Playable Worlds – A player-managed economy: inverting “interactions of trust” between MMORPG players

The mechanics of most MMORPGs today ignore or even punish players who bring life to MMORPG worlds. Raphael Koster intends to tackle this with an economy that nurtures interactions of trust between players.

A few days ago, Raphael Koster (Veteran of the US MMORPG Industry) Draw an official release for his MMORPG which is currently in development within the studio Playable worlds. Today he continues to think of me New ticket It was posted on the official studio blog and this time interested in Economic management by two players in the MMORPG worldWhich he considers the cornerstone of game design in the sense that this economic dimension is The basis of “interactions of trust” between players.

Note: Activities are crucial but of little value

Raphael Koster starts on a note: All current MMORPG games are based in one way or another on only a few distinct models:

  • “Old school” MMORPG games are based on forming teams of players who play together often and know each other, thus developing a strong trust relationship but often in the context of long playing sessions that are sometimes difficult to organize and in games including gameplay exclusively. Almost eliminating (monsters, Superiors, Other players, etc.);
  • MMORPG games where players “play alone, one side to the other”, following the same story or performing the same tasks, but without real interaction between them;
  • Or finally the “gankbox” which consists in one way or another of eliminating everything that moves, as the distrust between players is often very present and not the kind of games that interest Raphael Koster.
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Raphael Koster was surprisedNone of these MMO formats actually address the number of players necessary for the game to succeed. : Those players who write clues or draw a map of the universe to reveal its least secrets, who accompany newcomers, who bring life to the universe or activate guilds … Worse yet, these MMORPG games “punish them by carelessness” since the time these players devote them to preserving On the Universe Alive, they don’t spend it amassing xp or collecting “X things” to award quests. And finally, those players who are most invested are the ones who will lag behind the others.

The virtues of the economy that the players run

How, then, can these players be better involved in playing and enhancing their investment? According to Raphael Koster, thanks to “the player-driven economy”. But according to the game’s designer, this is not the case Not just trade, it’s mostly about interactions.

To illustrate this point with the example of the plumber or waitress in the next bar: Raphael Koster does not know his plumber very well (he does not know his secrets, nor does he invite him to his birthday) but when he has a plumbing problem, he knows who to call. The same with the waitress: he doesn’t know her very well, but she smiles at him as she serves him her coffee. They are not friends, but acquaintances who stayed with them. ” Trust relationships “With time. The basis of these relationships was commercial first, then strengthened: the plumber will agree to move on Sunday and the waitress now asks him how his family makes or offers him a cookie with his coffee, because Raphael Koster is a good customer. Gradually, stronger bonds will be established.”

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The topic has been studied by psychology who determines Different levels of “trust” and “privacy” That are formed between individuals, until these relationships lead to the formation of societies, and even civilizations. This is how trust is gained, and sometimes friendships are born. Raphael Koster intends to apply this principle to his MMORPG.

Multiply interactions between players of all kinds

Rahael Koster intends to increase (commercial) interactions between players and Make it valuable in your gameplay : Something to sell, a service to provide, a task to undertake, such as obtaining materials, making things, transporting, selling, or repairing them, but also entertaining other players, playing role-playing games, drawing cards, decorating interior buildings, managing a guild or helping New player, or even broadcast Twitch

There are a lot of elements to be appreciated in the game, which should be part of the character’s progression and in the gameplay, so that the player can Sell ​​your experience and passion Make the raid enthusiasts need the craftsman, the craftsman needs the roleplayer to be entertained, the roleplayer needs the junker to feed their stories … “because that’s what the world is building.”

In conclusion: “This mechanism often qualifies for a“ player-run economy ”(Player-Driven Economy). People sometimes think it’s a problem with a business model. When you get to know online games a little better, it feels as if the player is making the items that other players use – and rightly so, it can be emphasized and the wording needs to be emphasized more. But even these aspects are a very brief way of thinking about this approach.
The player-driven economy is not about money. It is aboutThe gameplay that makes it possible to enhance a role in an ecosystem. It’s all about the cool or weird ways to live and play, and discover how our most exotic hobbies can affect another person.
Ultimately, it’s about making everyone count. Because we matter. Plumbers, waitresses, role-players, amateur raids … and in the phrase “the economy is run by the players”, the keyword is not Economie, More Player. And the player is you. “

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