Archive for July 8, 2008

Game designers should play in pick-up groups

July 8, 2008 6 comments

As an MMORPG player, chances are that you have had some frustrating experiences when playing or trying to play in a pick-up group (PUG), i.e. setting up a team with a bunch of strangers for whatever reason. Chances are that the number of bad experiences outweigh the good ones.

One part of the problem may of course be people that act like jerks, which is not a game mechanic, but something will always have to face. Although one reason a person acts like a jerk may be because of a frustrating game element though. And often there may be game elements that contibutes to the PUGĀ  becoming a frustrating experience

While many people have friends they play with sometimes, this is not always the case and certainly not all the time, so chances are that many players will play in PUGs or solo. Because the PUG experience can be frustrating, people may tend to play solo because that is easier, not because they absolutely want to solo above all else.

When the game designers play their games before release, chances are that they pretty much always have some people around that they know and can team up with and perhaps also at a similar pace. The issues dealing with strangers in the game does not come up.

So I would hope to see that some effort could be put into some other MMORPG with similar teaming and community mechanics to their own and try that out, without bringing any friends or collegues into the picture. Or find and talk to players who are not part of big active guilds/clans and get their experiences with other games on what is good and bad.

Categories: MMO Games