Ryan Dancey, um luminário da Wizards no tempo da 3ª Edição de Dungeons & Dragon, criador de polémicas e do OGL, avançou no seu blog, aqui, umas ideias para redefinir o hobby tendo em conta o aparecimento dos MMORPG e o estado estático da "indústria". Dêm uma vista de olhos nesta conclusão de uma série de 5 posts sobre o assunto:[quote=Ryan Dancey]
Massively Multiplayer On-Line Roleplaying Games (MMORPGs) have evolved into a powerful force that is damaging the tabletop RPG social network, and by extension, the tabletop RPG industry. Specifically, they are damaging the social network by providing a play experience which is more fun for a certain kind of gamer than the tabletop does, or ever can, provide; causing irreplaceable attrition to the MMORPG format. The result will be a change in the common makeup of tabletop RPG social networks, which needs to be reflected in a change in the kinds of games being developed, and the way those games are supported, and the way those games are played.
One effect of this MMORPG impact may be the potential to make a game that is more successful than Dungeons & Dragons, despite the lack of any previous challenger to D&D’s marketshare leadership. It is possible, with this change forced on the market from an external threat, that new ways of approaching the concept of tabletop gaming may generate a format that is more popular and more commercially successful than the current format; experiments & new ideas which would have been difficult to bring to market under the status quo ante are now much more likely to gain traction. It is possible that our community may be about to discover our own “Wii”.
The type of player most likely to leave the tabletop social network is the Power Gamer, the kind of player who tends to experience the most fun when the game focuses on short-term, conflict focused action. The types of players less dramatically affected by the rise of MMORPGs are the Thinkers (who enjoy min-maxing, and solving puzzles -- note: this group is also very susceptible to finding a better play experience in MMORPGs; we’ll have to fight hard to keep them!), the Character Actors (who enjoy roleplaying and immersion), and the Storytellers (who enjoy world building and narration). These three groups are joined by a fourth group, Basic Roleplayers, who enjoy the different aspects of game play in rough equilibrium.
At minimum, these players require the following features to be strongly emphasized in the games they play:
* Strong Characters and Exciting Story
* Role Playing
* Complexity Increases over Time
* Requires Strategic Thinking
* Add on sets/New versions available
* Uses imagination
* Mentally challenging
The Basic Rule of Thumb:
To meet the MMORPG challenge and survive, the tabletop game must do some things differently than the MMORPG format, and it must do some things better than the MMORPG format. Any successful strategy will clearly define how it achieves those two goals. The following material summarizes my proposal of how to do that.
Clear Points of Differentiation:
The tabletop format can present clear & valuable differences between itself and the digital realm:
✴ A persistent environment where participant actions create real change and have real effects on the game world on a continuous basis.
✴ Participant created content being incorporated into the system at all levels: rules, world development, and stories.
✴ Interaction by the community on all aspects of the game facilitated by internet based tools, and moderated by a reputation economy.
For various systemic reasons, these three factors will be hard, if not impossible, to replicate on the MMORPG platform, which is at its heart a write-once, read-many application with virtually no feedback from players incorporated into the work.
This process of segmentation & separation of values needs to be driven by the tabletop community in the same way, and for the same reasons, that TV & Cinema entertainment were segmented in the 1950s.
Clear Points of Superiority:
The tabletop environment permits collaborative storytelling to become central to the game. The MMORPG format has currently unsolvable problems with trying to allow players to self-direct storytelling activities with in-game consequences. Attempts at enabling this mode of play in MMORPGs in the past have resulted in bizarre and ultimately destructive play patterns, but those problems can be moderated and contained on the tabletop through the use of human mediation.
To elaborate, elevating “storytelling” to become the prime objective of tabletop play means:
✴ Using modular rules systems so that each player only needs to know those rules needed within the framework of the current game session, and allowing the complexity level of the rules to flex in response to the needs & desires of the play group.
✴ Moving to a structure for game sessions where the players mutually agree on the objectives and make choices which reinforce those objectives to the benefit of all the participants.
✴ Implementing a play pattern which tears down the prior paradigm of GM vs. Players, and replaces it with distributed responsibilities.
Rebrand the Hobby:
As a part of this process, and as a way to help open the door to new players who might not otherwise have engaged with the tabletop game format, we need to leave the term “roleplaying game” behind, and embrace a new generic term. I advocate the term “Storytelling Games”, because that term best describes the benefits & differentiation of the changes to the tabletop format presented in this strategy.
Names mean things. Making a break with the nomenclature helps psychologically work to make those changes real and not cosmetic. And it will help our industry walk away from the negative brand equity associated with the term “rolplaying games”, and especially with Dungeons & Dragons. The MMORPG games have already gained this benefit, and we should fight for and earn our own shot at a fresh start.
New Rules for New Games:
As the Power Gamers leave, and the player matrix is redistributed, Storytelling Games will need to have an increased emphasis on modes of play that are significantly under-represented by most current roleplaying games.
Specifically, Storytelling Games will need good rules for:
✴ Player directed environments (rules allowing the players to add elements to the game environment through their own creativity as opposed to relying solely on the GM or prior written descriptions).
✴ Non-physical conflict resolution (in other words, fun game experiences involving social, political, and economic conflict, not just combat).
✴ Game sessions at time scales & organization sizes of many different types (not just first-person, realtime play).
Leverage the Power of the Internet:
Luckily, just as the need becomes critical, technological developments have given us tools to create large communities on the internet, with robust interfaces, sophisticated databases, and a wide range of moderation techniques, and the risk of development failure has been minimized. These kinds of platforms are now relatively easy to build, and maintain. And they will get easier, gain more features, and become more robust as time progresses, following the natural trends of development in the internet industry.
Shifting the business focus away from book publishing, and towards customer service & community building means that we will need to evolve a new economic model for Storytelling Games. The traditional top-down publisher model will cease to be viable in a world where the player community designs and develops rules, writes world background, creates story arcs, and directs the evolution of the metagame. The successful Storytelling Game company will derive most of its income from service fees rather than unit sales, and must be structured with a customer-centric (rather than rules-centric) focus.
This is a radical departure from the current state of the industry. There are a lot of areas of this proposal that require significant thought, development, and testing to get right. There is no “out of the box” solution to the MMORPG challenge. I hope that this series of essays will lead to a lot of internal (and external) debate within the industry itself, and the community of tabletop gamers, creating a feedback loop to produce a successful final transition from where we are now to where we need to be.[/quote]
O que acham? Será exagero mudar o nome do Hobby e reagir de maneira tão activa presença dos MMORPG? :)