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Gamer God: Op/Eds on Instancing

Posted Thu, Dec 01, 2005 by Ethec

GamerGod lets devs fight it out!
Dev after dev is lining up to write for GamerGod's newest series on "instancing" - the in-game creation of certain areas for a limited number of players so that players aren't competing for the same content. Sigil's Brad McQuaid started the rant by poo-pooing the unworldy-ness of the idea, now Mythic's Scott Jennings and SOE's Raph Koster are out to set the record straight. These are great reads, opinions aside, if you're looking to learn more about basic game design.Here's a quick snippet from the Jennings Op/Ed:

[Brad McQuaid quote: "Instancing is an excuse for not having enough content."] I’m not really sure where he’s going here. Players know when they’re going through the same instance for a thousandth time, so I’m not really aware of any game that can claim this as a wedge against the Content Demon. DAOC’s task dungeons in Catacombs are an example here - very much an anti-immersive, repetitive “go into this cave and kill yonder foozle”. But they werent’ designed as content, but as tools - if you don’t have time for anything else, you can go into GenericRandomCave and kill RandomMonster32. It’s literally the equivalent of killing time by rolling random encounters for yourself while waiting for a DM to show up. Meanwhile there’s plenty of story-based instances, designed to be played through only once, in the same expansion. Again, it’s just tech. How you use the tech drives the results.

Check out the three op/eds posted so far at GamerGod:


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