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User Generated Content

May 3, 2011

Dear Reader,

A lot has been said about Star Trek Online, most of it bad.  However, the one shining star (no pun intended?) in the mess is the Foundry, a place in the game where players can create their own “mission” (read “dungeon”).  It’s been wildly popular as very successful.  It also made me think, “How could WoW use user generated content?”

At some level, many people do use some non-Blizz content: addons.  Some might even say that addons are basically necessary for raiding now, meaning that at some lower level all raids are partially user generated. However, when I think about UGC, I think more about player-made dungeons.  I see three big benefits from allowing this.

First, I think more about how many dungeons would be available if users were able to generate their own. Since BC had 15 dungeons (at launch), Wrath had 12 (at launch), and Cata only had 9 (counting the two remade ones), I think some people are a little starved for new dungeons.  This could help keep their interest.

There probably could be no tangible rewards (to keep people from making really easy bosses with good drops), but that might help players who play casually and are more interested in having fun rather than just gearing up.  This certainly would help support RP (they could make their own RP dungeons) and even people who liked the pseudo PvP encounters in dungeons (Magister’s Terrace and Coliseum).

Lastly, it might generate some fresh, new mechanics for Blizzard, since mostly we’re just getting recycled content, even when it’s “new.”  Go back and play some of the old raids; you’ll be amazed how many mechanics have shown up over and over (You are the bomb!).

So I’ll keep my post short today and ask, what would you do if you could design a dungeon?  I don’t mean you have to describe everything here in details, but even just simple ideas.  After the April Fool’s jokes Blizz put out, I saw a lot of people saying they’d like the Tomb of Immortal Darkness.  So what mechanics, lore, settings, bosses, etc would you like to see?  I’ll write one up myself for tomorrow’s post.

Sincerely,

Stubborn (who would like the Tomb of Immortal Darkness)

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. May 3, 2011 2:11 pm

    An older game Never Winter Nights allowed you to create your own content to include your own world. Granted you needed a little know how for settings thing up but user created worlds, user created dungeons werent a hard feat. The graphics were pretty ancient but it still was pretty awesome. I agree though some baseline user made content (sandbox) would be a very interesting thing to add into the fray.

    • May 3, 2011 4:21 pm

      I remember that, the DM function. I loved that game and its design, and I think that’s why so many people have such high expectations for SWTOR (if I’m remembering developers correctly, though I might not be). It’s too bad the sequel was such a resource hog and had such poor AI.

    • May 4, 2011 1:11 pm

      Agreed, to tell the truth if there were still the same following as back in 05, I would still revisit it. Even though the graphics were pretty rough, the customizations made for epic storylines that could change even if you had a persistant world. I knew a wonderful programmer who did awesome things for those who played on her server as far as customizing and working with players. I tried my hand at it and was in the process of doing some lengthy designs when the game no longer became popular. The second series I couldnt get to work properly so never kept up with it.

      But yes, more games like that would have a huge marketing interest. The down side of course would be that graphics may be a bit dated to make the interface actually usuable by the common person. If this could be done…oh ya you’d have subs all over the place.

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