Several of the questions in yesterday's open Sunday thread were too short to write a long essay on, so I'm grouping the questions and my answers to them here:
What do you think the prospects are on a Second Life type game being used as more of a pure social networking tool... ie Facebook Online or something.
I think the big question here is what the users are supposed to be doing all day in that virtual world. If it's just chatting, then a browser-based social networking site like Facebook is probably doing the job just fine. To justify a virtual world, something has to be happening in that world. Raph Koster thought if he'd just put the world there, people would fill it with content, but in reality that content wasn't all that engaging, and Metaplace shut down before it really got started. Just giving everyone a place to decorate isn't enough. What I could imagine is a virtual world that looks a bit like an expanded Farmville. I think you need at least minimal game elements like that to attract people. Pure social networking doesn't require virtual worlds.
Tobold, how many languages are you fluent in and how many could you hold a childlike short conversation in?
Three language fluent: German, English, and French. None others I could hold even a simple conversation in, but I often manage to be able to read the general meaning of related languages, like Dutch.
Hey Tobold, have you tried out Mass Effect 2 yet? If so what do you think? Should companies streamline the RPG aspect of the game (inventory, shops, talent trees etc) and focus on gameplay?
I haven't even started Mass Effect 1 yet. Too many games, too little time. But I would say that for many people the RPG aspects like inventory, shops, or talents trees ARE gameplay. At some point you start people considering a game not a RPG any more if you streamline those elements too much.
Why is it that everybody copy/pastes as much as they can from Blizzards MMO, but when it comes to RMT / MT / cash shops they all think that they know better?
At the end of the day you can only copy certain things from WoW: Gameplay, interface, stuff like that. The content you need to add on your own. And then you realize that you can't realistically have as much content at release as WoW has now. World of Warcraft was big to start with, and is now two expansions and several content patches later. So if you put on the market a game with identical gameplay, but less content, who is going to pay the same money for that? Make it Free2Play, and suddenly "a game nearly like WoW for free" looks like a good deal.
Question: which current MMO do you feel is best suited to RP?
Lord of the Rings Online. At least that was the only game in which *I* joined a RP server and RP guild, and started acting in character. Note however that I do think that RP and RPG are two totally different things, and that RPGs aren't defined by their ability to encourage RP.