Archive for April 25th, 2010

 

How our reward-centered culture is killing the game

Games have long used the carrot and the stick to motivate players to do what designers intend. Players have also tried to use bugs and game mechanics to their advantage to game the system.

In Warhammer, WAR is everywhere, right? Yet every day I log in, I see barely a single crossed sword on the map. ORVR seems incredibly rare. Genuine pushes on zones by Destruction tends to only happen in the very early morning or in midday when most people are at work.

When Warhammer first came out, the only reason to flip a zone was to get to the fortress. There was no flip renown, not for keeps, BOs or for zones. The only way to get renown was to fight people — run scenarios, go into ORVR and slaughter until the ground ran slick with blood. The only reason to take a keep was to get annihilator gear. When a zone flipped it was because we wanted it to happen.

Then the game designers decided to add renown for taking objectives and keeps, and then for taking zones. This meant that people who might work hard for a zone flip could be anywhere in the zone and get renown for just standing around:

mailbox

Mailbox is safe!

In theory you don’t ever have to step into the RVR lake to make it to RR 80. You can just hop from warcamp to warcamp and enjoy the flip renown while reading a book, writing a blog post or doing chores around the house. Just keep an eye on State of the Realm and it can tell you when zones are ready to flip.

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Posted by on April 25th, 2010 5 Comments