A Community Driven MMO
Being community driven means:
- The community of users is directly involved in deciding on rules, features, and changes made
- The community is kept informed of most of the details of changes before they are implemented
- The community controls what is available from the Shop at what price, since that directly affects the economy and how game play works
- The community has the ability to change it's mind on things in the future
- The community becomes responsible to help support the game in exchange for the added benefits
- Sections of the forums related to discussion specific changes
- Almost anything in the game, forums, etc is open for community input on changes. Even if I disagree!
- If a change has strong enough backing or if a player pays, a suggestion can be upgraded to an Official Poll
- Official Polls for changes will have information related to the complexity of the change and possible expected side effects documented. For example, some changes are very hard to undo without a char wipe, so a warning to that effect should be included
- The harder a change is do make or undo, the more of the community that will be required to support the change before it's accepted
- When a change gets approved, it's added to the pending changes an prioritized based on several factors (simplicity, player demand, supporting donations, ...).
- Groups of changes will get implemented & tested and included in updates. The initial desired update schedule will be monthly
- Free to Play always needs to be available, but the community will have the ability to add P2P features and shop items as additional methods to provide support
- Part of my roll in this other then making the changes is to also help bring to the communities attention probably bad effects of changes and to make sure that extreme changes that can have a negative impact are properly considered. Think of it as trying to slow down the process when there is a lot of risk involved.
- After the game has been running for an extended period of time, things like whether or not a server wipe is needed so people can start fresh will become an option for the community! This will not happen short notice so that a large portion of the community has the opportunity to provide their input.
Keep in mind that money talks, since support of this is needed. But, we are also trying to balance things out so that big spenders can't take control of how things turn out unless the community decides that is the direction they want to go. The hope is that most of the community will use common sense and intelligence to help prevent the game from going downhill and to correct errors.
What's outlined here isn't set in stone either, the community input process is at work here as well. We've already made several changes in the concept based on input from portions of the potential community.
Please keep in mind that everything here should be considered an experiment! There is no basis that it will be successful. A lot depends on the community to make it successful!