In thinking about how player interaction is going to work in the spy game, I started thinking about player interaction in the genre in general. How many MMOs really need the first “M”? From my experience, not many. What use is it really to have a couple thousand players running around in the same world if they don’t interaction and their actions don’t affect the world for other players? More often than not, having that many players running around in the same world is a hindrance for players when you have to deal with issues like spawn camping.
Is it just to make things easier for developers? I know the more players the game has the more money developers make, but can’t you get the same number of players in the game in a way that makes things better and more interesting for the players? I think so.
There’s a couple of things that could be done:
- Make the game so that player actions affect the world in a meaningful way.
- Make the game so that there are fewer players in each instance of the world, but more instances.
- Allow players to jump in and out of instances as needed (for example player in U.S. city HQ instance doing a mission that takes the character to a European city instance).
Doing option two doesn’t mean that option one can’t be done as well. Ideally the world would be affected by players no matter which way you went.
I’m trying to think of how a game would be less attractive to players if the world didn’t have a thousand or so players running around in it. I can’t really think of a down-side assuming you let things like auctions and such still be done. That doesn’t require the actual character’s presence in the world. Of course, this assumes the game doesn’t have missions that require hundreds of characters to take part in it. I know there are dungeon raids in MMOs these days that require a large number of players, but I think that’s a design decision that doesn’t need to be done to make the game fun and exciting.
I know I’m probably missing something in my scattered thoughts on this subject so I’d appreciate hearing some other viewpoints. As always, I’ll be posting links to this post in the GP Wiki and App Hub forums: