First of all, we’re back! I am returned from my business trip and thus am back on the bus, blogging away. Holidays are soon, which will likely disrupt blogging a bit as well, though not quite as much. Planes have seats way too close together for using laptops, by the way. I’m really wishing I’d paid for the upgrade for my next trip to Adelaide so I’d have more seat room. Ah well.
So Jess and I had a fun argument yesterday, which we didn’t really get into and thus, for your enjoyment, we’re going to have on this ‘blog. The debate is: Would a premium role-play server be a good idea?
I will be taking the ‘pro’ side, Jess will take the con. We’ll keep posting on this until we decide we’re tired of the debate. Enjoy!
First off, let’s define some terms. I’m defining a ‘premium role-play server’ would mean a paid extra, a role-play realm run by Blizzard that you had to pay extra money to join, and for that extra money you receive better service with more GMs on hand to police role-play, enforce the naming policy, and even run a few events, perhaps, using all those fun GM tools.
I’m also defining a good idea as a good idea. That is because I’m clever. But I’m also saying it’s a good idea for everyone.
Look, we all know the problems with role-playing in Warcraft. Some of them are insurmountable, like the basic game mechanics. (“Woah, I just looted the Hammer of the Northern Wind from … from this scorpid. OK, that’s weird.”) But the ones that consistently annoy us the most could be dealt with. The anti-role play griefers. The stupid immersion breaking chat. The names.
And the good news is that a premium role-play server fixes these problems.
First of all, anti-role play griefers are going to be at a minimum. You have to pay to be on this server. That puts a barrier up that will keep them out pretty swiftly. Don’t believe me? One of the fun notes from my business trip was the observation that a mere seven dollar paywall killed Encyclopedia Britannica‘s online edition. Unless there’s a compelling reason, people do not pay for things if they can avoid it. Thankfully, for role-players there are compelling reasons.
By being a single premium server, it condenses the role-play base. A huge number of role-players will move from other realms to this one, and this will make the role-play thick, dense and easy to find. The paywall alone will do most of the world in improving the realm, but to get those few who get through, the extra pay can justify the hiring of more GMs for the realm, allowing better policing of role-play policy.
Finally, and perhaps most intriguingly, these extra GMs could then also participate with role-play guilds on the server, creating events for them using GM tools. While the recent zombie invasion proved you don’t need GMs to create compelling role-play events on an MMORPG, nobody’s saying they couldn’t do some real good.
In short, it’s a win all round. Blizzard make more money. We get a realm that’s everything we always wanted in World of Warcraft.
Except for player housing. We need player housing, still.