Blaugust Entry, Day 25
On my ride to and from band practice tonight, I listened to the latest episode of the Massively OP podcast. It was a fun one to listen to. There was a section where Bree, the editor and one of the co-hosts, goes off on her famous rants (which are fun to listen to), and with every sentence she spoke, my mind went, “Yes, yes yes! I’m with you! 100%!”
They were speaking of the upcoming sandbox MMO Revival‘s “Gold” servers. It’s a subscription server where players essentially pay the fee for 24/7 live interaction from from a “live storytelling team” who control NPCs and interact in real-time to player actions and events. From what I took from reading through Revival’s website, the game is seeking to bring true player interactivity to the MMO space. One where player actions are what really matter — not their gear. One where players drive the economy. One where they drive the politics. They shape the history of their society and their world, because the world is run by people.
Iron Realms pulled it off in the realm of MUDs and gained prominence in it’s genre by leaving the cookie-cutter molds of Circle and Diku MUDs behind. They created living worlds where the devs were an active part of creating the narrative for the players, and the players took part in forging their own stories within the game’s canvas. When games like Everquest and World of Warcraft took over, I was very disappointed. They took the cookie-cutter molds of the older MUDs and adapted them to a graphical interface. There was so much potential there, but they chose the easier path.
On the podcast, Bree rants about how it’s absurd that this sort of interactivity is the exception and not the norm for MMORPGs. That this is something that would make the genre really shine and stand out. She argues that “this should be the backbone of MMORPGs”. I agree, one hundred percent! Go take a listen, starting from 48:48 if you don’t care to hear the whole thing. I’m not sure if the dark fantasy setting is really my cup of tea, but I definitely have my eye on Revival.
Whether it’s this game that pulls it off or another, this service-based approach could be the real “Revival” of the MMORPG genre. I am excited to see what comes of it.
Onward, to Day 26!
This month-long blogging challenge is almost over! For more info and more bloggers, check out the official Blaugust page.
P.S. Can I make a confession? I didn’t realize the Justin on the Massively podcast and the Justin on the Battlebards podcast were the same Justin until months after I started listening to both. It was both funny and silly when it finally clicked…
P.P.S. As I am writing this, I logged into my old home of Achaea to find that I’m 510 years old. If I got back into the MUD now, I would be one of the oldest players in the game. This is the description I have of my character, written back in my teenage years. Each player could set their own description, where others could see by looking at them. It went through many iterations over the years. By the time I stopped playing, he was probably over 100 years old:
He is a winged atavian and is not the vibrant youth he used to be. Gentle creases in his skin show signs of aging, although his firm posture remains indifferent to the effects of time. His build is thin and his many years in the sun have gifted him with a finely bronzed complexion. Wavy gray-black hair with streaks of white flow loosely past his shoulders, styled fashionably to offset the disparity in colours. Carefully preened wings quietly flutter behind his slender frame.
Music Challenge #12
A Track-a-day Challenge as an exercise in establishing efficient creative-workflow.
I feel the quality of these tracks are starting to degenerate over the last few days. Must get over the hump.