Scott Jennings has been known as 'Lum the Mad' for years now, posting regularly to a website of the same name in the murky mists of the MMO genre's past. Though "The Rantings of Lum the Mad" was a collaborative effort, Mr. Jennings well-known efforts on the site led to a lengthy stint with Mythic Entertainment. Since 2006 he's been working with NCsoft in Austin on an as-yet-unannounced massively multiplayer game. The folks at Ten Ton Hammer caught up with Lum at this month's ION conference. There, they asked a few questions about what he's working on, as well as some broader queries about the industry as a whole. If you've ever followed Mr. Jenning's writing on his current Broken Toys site, you're probably already aware he's got some great ideas about where the genre should be going.
Scott confirmed that the title he's working on is a typical fantasy MMO. But, he notes, it's a collaborative effort between a number of veterans of the genre. On the industry as a whole, the MMO commentator is fairly firm: World of Warcraft has set a standard that must be met. Anything that doesn't "will fail and deserve[s] to fail." Beyond that, Lum and the site discuss open world PvP, the sticky wicket of investment money, and the daunting challenge of MUDflation. Says Jennings, "There are ways to give players more tools in their toolbox that don't completely blow the ability spectrum out of wack. It's one of those things that's very upward focused, and that's why you need tons and tons of testing cause it's the quickest way to kill your game."