Saturday, February 10, 2007
Should developers play?
Sane Mike was bringing this article about EVE to my attention. Apparently some developers were actively participating in the game as players, and used their privileged access and tools to cheat in favor of their guild. Which in a PvP game is pretty serious.
Should developers be allowed to play their own game? On the one hand I would even like to *require* them playing their game, because that would get the most annoying bugs fixed a lot faster. On the other hand a developer can't help having a big knowledge advantage over the average player, and he might have access to cheating tools at work. The temptation to use these advantages for their own good or the good of their guild must be great. Imagine some developer creating millions of virtual currency and then selling them, that would be a lot worse than Chinese gold farmers. The above mentioned case of the dev giving 10 blueprints to his guild (thats like 10 legendary items in WoW) is serious, but not quite that game-destroying.
I think developers should be allowed to play, but of course shouldn't be allowed to cheat. That is difficult to monitor, but if you can monitor other forms of cheating it should be possible to detect developers creating stuff out of thin air. In games with more than one server, they shouldn't even have GM access to the server they are playing on.