Yeah, yeah, I’m writing about this again. 🙂
Tobold’s got a post on community in MMORPGs.
We can’t get to a really better community, where all the goodwill is felt from the bottom of the heart, without the players themselves contributing to that. I still remember my first day in Everquest, where a complete stranger helped me and even gave me a magic necklace, for no gain to himself. It is hard to blame developers for the fact that such behavior has become so rare.
Designers design the social environment by commission or omission. If they ignore it altogether, then there will be an accidental mishmash of features and the result is fairly unpredictable. Mind you, this doesn’t mean that paying close attention to it is going to work well either. Players respond to the environment they are given.
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