What made me create the thread is this:http://community.crowfall.com/index.php?/topic/1357-bring-the-groove-back/#entry38218
It's a small post on the crowfall forums from a game designer about the socializer class(es) in SWG and how they dealt with problems which crept up, like opposition to it and so on. The result was to use more carrots than sticks, to enable the socializers to still play their class(es) and the others to still mostly enjoy the experience.
What are carrots and sticks anyway? They're things which make us do
things. We desire a carrot and we'll do something to try to get the
carrot. Sticks are more unfriendly and will hurt us if we fail to do something. Broadly, carrots and sticks make us play games. They're not necessarily intentionally built into the game. Games are predominantly problems and we want to solve problems. That comes easy. We also want to immerse in them sometimes and forget real life. Carrots and sticks seem to slip into the game before anyone realizes they're there and the fallout is hence unavoidable.
We do things in games, typically to overcome something. MMO's are games too. Some examples from Everquest:
1) You're don't have any more room in your inventory, so you must either delete things or leave and find a trader to sell them
2) You have no food and your hp is not regaining and the only other person with you doesn't have enough food to last, so you have to go bakc to town or otherwise find somebody or something which has food
3) You die and you respawn at your bind point. You're naked and weak. You have to get your corpse back.
4) The camp up at the elites in Blackburrow is open. It's better than what you have, so you take it.
5) Someone asks if you want to join a group in Lguk? Obviously, yes! It's just right.
6) You can't continue your epic because you don't have faction with XYZ. You have to gain faction.
7) Someone in your group has a very nice item they're wearing. You're /drooling.
8) A named spawns unexpectedly. It's a very tough fight. It drops a nice item worthy of /rand.
* Some carrots and sticks in there. And maybe some other things.
SHOULD there be carrots or sticks? Maybe only have carrots, since sticks hurt? Still, I can't imagine liking a game where I never get hurt. I frown on the easy hand holding stuff in most MMO's and game--for that matter. Carrots are nothing without sticks to give them relative value.
What else is in a game that makes us play it, other than carrots/sticks and wanting to solve problems and immerse in the game (to escape from RL for a while)? Can anyone think of something which would eradicate the need for carrots and sticks?
Is it all just a big blunder? ...These carrots and sticks?
Lastly, I think this belongs as much to the Pantheon forum as anything else. Brad is famous for making MMO's which have downtime and group dependancy and other things. There's a lot of stick in his past MMO's. Chances are high these issues will crop up again and again. It's worthy of discussion.