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Old 09-28-2007, 10:43 AM   #1
Sergeytov
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MU*ing in the IM Age

First of all, I should preface this. I find this an interesting topic because I always had ICQ or AIM or /some/ form of IM ever since I started playing text based games. Now, I didn't use them with other MU* people, so it could mean the same thing just the same.

My question comes down to, ultimately, how does having IMs left and right influence our play? - I'll preempt some purists by saying, "Let's not pretend it has no influence, and let's not be hasty and say the existence of such influence is evil."

For my answer? The first thing I'd say is the existence of IMs is the second reason I cite when I defend the existence of OOC channels and page commands in the game (after community). Why does IM make me defend channels? Think of the alternative. Let's say there are no channels or pages, but I play with five other people that I can talk to on AIM. Collusion is easy in this state, and the advantages of collusion are very great against those who lack such contacts with players. With channels and pages, however, there is a way to channel such chatter into community building, and the potential for moderation that can encourage community building, but prevent outright abuses of the system.

Any other thoughts?
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Old 09-28-2007, 01:18 PM   #2
Milawe
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Re: MU*ing in the IM Age

I honestly think that IM creates the most advantages in RP games, where information is extremely valuable and how you obtain information is just as important. Spreading information in character can take a lot of effort in some games. Obtaining information can even be more difficult. This all breaks down with the addition of IM, and players who do NOT participate in OOC contact are often at a disadvantage.

IM can also have a huge impact on games with PvP aspects. One clan/organization may opt to attack another one based on finding out how many people are online and who's online. With IM, friends can get other friends online at a moment's notice and wreak havoc on the strategies of their opponents.

I honestly think that this is something that developers have to take into account when they create systems for their game. Personally, I love IM. It allows me to easily keep in contact with family and friends from all over the world. (That's pretty important to me since 90% of my family is in southeast Asia.) I can't, however, say that I think it has a positive impact on the games that I play which tend to be heavily oriented towards RP or PvP. I like to keep my IMing to a minimum in the various games that I play, but I also feel like I'm at a disadvantage for doing that sometimes.
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Old 09-28-2007, 02:37 PM   #3
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Re: MU*ing in the IM Age

I agree a lot with what Mina stated, but with a twist. In a strict roleplaying environment, not only does IRC's cause an obvious advantage, coming in and out of character is distracting and harmful to the full enjoyment of roleplaying. On NW, as I'm sure on other strongly enforced roleplay games, players tend to find much more immersion and delight when the shun ooc channels and IRC's as a habit, only using them in the most required instances.

For those who haven't tried this and play a RP enforced game. Try it for a few days. Tune ooc channels and turn off IRC's and play without these distractions (if you can, I realize this is sometimes not possible) and see where the magic takes you.
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Old 09-28-2007, 02:48 PM   #4
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Re: MU*ing in the IM Age

Quote:
Originally Posted by Newworlds View Post
I agree a lot with what Mina stated, but with a twist. In a strict roleplaying environment, not only does IRC's cause an obvious advantage, coming in and out of character is distracting and harmful to the full enjoyment of roleplaying. On NW, as I'm sure on other strongly enforced roleplay games, players tend to find much more immersion and delight when the shun ooc channels and IRC's as a habit, only using them in the most required instances.

For those who haven't tried this and play a RP enforced game. Try it for a few days. Tune ooc channels and turn off IRC's and play without these distractions (if you can, I realize this is sometimes not possible) and see where the magic takes you.
It really depends on the game culture. I think having the *option* to turn those channels off and let the magic take me is awesome. However, I think it's easy (and unfortunate) to underestimate the value of OOC community-building that can come from access to optional OOC channels.

Fact is: IMs exist. People don't always focus on the scene in progress. They're surfing the web, listening to music, talking to roommates, watching TV, cooking dinner. They do stuff that's not the game. It happens. Embrace it.
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Old 09-29-2007, 07:13 AM   #5
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Re: MU*ing in the IM Age

Maybe I'm a strange one, but to an extent I enjoy the OOC commentary play by play sometimes that is distracting if used by a room OOC command, but is perfectly fine in an IM. That and I find most in game tell-style commands quite inconvenient.

That and I like being snarky about scenes sometimes. There's something to be said for being on IM with someone, hearing a bad guy monologue and IM someone with: "Oh no!" *Yawn*
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