Laws of MMO development


Stop marketing the game with big-breasted women (with lower back issues, apparently) in every screenshot. Very few people play a game in hopes of seeing big breasts, unless it’s porn.

If you have to scroll several times through a single page, such as character profile or the “what to do next” (next quest, next battle, etc.) page, you really need to rethink your game.


It’s not that hard to make daily quests/missions relevant and realistic. Here’s the wrong way:

  • go here
  • go there
  • kill this
  • kill that

Here’s the right way:

  • “Hey, I’m worried about the Enchantress, out in the woods by herself. Could you go check on her, just to make sure she’s okay?”
  • “I’m fine, but if you’re going to be coming out here again, could you pick up some %commodity for me?”
  • “You picking that up for the Enchantress? While you out in the woods, could you look for some %ingredient for me? We’re running low again.”
  • “We ran out of %supplies in the middle of the zombie attack last night. I know you found a bunch of those for us earlier, any chance you could scavenge some more?”
  • “Hey, if you’re looking for some quick cash, the Captain of the Guard is looking for some volunteers. The job’s easy, I hear.”
  • “I think that gang is starting up that protection racket again. Could you patrol the Bazaar for a while, just to discourage them?”
  • “Oh, hey, did you hear the Quartermaster just got a shipment? I saw some stuff there you might like, and the price is great, too!”
  • “I lost my puppy again. If you find him for me, I promise this is the last time.”
  • “Somebody scared off some of our horses last night. Would you mind looking for them?”

It’s not that hard. Unless your an unimaginative idiot, in which case you should go back to programming in COBOL.


I think the assumption that people don’t read the text makes them decide it’s not worth the effort.

It’s not an MMO, but Tochlight II (Thanks Humble Bundle!!) highlights important names in the text, even if you are trying to read all the fluff it’s hard to not just scan for the yellow names and take off.


After helping the world to balance itself against the evil forces, the legendary heroes imprionated some of the most powerful beings of darkness. But they did not a except a planned backstab.

The guild of the almighty warriors from the holy kingdom was corrupted by some kind of dark force that broke off from the evil monsters when they were defeated.



That made me giggle.

How many people didn’t read it all, how many people read it and didn’t see anything wrong, and how many pulled their hair out and got out their red pen?


I can’t even work out what they were trying to say.

Does imprionated mean imprisoned?

They could possibly have excepted a planned backstab,. It’s clumsily written, but making an exception of a backstab is probably reasonable.

That last sentence made me shudder.


All your base are belong to us!



Someone said some base related comment last night on World of Tanks, and it hit me that that meme was older than at least two of my daughters.


I really don’t understand how that one happened. If you’re competent enough to use the word “are”, you know that it is used for plural subjects. Not to mention why the extra “are” was tacked on, and the use of “us” as an implied-possessive object. There’s just so much “wrong” with that (alleged) sentence, I doubt Babelfish or Rosetta could be responsible.

It’s probably a very pointed example of whatever that principle is, where the more incompetent a person is, the more competent they think they are.


You have no chance to survive, make your time.

@ClockWorkXon the source material for that meme predates the internet as we know it today so no Babelfish or Rosetta shenanigans.


Um, Rosetta predates the internet.


It looks like Zero Wing is from 1991, while Rosetta Stone (software) is from 1992.

(“The Internet” technically pre-dates by decades, but as commonly used I think the ‘birth’ of the internet as a mainstream thing would be 90-something?)

And either way: machine translation is still kind of flakey, and I don’t think anyone in 1991 cared about spot text translation in a video game as such things tended to be pretty erratic at best. 1994 saw Final Fanatsy 6/Final Fantasy 3 US (they even translated the number wrong! :slight_smile: ) with the infamous text about a ‘Spoony Bard’ and that was an actual professional translator getting paid for the job, not someone ordered to get a quick localization done so they could ship the game.

But I’m ranting.


The web. I count the web as being “born” in 1995, since that’s the first time I was able to access it. I was accessing the internet five years before that, through my college.


Technically the web was “born” in 1989. But it wasn’t until 1994 or so that it began entering mainstream consciousness.


Does Compuserve count?

And yeah, all your base was straight we don’t give a shit, put American words in there and publish it now!


Oh yeah! I remember using Compuserve and GEnie back in, geez, 88/89-ish?


Hah! I ran a BBS (using TagBBS) out of my MSU dorm room.


I still log in to a Citadel BBS (via ssh).


If a “skill” of the same name has vastly different effects depending on the character or mob using it, then you’re doing it wrong.

For example, if “Golden Dawn” is a healing spell for my character, it should not be a single-target attack with health drain, multiple-target attack with debuff, area attack attack with debuff, debuff with buff for the attacker, or stacked buffs for somebody else.

Also, stop referencing mythological systems that you have no clue about. Pan wasn’t a plant-thing, Apollo didn’t have sparkling stars whizzing around his head, and Hera wasn’t an angel (an understatement). And Artemis is going to do nasty things to you for putting her in high heels.


Well duh, the single target health drain should be called “Golden Shower.”

I think people do this for two reasons, laziness, and to switch things up and ramp up difficulty just by making it harder to create a rational structure of rules.