ORIGINal Comments

When you log onto your favorite MMORPG, what do you immediately do? If it’s EQ would you type /who all friends? I’ll bet most people first ask the game which of their friends are on and ham it up before going over to that dungeon to get a group.

Social interaction is by far the most engaging aspect of an MMORPG and the lead progammer from the sequel to Ultima Online comments on the social aspect of the new MMORPG being developed, Ultima Worlds Online: Origin:

…having friends in-game doesn’t always lead to game addiction, but once you overcome the initial hurdles of communication and organization, there’s just an incredible amount of satisfaction in seeing your entire party act like a well oiled machine to take down some creature none of you could have defeated alone.

Social experiences like this are a unique brand of fun you just can’t find anywhere else. In offline games, it’s just not an option, and in short-term (Quake type) games, it’s tough to create the bonds that you do in a longer-term game, with more opportunity for chatting and talking as opposed to constant frenetic action. Even in the real world, there aren’t many places you can go where social interaction is something that happens naturally – it takes a big effort to overcome shyness, possible lack of interest from your potential friends, and all the other hurdles involved with meeting people if you’re not naturally extroverted. Those same hurdles exist on the internet, to greater and lesser extents, but as game developers, we get to help out some by finding the best method to get people interacting in positive ways.

Read it all by visiting this link.

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