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Monday, May 09, 2011

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Arcadia Codesmith

There are a multitude of roleplaying communities that are increasingly disenchanted with the constraints placed upon them by the MMO genre.

Second Life could profit by tapping that market, but it's going to take more than marketing.

Specifically, we need some mechanism for instancing multiple large zones on an on-demand basis, optimized script handling for autonomous mobiles (this would also help with the pet overpopulation problem), and most of all, we need it at a price point within the reach of hobbyist game designers.

It wouldn't hurt to have a consumer-grade integrated tool set as well.

Tall order? Yes. But we're looking at a near future where Facebook will be carrying immersive 3D environments, with third-party hosting costs ranging from low to free.

The time to strike is NOW! (Well, actually, the time to strike was a couple years ago, but NOW might still work. Maybe.)

Emperor Norton

Arcadia Codesmith@ "There are a multitude of roleplaying communities that are increasingly disenchanted with the constraints placed upon them by the MMO genre."

Yes, the typical MMO looks much better than SL ever could, has better music, better game play but forget doing anything but ridding their plot train and killing things. SL let's you make role play be something more than grinding for gear.

Ciaran Laval

Indeed Emperor Norton, the huge advantage with Second Life is the open ended plots, it's something LL should get their heads around.

@Arcadia, I'd love to see instancing in SL, that has massive potential.

Nalates Urriah

Instancing... I'm curious how the term is being used in relation to SL.

Role Play and MMO's in SL are very different from the dedicated MMO's like WoW. Once one is playing in SL's MMOG's it is very hard to go back to the restrictive games like Wow or Uru.

RP in SL is very advanced and very dependent on players to abide by the rules. The rules can be easily broken. (Don't use the mini-map or radar to hunt down your enemy - right thats gonna happen)

Land of NoR in SL is an MMOG I am enchanted with. If the DCS rp/combat meter would ever stabilize I would try playing more. They have to continually round up new players and get them into a mentoring system, which they do very well. But, noobs can disrupt things and I think a massive inflow of new players would make such a game unplayable.

In other MMOG's the rules are enforced by the game system. So, I am not sure whether the SL MMOG's can be mass marketed without significant changes to SL.

Emperor Norton

Nalates Urriah @ "But, noobs can disrupt things and I think a massive inflow of new players would make such a game unplayable."

Well keep in mind life is like that. Sometimes things just change leaving the old plots hanging because of outside influences. After SL role play I find fiction in movies and books hard to accept because the writers always make it so "neat".

Arcadia Codesmith

@Ciaran: If LL isn't looking seriously at implementing instancing already, they really should.

Beyond the potential for creating large RPG spaces on-demand that don't compete for resources with the static world, instancing provides a degree of privacy and security that you just can't get in the persistent world. There's no way to enter or even see into an instance without permission.

(You could make the technical argument that what I'm advocating isn't really "instancing" per se, but it's a useful term for on-demand zones.)

The way I see it working with a residential area: when nobody is on the sim, it goes into warm storage - ready to load at a moment's notice, but not actively running.

When a person 'ports to the sim, it loads. You see the land -- much less densely packed than it is at present, because with more efficient allocation of resources you can afford to give each person more space and "waste" prims on landscaping common areas.

But you only see the exterior shells of houses. The interiors are instanced seperately and keyed to the resident and invited guests. They only run when somebody's there.

Consequently, the "interior" might be much larger than the exterior, and you could expand it without any issues from inholders, griefer-gougers, speculating flippers and obtuse neighbors.

Imagine the housing system of EverQuest II, Dark Age of Camelot, Lord of the Rings Online, or even Free Realms. Now blow the doors off it with Second Life's unparalleled creative flexibility.

That's what I'm talkin' about.

Ciaran Laval

@Arcadia, LL have certainly discussed sims going to sleep when nobody is on them, the stumbling block has always been how long it takes a sim to come back online.

However instancing does indeed go beyond that and I agree, there's potential for better privacy for folk, the inside of the building can be instanced which would provide much improved privacy for those who seek it.

shockwave yareach

Another problem with Instancing is that there are some things that need to keep running even when nobody is there. The Magic Box, for instance. If you instance a sim then the Magic Box (and the sim) aren't there for any deliveries to be made.

One proposal made years ago was to have "magic doors" which take people up to 7000' and have the interior of homes rezzed there. But the negative of this is that windows would then not allow anyone to see their pretty landscaping.

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