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The Daily Grind: Is powergaming via PGC tools acceptable?


Any game that implements a player-generated content system runs the risk of creating a system that's more fun -- or more lucrative -- than the original game itself. Players of the now-sunsetted City of Heroes, for example, were forever finding ways to turn experience and currency gain within the player-content tool known as the Mission Architect to their advantage. Imagine designing a mission with mobs that deal nothing but fire damage, then bringing your fire Tanker with her anti-fire shields to blaze through a group's worth of mobs while soaking up the levels and loot. Overpowered? Most definitely. Fun? Frequently, especially when you just wanted to level up your 50th alt to get to the good powers. Exploitable? Some people did consider such activities to be expoits, and to pacify them, the developers brought so many nerfhammers down on the system that by the end, it was seldom used except by the most diehard storygoers.

This same battle is now being waged on the forums of Neverwinter, which game will also implement a player-generated content system that allows participants to design and play each other's missions. Cryptic plans to curtail potential powergaming by limiting rewards earned through the tool, but there's always a danger of limiting rewards so much they're not worth the bother. Today, let's discuss what you think about the potential dangers of PGC. Are powergaming and farming acceptable uses of PGC tools like the Foundry? Do you prefer studios crack down hard on people who aren't doing it the "right" way? Or do you have a different solution?

Every morning, the Massively bloggers probe the minds of their readers with deep, thought-provoking questions about that most serious of topics: massively online gaming. We crave your opinions, so grab your caffeinated beverage of choice and chime in on today's Daily Grind!

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