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If I liked FFXI, what other MMO would I enjoy?Follow

#52 Oct 13 2010 at 9:33 PM Rating: Decent
9,997 posts
From SE's perspective it *is* a good design choice. Anything that keeps you more addicted = good in their eyes.

See, you complain to SE about how hard it was to get X item and it took you months and months of camping or doing events to get it and why can't SE just make it all work on a point system.

But what SE hears is "ka-ching! ka-ching!"

That is why MMOs use random drops instead of using point systems for everything. It is because random schedule reward is the most effective form of operant conditioning while fixed schedule reward is the least effective. This has nothing to do with logic, it's hitting a very old part of your brain (the part just above the brainstem) that governs instincts like *** drive and hunger. It's an ancient survival mechanism that exists in vertebrates from fish and on up the evolutionary tree that causes them to repeat behaviors that yield intermittent positive results. All of the drives from that part of your brain have disproportionate veto power over your higher brain functions because they are considered vital to an organism's survival and continuance of the species (if your lower brain wasn't telling you that *** is really, really great you'd think it was disgusting).

Basically it's bypassing your rational thinking. This is the same reason people get hooked on gambling.

Well, not really. That's a very shallow explanation of motivational psychology. In practice, operant conditioning only really applies to animals and babies. Very early in a human's life, they develop complex cognitive processes that transcend the tenets of operant conditioning.

I might go into more detail later, but ultimately, SE has not been especially successful at keeping players addicted to their game. I'd argue that most of their player base consists largely of the obsessive compulsive, and even masochistic. But they obviously have not done a great job at appealing to the majority of potential players. They have merely retained a subset of the population.
Hyrist wrote:
Ok, now we're going to get slash fiction of Wint x Kachi somehere... rule 34 and all...

Never confuse your inference as the listener for an implication of the speaker.

Good games are subjective like good food is subjective. You're not going to seriously tell me that there's not a psychological basis for why pizza is great and lutefisk is revolting. The thing about subjectivity is that, as subjects go, humans actually have a great deal in common.
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