Players having more input or control over the games they play is an interesting direction some MMO companies are taking. While not every company will establish something structured as EVE Online has with the Council of Stellar Management or (as Massively reader Se7en pointed out yesterday) Star Wars Galaxies has with its Galactic Senate, the simple fact that game developers are making efforts to allow more player input is encouraging. Masthead Studios is a newcomer to the MMO scene with Earthrise, a far future post-apocalyptic title, but already they're showing an interest in getting player feedback as they develop the game. The devs at Masthead will now have a "Community Consensus" on the Earthrise forums which brings up key issues with the game's design, to learn how players feel about these aspects of the title.
It's not clear yet exactly how much input the players will really have on Earthrise but if the devs are willing to listen to the playerbase, we'd say this is a step in the right direction. The first Community Consensus deals with an issue that will likely be hotly debated -- adding additional incentive for player killing, with greater benefits at higher levels of notoriety.
Earthrise Community Manager Moll writes:
"By design, any Criminal (player killers which kill without reason and with no thought about your war faction) will gain Criminal Karma which will make them more and more fearsome. Behind the scenes, the designers and developers wondered what our community thought about the possibility to give criminals some additional incentive for being so fearless. One of these incentives includes the potential that criminals may be able to negate the Insurance of their victims. In this case, each player killer (PK) may have a small chance based on his Criminal Karma to negate insurance of a random item and make it fall after the kill of his victim."
What's your view on providing more tangible benefits to being an outlaw? Should more games do this or is boosting crime a recipe for griefer disaster?