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Editorial examines MMO mentoring, community dynamics

Jef Reahard

A wise man once described current-gen MMOs as "playing alone together." OK, truthfully I don't know who said that, nor do I know if he is particularly wise, but it resonated (and it's also applicable to a new editorial at Gamasutra that focuses on improving the community aspects of our favorite genre).

The piece looks at several current games -- including Final Fantasy XIV, RIFT, and Dungeons and Dragons Online -- and analyzes how they both succeed and fail at bringing players together. Particular attention is paid to mentoring systems, though EverQuest II's is omitted. What ultimately emerges from the lengthy read is a portrait of a challenging issue that has its roots in both operational and design considerations, and while the piece doesn't offer any particular solution, it does provide quite a lot of food for thought.

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