ways of enjoyment.Thou shalt not blindly do what has been done before, but rather shalt know why all is as it is, and how it could be different.Thou shalt create and follow rules that bind thyself as well as the players, for thou art of the community, not above it.Thou shalt not make thy world a place for players to do real harm unto one another, or for thee to do harm unto players.Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor?s userbase, but instead be true to thine own userbase, for thou hast made them a garden, and thy job is cultivation.Thou shalt make every activity within thy world one that stands alone enjoyably; if it be a game, then thou shouldst make it a fun game on its own merits; if it be other, then thou shouldst make it true to itself. Thy world doth not make boring things into enjoyable things merely because it is thy world.There shalt be no number nine.Honor thy ancestors, for they solved most of thy design problems. __________________ "Nothing changes: Decadence, immorality, chaos." "May your choices have better results than mine – remembered not as a messenger. Remembered not as a reformer, not as a prophet, not as a hero, not even as Sebastian. Remembered only… as Jack." [...]

  107. [...] Fair enough Igie, but there really was a middle ground. Had they worked to refine the Docs that Gordon developed, they could have achieved the same goals with far less agony and loss of the player base. The problem has always been a 80% implimentation and 20% design error, both up until and including the NGE. BTW, I’m back. You can find me meandering around TC from time to time. We beat Koster up on his blog a few months back over this BTW. The result was a new set of thinking outlined here: The Commandments of Online Worlds [...]

  108. [...] Re: [Photoshop] Rpg motivational posters Changed the Comandments of gaming poster so ppl would stop bugging me and decided to do them all… some don’t come of to RPGish but skiping there rules looks funny. EDIT: The Commandments all come from here. __________________ Motivational gaming posters… mostly. Link also has larger versions of all my posters and the more recent posters all have their source in their tag and comment fields. Also I now have a Pro account with Flickr so you can see all 550+ posters I’ve made. Last edited by Elistor : 07-07-2006 at 07:11 PM. [...]

  109. [...] Link: RPGnet Forums – View Single Post – [Photoshop] Rpg motivational posters, based of course on these. [...]

  110. [...] The Commandments of Online Worlds by Raph Koster [...]

  111. [...] found it very inciteful. You have to wonder if he came up with these before or after he left SOE. http://www.raphkoster.com/2006/07/03…online-worlds/ 1. Thou shalt not mistake online worlds for games, for they encompass far more; nor shalt thou [...]

  112. [...] Raph’s Website » The Commandments of Online Worlds [...]

  113. [...] Koster posted Commandments for Online Worlds last year, with a target towards game [...]

  114. [...] 60 minutes.Top Referrers to Broken ToysPast week Today1202: google.com546: stumbleupon.com362: raphkoster.com214: 1up.com156: search.yahoo.com142: google.co.uk96: google.ca90: zenofdesign.com88: [...]

  115. [...] cut content.Fact: The lead designer of SWG within SOE, Raphael Koster, drafted up what he called "The Commandments of Online Worlds." Now, why would he go against his own commandments unless there were a higher power – in this case [...]

  116. [...] The Commandments of Online Worlds – By Raph Koster [...]

  117. [...] IMing Internet Internet marketing Jamming Kite flying Link building Love Math Meetings Networking Online worlds Oral presentations PC security Pet ownership Politics PowerPoint presentations Project management [...]

  118. [...] spectacular Raph Koster’s written “The Ten Commandments of Online Worlds”, which is, as expected, insightful and adorable! 1. Thou shalt not mistake online worlds for games, [...]

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