Small Steps

The next big step forward we are all seeking seems to lie in two areas:
virtual ecologies and fully in-game, player-driven item schematic/recipe development. Interestingly, or maybe as expected, neither of these areas are direct content design; they allow for content design by unnamed others. When we can figure out how to make every entity in the game world effectively optimize its situation based on its environmental experiences, players will not only have a whole host of tools to fashion their own motivation to play the game, but it will allow for even more powerful tools for designers to create immersive content. When we can figure out the necessary game mechanics to allow players to create the specific item schematics used to create items (and keep the whole roiling mess an internally stable system) we will have taken this next big step.

I find it difficult to put words to the thoughts swirling in my head. The complicated nature of MMO design, specifically the above two mechanics, seems to be too compilcated to simply sit down and write out a complete, all-inclusive synopsis on how to do it. So, following my own copious advice to simply do what is over-obvious when stuck in a problem, I had to just write it. I know for sure the above is true, so starting there is, well, a starting point.