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Volunteer Player-GMs and Crowd Sourced content in future MMO-like games

iridescenceiridescence Elliot Lake, ONPosts: 1,486Member

This came out of another thread where someone was talking about hiring extra GMs to run events and I suggested the idea of letting certain select members of the community create and run their own events if the MMO owner could develop software for them to do so. Loosely based on the system in Neverwinter Nights and Neverwinter games but taking place in the open world and allow many players to participate in the same event.

 The idea is also loosely based on pen and paper gaming session where you have a DM leading an adventure

I think it probably best to keep these localized to one specific area of one server but obviously if you had a big sprawling game you would have to have many volunteers on different servers to run events at different times so that everyone could get the chance to participate in something every so often.

 

The advantages are obviously that this would create a ton of new "free" content for MMOs and create a sense of community investment. I think many people would be happy to do it as volunteers. Some disadvantages would be that the company would still have to do some kind of screening of GM applicants and quality control only taking the best ones. It would also kill a lot of the competitiveness in this kind of game. Especially in PvP. It's easy to imagine a situation where one guy decided to give out "+15 sword of awesome" and if the company had to balance all that it would be a nightmare so I think better to just make it more of a co-operative PvE game and accept that some people would probably end up with overpowered gear.

 

Could something like this work? Perhaps in a smaller more indie MMO which would otherwise struggle to produce a lot of content? Would you be willing to try a game like this?

 

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Comments

  • AeliousAelious Portland, ORPosts: 2,854Member Uncommon
    Sounds like EQN Landmark once mob and scripting tools are in. Players could host single plots organize multiple plots into a cohesive event or build a coliseum or maps for PvP.

    Once a player designs an "event" they could save a template and design another, hosting different ones at different times.
  • nariusseldonnariusseldon santa clara, CAPosts: 22,441Member

    Probably not.

    Most player produced stuff is crap. I would much rather enjoy professionally crafted content.

     

  • AeliousAelious Portland, ORPosts: 2,854Member Uncommon
    I think if anything the ability for a person or persons to play as raid bosses and ravage the countryside causing lag spikes en masse would be great :)
  • Slapshot1188Slapshot1188 Boca Raton, FLPosts: 4,504Member Uncommon

    Games do this today.  It's a sign of a struggling company and a doomed game.

     

    "I should point out that no other company has shipped out a beta on a disc before this." - Official Mortal Online Lead Community Moderator

    Starvault's reponse to criticism related to having a handful of players as the official "test" team for a supposed MMO: "We've just have another 10ish folk kind enough to voulenteer added tot the test team" (SIC) This explains much about the state of the game :-)

  • donpopukidonpopuki Dearborn, MIPosts: 591Member
    I see this as the future of MMOs or at least an evolutionary off shoot.  Just like Web 1.0 was going to a website and Web 2.0 is user generated content like Wikipedia. Games just took longer to get to the 2.0 phase because it's more complex to implement. Naysayers need not fear. Companies will continue to make games in the old manner, 2.0 does not replace 1.0. We have already seen some games like Neverwinter and EQ2 roll out their limited UGC. EQNL will bring more tools to the table. I only see the trend growing from here.
  • waynejr2waynejr2 West Toluca Lake, CAPosts: 4,474Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by iridescence

    This came out of another thread where someone was talking about hiring extra GMs to run events and I suggested the idea of letting certain select members of the community create and run their own events if the MMO owner could develop software for them to do so. Loosely based on the system in Neverwinter Nights and Neverwinter games but taking place in the open world and allow many players to participate in the same event.

     The idea is also loosely based on pen and paper gaming session where you have a DM leading an adventure

    I think it probably best to keep these localized to one specific area of one server but obviously if you had a big sprawling game you would have to have many volunteers on different servers to run events at different times so that everyone could get the chance to participate in something every so often.

     

    The advantages are obviously that this would create a ton of new "free" content for MMOs and create a sense of community investment. I think many people would be happy to do it as volunteers. Some disadvantages would be that the company would still have to do some kind of screening of GM applicants and quality control only taking the best ones. It would also kill a lot of the competitiveness in this kind of game. Especially in PvP. It's easy to imagine a situation where one guy decided to give out "+15 sword of awesome" and if the company had to balance all that it would be a nightmare so I think better to just make it more of a co-operative PvE game and accept that some people would probably end up with overpowered gear.

     

    Could something like this work? Perhaps in a smaller more indie MMO which would otherwise struggle to produce a lot of content? Would you be willing to try a game like this?

     

    There are no new ideas.   IMO the reason you lost volunteers as you started to run into problems with either labor laws or tax (IRS) issues. 

    As a player, I would see this as a cheap game not worthy of attention.

  • FinalFikusFinalFikus Chicago, ILPosts: 906Member
    Originally posted by nariusseldon

    Probably not.

    Most player produced stuff is crap. I would much rather enjoy professionally crafted content.

     

    Too expensive. Unless you are going to fund it yourself.

    "If the Damned gave you a roadmap, then you'd know just where to go"

  • Jean-Luc_PicardJean-Luc_Picard La BarrePosts: 3,546Member Uncommon

    "Volunteer Player-GMs" are a HUGE mistake I hope none of the game I play or will play will make.

    It's simple: if I pay to play for a game, I want it monitored by PROFESSIONALS, not other players who will obviously be biased towards their friends and who lack the skills to manage a community. Not to mention giving some players powers others do not have is like creating two different kinds of customers, which is not acceptable.

    I will not play a game where regular players have GM powers.

    Playing now: WoW, Landmark, GW2, The Crew, SotA

    Top 3 MMORPGs played: UO, AC1 and WoW

    Honorable mentions: AO, LotRO, SW:TOR and GW2.

    ----------------

    "The ability to speak doesn't make you intelligent" - Qui-gon Jinn. After many years of reading Internet forums, there's no doubt that neither does the ability to write.
    So if you notice that I'm no longer answering your nonsense, stop trying... because you just joined my block list.

  • iridescenceiridescence Elliot Lake, ONPosts: 1,486Member
    Originally posted by Slapshot1188

    Games do this today.  It's a sign of a struggling company and a doomed game.

     

    Which ones?

     

  • iridescenceiridescence Elliot Lake, ONPosts: 1,486Member
    Originally posted by Jean-Luc_Picard

    "Volunteer Player-GMs" are a HUGE mistake I hope none of the game I play or will play will make.

    It's simple: if I pay to play for a game, I want it monitored by PROFESSIONALS, not other players who will

     

    Professionals give us the kind of soul-less games we have today. I personally think professionalism is over-rated in games design. If I'm going for an operation I want a professional doctor but if someone is designing a game I want them to be enjoying themselves and making a game they want to play themselves, not just doing it for the money.

     

     

  • rutaqrutaq somerville, MAPosts: 428Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by iridescence

    This came out of another thread where someone was talking about hiring extra GMs to run events and I suggested the idea of letting certain select members of the community create and run their own events if the MMO owner could develop software for them to do so. Loosely based on the system in Neverwinter Nights and Neverwinter games but taking place in the open world and allow many players to participate in the same event.

     The idea is also loosely based on pen and paper gaming session where you have a DM leading an adventure

    I think it probably best to keep these localized to one specific area of one server but obviously if you had a big sprawling game you would have to have many volunteers on different servers to run events at different times so that everyone could get the chance to participate in something every so often.

     

    The advantages are obviously that this would create a ton of new "free" content for MMOs and create a sense of community investment. I think many people would be happy to do it as volunteers. Some disadvantages would be that the company would still have to do some kind of screening of GM applicants and quality control only taking the best ones. It would also kill a lot of the competitiveness in this kind of game. Especially in PvP. It's easy to imagine a situation where one guy decided to give out "+15 sword of awesome" and if the company had to balance all that it would be a nightmare so I think better to just make it more of a co-operative PvE game and accept that some people would probably end up with overpowered gear.

     

    Could something like this work? Perhaps in a smaller more indie MMO which would otherwise struggle to produce a lot of content? Would you be willing to try a game like this?

     

     

         People with table top RPG background have been dreaming about this type of MMO for years.  There is certainly players that would love this type of game but since it is built on Player GMs and volunteers it would not be something that game companies would invest in.

     

      Sadly even with the advancement in MMO tools over the last 5 years, an Indie MMO still requires hundreds of thousands of dollars, staff and years of development.

     

    Keep the idea and dream going for a while, in the next 5 years or so the tools to spawn an Indie MMO will get closer to the Forge toolset from Neverwinter and then a handful of dedicated folks could run this niche MMO for enough players to cover the costs.

  • I definitely think it won't be the popular trend for MMOs, many players like the linear gear based progression, and players deciding the rewards rather then developers can make that ugly, as you mentioned in the OP.

     

    I do think there would be a niche for it as a genre. More to the point if the game revolved around the "rogue-like" genre, where when the player enters a dungeon they enter it stripped of gear, and most abilities. This could get around the issues of players granting uber gear, and there could still be a leveling up system for things like base stats, maybe with a xp cap per mob that adjusts based on level.

     

    The dungeon delving mindset of rogue-likes always solves the issue of how all that player generated content could exist within the same world, each player could have their own dungeon and visit other peoples dungeons. Like farmville, but more murdering of monsters.

  • BlizzardShillBlizzardShill BlizzardshillvillePosts: 37Member

    Oddly enough, this concept has existed for a while and still does through MUDs.  In most MUDs, the admins run events or greatly empower players to do so, especially in RP-required games.  Then add to the fact that one text-based game somehow has more complexity than every single graphical MMO that has ever existed and will exist, combined (including this forum's beloved DAOC/UO)..

  • iridescenceiridescence Elliot Lake, ONPosts: 1,486Member
    Originally posted by BlizzardShill

    Oddly enough, this concept has existed for a while and still does through MUDs.  In most MUDs, the admins run events or greatly empower players to do so, especially in RP-required games.  Then add to the fact that one text-based game somehow has more complexity than every single graphical MMO that has ever existed and will exist, combined (including this forum's beloved DAOC/UO)..

    Yes, I started off playing MUDs many  years ago and the more I think of it the more I think my dream game may more be a MUD with at least rudimentary graphics. There's something that they in all their primitiveness had and still have  that modern slick MMOs don't.

     

     

     

     

  • KelrazKelraz Falls Church, VAPosts: 9Member

    I was a Game Guide and later a member of the Everquest Quest Troupe - both roles as a volunteer before eventually getting paid. Guides could handle basic issues (stuck characters, player disputes, etc.) and escalated more serious issues. We weren't allowed to be a Guide on any server we played on, I was a Guide on mostly Bertoxxolus. Later as a member of the Troupe we ran in-game events in Everquest such as the opening of Luclin, as well as RPed as NPCs and ran smaller events. All of this was monitored and supervised by Sony paid employees, and there were regular training sessions and conference calls. There were perks - a free account, free expansions, eventually employment. Great part time gig for a college student.

    Worked fantastically until Sony decided this free service provided by players for players should be only available on the Legends server, where people had to pay extra to play on it. At that point I quit and went into television production.It existed and worked really well, I don't think there was ever a time on Bertoxxolus server where there was longer than a 1 hour wait time for in-game help, normally petitions were answered in 5-15 minutes. I'd rather have volunteers answering issues and fixing the ones they can (and having some troubles since they aren't employees and maybe they screw up now and again) with a short wait time over the +24 hour wait times you see in some games (like World of Warcraft at this very moment).

  • Jean-Luc_PicardJean-Luc_Picard La BarrePosts: 3,546Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by iridescence
    Originally posted by Jean-Luc_Picard

    "Volunteer Player-GMs" are a HUGE mistake I hope none of the game I play or will play will make.

    It's simple: if I pay to play for a game, I want it monitored by PROFESSIONALS, not other players who will

     

    Professionals give us the kind of soul-less games we have today. I personally think professionalism is over-rated in games design. If I'm going for an operation I want a professional doctor but if someone is designing a game I want them to be enjoying themselves and making a game they want to play themselves, not just doing it for the money.

    Congratulations! You conveniently cut my post just before I listed some of the problems that player GMs create.

    image

    Playing now: WoW, Landmark, GW2, The Crew, SotA

    Top 3 MMORPGs played: UO, AC1 and WoW

    Honorable mentions: AO, LotRO, SW:TOR and GW2.

    ----------------

    "The ability to speak doesn't make you intelligent" - Qui-gon Jinn. After many years of reading Internet forums, there's no doubt that neither does the ability to write.
    So if you notice that I'm no longer answering your nonsense, stop trying... because you just joined my block list.

  • rutaqrutaq somerville, MAPosts: 428Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Jean-Luc_Picard
    Originally posted by iridescence
    Originally posted by Jean-Luc_Picard

    "Volunteer Player-GMs" are a HUGE mistake I hope none of the game I play or will play will make.

    It's simple: if I pay to play for a game, I want it monitored by PROFESSIONALS, not other players who will

     

    Professionals give us the kind of soul-less games we have today. I personally think professionalism is over-rated in games design. If I'm going for an operation I want a professional doctor but if someone is designing a game I want them to be enjoying themselves and making a game they want to play themselves, not just doing it for the money.

    Congratulations! You conveniently cut my post just before I listed some of the problems that player GMs create.

    image

     

    You lists of problems is valid and certainly a concern but with decent tracking, tools and supervision you could help control the situation to prevent flagrant abuse.

     

    This type of game wouldn't be for everyone, many of the players attracted to this type of game would have experience with table top rpgs where a volunteer GM runs everything and are willing to trust things will be ok for the chance to have real dynamic events with a rick story that they can be part of instead of canned repeatable computer scripted quests.

  • delta9delta9 PlymouthPosts: 343Member Common

    ARK from Anarchy Online springs to mind.

    http://ark.funcom.com/Public/ARKsite?page_id=16

     

    A player volunteer GM system backed by the pro/paid team, which where heavily involved in events, customer service, greeters and other areas

     

    From my experience it provided amongst the fastest and most friendly CSR / event etc in any MMO I have ever played and I always wondered why other games generally didnt do something similar

     

  • ToferioToferio RandomPosts: 1,403Member Uncommon

    I think the problem is that you call those event moderators for GMs, a term which is usually used for something completely different. Player created content  in form of events possibly moderated by said players is cool, but as soon as a game starts having volunteers as GMs (someone who has powers to affect the game and players outside of events) I'm out. I don't care how much soul they put into the game, when I'm dealing with GMs I want unbiased and professional help. 

    Originally posted by iridescence
    Originally posted by Slapshot1188

    Games do this today.  It's a sign of a struggling company and a doomed game.

    Which ones?

    Mortal Online, for example. When I was playing it I recall they had an underage as a GM, who later proceeded to become a lead GM or something. All that while he was affiliated with one of the back then biggest guilds. 

  • Jean-Luc_PicardJean-Luc_Picard La BarrePosts: 3,546Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by rutaq
    Originally posted by Jean-Luc_Picard
    Originally posted by iridescence
    Originally posted by Jean-Luc_Picard

    "Volunteer Player-GMs" are a HUGE mistake I hope none of the game I play or will play will make.

    It's simple: if I pay to play for a game, I want it monitored by PROFESSIONALS, not other players who will

     

    Professionals give us the kind of soul-less games we have today. I personally think professionalism is over-rated in games design. If I'm going for an operation I want a professional doctor but if someone is designing a game I want them to be enjoying themselves and making a game they want to play themselves, not just doing it for the money.

    Congratulations! You conveniently cut my post just before I listed some of the problems that player GMs create.

    image

     

    You lists of problems is valid and certainly a concern but with decent tracking, tools and supervision you could help control the situation to prevent flagrant abuse.

     

    This type of game wouldn't be for everyone, many of the players attracted to this type of game would have experience with table top rpgs where a volunteer GM runs everything and are willing to trust things will be ok for the chance to have real dynamic events with a rick story that they can be part of instead of canned repeatable computer scripted quests.

    In a tabletop RPG, the DM doesn't play his own characters in his own campaign. And I also refuse that some customers are "superior" and "special" with powers other do not have, specially when it's potentially game breaking powers that allow to cheat. To say it bluntly, I have ZERO trust in the random MMORPG player.

    Oh, and what you have in mind already exists: Neverwinter Nights I and II (from Bioware, not the recent MMORPG).

    Playing now: WoW, Landmark, GW2, The Crew, SotA

    Top 3 MMORPGs played: UO, AC1 and WoW

    Honorable mentions: AO, LotRO, SW:TOR and GW2.

    ----------------

    "The ability to speak doesn't make you intelligent" - Qui-gon Jinn. After many years of reading Internet forums, there's no doubt that neither does the ability to write.
    So if you notice that I'm no longer answering your nonsense, stop trying... because you just joined my block list.

  • nariusseldonnariusseldon santa clara, CAPosts: 22,441Member
    Originally posted by iridescence
    Originally posted by Jean-Luc_Picard

    "Volunteer Player-GMs" are a HUGE mistake I hope none of the game I play or will play will make.

    It's simple: if I pay to play for a game, I want it monitored by PROFESSIONALS, not other players who will

     

    Professionals give us the kind of soul-less games we have today. I personally think professionalism is over-rated in games design. If I'm going for an operation I want a professional doctor but if someone is designing a game I want them to be enjoying themselves and making a game they want to play themselves, not just doing it for the money.

     

     

    Professionals give us Dishonored, Bioshock, Deus Ex Human Evolution, Dead Space .. and many many good (to me, and to the rating sites) games.

    So if those games are soul-less .... games don't need souls to be entertaining. I am more than happy to play more "soul-less" games.

     

  • iridescenceiridescence Elliot Lake, ONPosts: 1,486Member
    Originally posted by nariusseldon
     

    Professionals give us Dishonored, Bioshock, Deus Ex Human Evolution, Dead Space .. and many many good (to me, and to the rating sites) games.

    So if those games are soul-less .... games don't need souls to be entertaining. I am more than happy to play more "soul-less" games.

     

    Well no offense but yeah you seem to love just the kind of soul-less games I was talking about as nearly all your messages on this forum indicate. I'm glad you're happy with what's offered right now but that doesn't mean everyone has to be.

     

  • FinalFikusFinalFikus Chicago, ILPosts: 906Member

    We can't have GM's abusing power and affecting gameplay. Nope.

    Nor cash shops.

    "If the Damned gave you a roadmap, then you'd know just where to go"

  • iridescenceiridescence Elliot Lake, ONPosts: 1,486Member
    Originally posted by Jean-Luc_Picard

    nts with a rick story that they can be part of instead of canned repeatable computer scripted quests.

    In a tabletop RPG, the DM doesn't play his own characters in his own campaign. And I also refuse that some customers are "superior" and "special" with powers other do not have, specially when it's potentially game breaking powers that allow to cheat. To say it bluntly, I have ZERO trust in the random MMORPG player.

    Oh, and what you have in mind already exists: Neverwinter Nights I and II (from Bioware, not the recent MMORPG).

    I'm not denying that this is a problem. A company could establish rules about abuse but it would be hard to totally stop creative players from abusing the system while still giving players enough freedom to actually design content. I don't think this is a reason not to try though. Every game design has problems with player exploits which game designers must find methods to curb.

     

    I said in my first post that what I have in mind is based on NWN2 but an updated version of that with this decade's technology behind it and much more functionality for multiplayer adventures and persistent world . 

     

  • ToferioToferio RandomPosts: 1,403Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by iridescence
    Originally posted by nariusseldon
     

    Professionals give us Dishonored, Bioshock, Deus Ex Human Evolution, Dead Space .. and many many good (to me, and to the rating sites) games.

    So if those games are soul-less .... games don't need souls to be entertaining. I am more than happy to play more "soul-less" games.

     

    Well no offense but yeah you seem to love just the kind of soul-less games I was talking about as nearly all your messages on this forum indicate. I'm glad you're happy with what's offered right now but that doesn't mean everyone has to be.

     

    .. Wait, Dishonored, Bioshock, Deus Ex are "soul-less" in your books?

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