Saturday Morning Gaming: Infohazards
It categorized players in mostly four different categories:
Hearts were the people who primarily use the MUD in order to socialize with others
Diamonds were the people who interact with the MUD in order to achieve various goals.
Spades were the people who wanted to explore the MUD and find all of the little hidden areas.
Clubs were the people who wanted to engage in PVP.
I’m sure that this paper was required reading for the people who were responsible for Ultima Online, Everquest, World of Warcraft…basically every single MMORPG out there figured out that they could make a *LOT* of money if they catered to all of these groups (and had areas where the people who wanted to do one thing wouldn’t be bothered by the people who wanted to engage in PVP).
I’m sure that you can think of a dozen single-player games that have chosen one of those suits and done their best to cater to the people who wanted that particular itch scratched. Hearts can enjoy RPGs with a lot of conversation options, Diamonds can enjoy achievement mining, Spades can enjoy games with plenty of side-quests, and Clubs can enjoy ramping difficulty.
And, of course, there are the people who enjoy a mix of things. Like, the best games have all of those things. Hades, most recently, really did a good job with all of the above. You had relationships and conversations with people, you had a clear goal of “leave Hades” and also a million little prophecies, you had all sorts of synergies between different skills, and, of course, the ramping difficulty provided by the Pact of Punishment.
Man, that was a good game.
Anyway, I’ve recently downloaded a “free” game from the Epic store that weaponizes the reward system and is more or less the equivalent of heroin for the Diamond/Spades out there. Oh, you want to do a little better? Here, buy this for five bucks. Got a tough level? Spend a couple bucks and get the stuff that will help you beat it! Heck, you don’t even need to have it open for you to play it! It will calculate what your characters did while you were away! But, you know, it didn’t level them or anything. (For a couple of bucks, you can get a thing that will level one of them while you’re away, though!) Hey, give us your email and we’ll give you an item that would normally cost a dollar in the store for *FREE*. Every week!
Of course you don’t *HAVE* to spend money…but the game will speed up considerably if you do!
THE FIRST HIT IS FREE!
I wish I had not downloaded it. It’s open in another window. I’ve been playing it for a week and I haven’t enjoyed it at all. It’s a game that has mastered being addicting without being fun. I hate it. I’m not even going to name it because I don’t want anybody else to play it.
So… what are you playing?