Thursday, September 6, 2007

Character Skills in a Star Trek MMORPG +

Originally Posted by DougQB:
I would be concerned about levels and departments, that sounds like the traditional Class and Level design.
Doesn't it, though?

I object to this when it's designed as the sole way to play the game, when leveling up is just another kind of Achiever-focused accumulation that everybody has to follow because character advancement is an assumption that got turned into core gameplay. Why should those gamers who aren't Achievers, whose interests run more toward knowledge discovery and personal interaction, get stuck with yet another game whose most fundamental assumption about gamers is that they're all driven by a desire to achieve security through collecting as much stuff (including character/department levels) as possible?

If Star Trek Online were already out, the usual response of "Well, if you don't like that kind of gameplay, then don't play" would be valid. But it hasn't launched yet. It's still being developed. [Maybe.] If -- and of course I have to stress "if" so I don't get clobbered with the "you don't know what the developer has decided to do" stick -- the assumption is being made that everybody who's likely to play a Star Trek MMORPG enjoys leveling up and wants to spend their game time doing it, there may still be time to rethink that assumption so that the game that actually ships is more appealing to more gamers.

Now if you'll excuse me, I need to jump on my horse, grab a lance, and go after that windmill one more time....