Death Knight Normalization Does not Balance Make – Part 2

Surazc – Death Knight Tank

Evolution of Rules in RPGs
What concepts got lost that make MMORPGs different?

Part of what makes RPGs so fun is that players not only get to shape the world around them, but they also get a say in how the world works. D&D is a perfect example, so I’m going to pick it up and use it.

WotC (Wizards of the Coast) print and publish an average of 20 “splat” books a year. These are books which contain variant rules that “plug-in” to the core rules to potentially enhance the gaming experience of a group. Splat books can be thought of as optional patches.

Every 4 or so years the D&D core rules get an update in version. Rules are added, removed, condensed, simplified, expounded on… the list of revision goes on and on. These revisions could be thought of as optional expansions. The game is the same, but the mechanics are not.

Then you get the dungeon books. You can think of these as optional content patches for DMs that are too lazy to create their own adventures.

All of these things happen and have happened because of one very simple concept: Developers listened to their players.

A very recent example from D&D is the splat book, The Tome of Battle which introduces variant rules and classes which are melee (read: physically) oriented. The book itself came about as complaints that the physical damage classes just have no way to keep up with the magic users in the D&D rule system.

The developers listened to their community, sat down, and tried to play through a session with no magic at all. They failed, and hence, the book arose.

Listening to the community of players who play your game is essential to maintaining a working game. Players are the ones paying for your game… see Part 1.

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Up next in Part 3: Lost Steps, Forgotten Mechanics

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11 Responses to Death Knight Normalization Does not Balance Make – Part 2

  1. […] The more players you have, the more restrictive your rules must be. Players are greedy and you can… […]

  2. […] Part 2 – The evolution of rules in RPGs […]

  3. […] Death Knight Normalization Does not Balance Make – Part 2 « I’m Tanking What?! Says: February 28, 2009 at 8:09 am […]

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