Competing MMO Features

In establishing the Alganon community, there is a growing array of differences and opinions in our forums that have given our developers pause in carefully considering how different features are to be implemented. You can't establish multiple features without eventual conflicts between those features. How do you then please differing opinions and interests?

Alganon is eventually going to be including PVP. While not implemented at launch, we have been carefully considering how the hardcore portion of our community is going to accept this. It is a feature that many want to be completely open and free in engagement. The more casual community members that want to have nothing to do with PVP in a PVE focused game would be in an uproar if we ignored them.

Crafting is another feature that is often split between those that want to gather resources and enjoy combat, while others want to buy and sell crafted items in safer and more social areas. Forcing players to adventure to acquire resources is often something a large portion of the community sees as a constricting independence of their character development. Sure, it is efficient to go out and gather the resources and then create something without the middle-man. Many players though don't want to have to deal with the entire process.

Competing or forced MMO features are more of a lack of good design than anything else. For Alganon, we are implementing localized and instanced areas that allow some interaction between PVP and PVE player scenarios on a volunteer basis. Also, our Consignment system tied to Auction Houses gives the opportunity for gathers to sell raw materials to crafters with them being able to request specific materials they are looking for - no adventuring required.

The questions to ask in game design are; Should we really be catering to both sides of the player base? Are the pressures from publishers and marketing really so strong that we feel we need to please everyone possible, sacrificing good design for a larger and less focused community? Why are games bloated with too many competing features? Is there room for more focused and specialized games amidst the sea of these giants? And, what can we do to cater to both sides of the player base in a way that doesn't force players to compromise their core interests?

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