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Losing Players to Responsibility

by Chad Elwartowski

There is a pattern that takes place on every mud that frustrates us all. The pattern of giving more responsibility to a player with the result being that you are driving that person away and that now they are contributing even less time to the mud than they had contributed previously.

This is not always the case, though I think that with the more responsibility comes less time the player wants to play. You see it all the time. Some high official will hire you, then you will not ever see that person again. Perhaps they are even avoiding you.

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I remember when I was a player, I was on at least 8 hours a day, I was involved in a lot of big things and I was pretty much addicted. I finally got a request for Centurion position accepted and things went down from there. I started playing less and less. I would more or less just make an appearance and not stay anywhere with other people for very long to make it look like I had a lot of things going on. Eventually I just quit playing altogether.

Whether it is a sense of...I beat this game. Or maybe, you are more restricted because you are sorta looked upon to be an example for others and you can not just swing this way or that when it comes to your moods since your position is pretty much set in stone.

Usually it comes down to the player saying he has got a lot of stuff going on in real life that has come up, but if I look back at the 8 hour days that I was on, I had a lot of real life stuff that I was putting on the back burner that were really very school and exams and such.

This is the same with making players Immortals. Most of the immortals we hired from the player base got cooking on a project for a week or two, then that was pretty much it. Even though as a player they had played 3 hours a day, 7 days a week.

A major factor in this phenomenon is whether the player is a leader in real life or not. If you give a position of responsibility to a player who is a leader in real life, they usually fall right into place with the position and have no problems. The other players are those who see the powers and greatness that comes along with a high position, but they are blind to the responsibilities that come with it. And once they are put into that position they realize that it is not just fun and games anymore, it is actually work. That is when the playing time starts to slip.

The best solution for this is to select those players that start their own plots and quests within the game without the need to be put into any special position. Whether it is just going to the store and purchasing a couple dozen of the same type of ring and then recruiting people into a made up clan and handing out the ring to all those in your clan. Or someone who tends to find the newbies as they first log on and lead them around and help them along. The positions of responsibility should be reserved for those people that will have a smooth transition from what they are currently already doing, you are just giving them a little more power. In that way, you will not lose so many players to their own feelings of of being overwhelmed.

Chad has been the head Administrator for The Four Lands for the past three years.