It’s been a while since I had a bit of a rant so here we go!

Specifically, mmo game mechanics, I’m assuming most of you have played at least wow….everybody has you know, you probably didn’t even notice that was the one you installed. Anyway, so they all create factions, species, teams of players which compete in pvp, pve, crafting, races, matches, whatever. You’re supposed to be allies with people on your side, The game tells you you’re on side A and by association everybody else on side A is an ally because side B are the enemy and you are mechanically designed to kill them and fight against them right..right?

Every mmo I can think of has factions or species that typically associate players with their own team at the beginning of the game. “These are your people, they are the same as you, you’re on the same side”

But are you?

Take a look at mmo mechanics, kill stealing, looting, getting the quest clicky first, getting the achievement before that other “ally” that wanted it. Finishing first, needing the best loot, needing any loot, joining a guild, segregating yourself away from those other, unwashed “allies” that deserve to be looked down upon. The game doesn’t treat your supposed allies as anything more than enemies you can’t kill.

You’re constantly competing, not just with the players the designers title your “enemies” you’re also constantly competing with your own faction, those outside of your guild/group. You might be a nice guy….aren’t we all? well, no because the internet brings out the asshole in everyone!

My point is, mmos never treat allies as true allies, that elf over there is the same species as you, in any book of elves vs dwarves that elf would work with you not against you. In an mmo however despite the game telling you he’s on your side, if you’re both wanting that clicky, loot chest, boss monster you’ve been waiting for…you’re about as allied as oil and water. One of you is going to get it and the other one is going to be frustrated, disappointed and have to wait longer or miss out entirely on the resulting reward.

What kind of mmo design is that? You could invite the guy to group of course, sometimes that works and stops you competing, of course if they are already grouped or if while you’re busy trying to be the nice guy, they jump in and get whatever you were competing for you’d be pretty annoyed. So the best strategy you can form is to “beat them before they beat you” thus the stage is set, everybody is your enemy regardless of faction or species.

But frosty “Developers aren’t responsible for how players play their games” This is true enough, it’s the god issue, god creates world, puts humans on it, humans destroy everything, how can you blame god?

Except that the mechanics developers use are hard code rules, they can be improved, overhauled, developers are not god, they are better, they can refine their designs after creation and in other areas, frequently do. They have the power if not the foresight to design their mechanics to remove the conflict between allied players. If you want an allied faction to work together you don’t make chests lootable by anyone while one person is killing the npc guarding it, if you want allies to look at other allies as friendly you don’t immediately make them question the moral value of them upon encountering they are after the same quest clicky.

So are developers intentionally leaving the door open to grief and hostility for allies? is it their intention to encourage this behaviour? or is it simply that’s how it’s always been done? With so many mmos out there, and so many developers, you think someone, would have the bright spark to actually stop the anti-social competing between allied players, we’re supposed to be allies, why the hell do we have to compete with our own faction for fastest finger first?

There are times when I hate my allies more than I hate my enemies, that’s just bad mechanics.

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