Firstly, I come in peace; this is not another "I hate PGI" post.
I was a big fan of Dark Age of Camelot and was very excited to see Mark Jacob's new game (Camelot Unchained) begin its KickStarter a few days ago. His company, City State Entertainment, are, like PGI, a small-ish development team and face similar challenges to what PGI have with MWO: specifically, modest resources and time to deliver the content that their community want.
However, City State's approach to their community is different and I wonder if there's something in this that could enable PGI to make MWO bigger and better?
Check out this video on their Camelot Unchained update from about 2 minutes:
Rather than try to make a game that closes off the community from involvement, they are actively seeking to involve them by making the game's systems open. For example, if you wanted to embed your guild's in-game chat channel into your own website -- you can. The same systems they use to build the game -- a pure PvP game, I might add -- are available to you.
It got me thinking about what a good job TheMagician has done with the Run Hot or Die League or KaoS' own Multitalented and his Proxis League.
These people have tried to build something to make MWO more than the sum of its parts; they did this despite PGI's attempts to make community involvement almost impossible. (I still have nightmares about trying to sync drop our matches with Antares Scorpions for 3 hours during various matchmaker fiascos.) Imagine what these guys in our community could do if MWO's systems were exposed via an API? What if game results could be used to power their leagues? Muti's Proxis League already approximates planetary warfare -- imagine what that could be like if he had actual data to work with? PGI wouldn't need to worry about community warfare; it's essentially there in terms of a framework.
Also, how cool would Smurfy's mechlab be if that connected to MWO's actual systems?
I really believe that if you give people the tools and encouragement, they will build amazing things that will take MWO so much further than would otherwise be possible. That has to be a win for everyone in my eyes. I think PGI must now realise that what they can realistically deliver is not even close to the expectations of what people are prepared to pay much more money for. For example, I might seriously consider buying MC-based items if I thought there was a meaningful game experience to use them in.
There is some frustration behind this post, I admit. Being a purely competitive/league player, I burned out on MWO about a month ago and am hiding in GuildWars 2 hoping for something to pull me back. But, sadly, what I see is continuing missed opportunities with MWO's community. I see a large number of talented individuals who could make leagues, tournaments, apps, maps, scripts, story arcs, data query tools and visualisations, and who knows what.
TL;DR version: PGI should encourage their community to create, not frustrate and hinder them.
D34KMember Since 01 Nov 2011
Offline Last Active Jun 05 2013 12:00 AM
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