Tobold's Blog
Tuesday, October 09, 2012
 
P.S. Emergent gameplay in WoW

Note that in the few instances where World of Warcraft develops emergent gameplay, most players are complaining.

Comments:
I'm not sure that using a hack is the same as emergent gameplay.
 
In my humble opinion, it's is much much much too late for WoW to have emergent gameplay. The opportunity for that was back in TBC or maybe WotLK. In other words, before the entire game got built to push players onto rails.
 
That's a very creative definition of emergent gameplay.
 
If that counts as "emergent gameplay" so does your house getting burgled and someone stealing your gaming laptop.
 
Looks like fun. Gives people memories, something to talk about, not just another day in WoW. "Remember when that kill hack was set loose?"

Good for them.
 
If that counts as "emergent gameplay" so does your house getting burgled and someone stealing your gaming laptop.

That one would be difficult to reproduce at a scale large enough to affect a MMORPG.

I do think that cheating, botting, hacking and other "out of game" activities are part of emergent gameplay. Just read some of the EVE stories, a lot of them have significant "out of game" parts.
 
I think Brenda has the right of it. Sure it sucks but it's definately a "no @!#$ there I was" story that you recall down the road. Whether you remember it for good, bad, or indifferent.

I think it's an interesting time in WoW. Not often you see a bug like that in any MMO hit the street. Wonder who got fired over that little oversight.
 
Lets not forget about the WoW event with the plague as another example
 
Kiting outdoor elites/bosses back to cities are some of my most fondest memories of WoW.
 
I think you are stretching the term "emergent gameplay" to mean something outside the scope of its original intention.

Developers (and most gamers) would describe this as "illegal hacking" rather than emergent gameplay.

Sure, you could argue almost any activity that happens related to a game as being emergent gameplay. But the term is not generally not used so widly.
As a long time Eve player myself I would define anything I use out-of-game as not being "gameplay", therefore not emergent gameplay.

For a perfect example of what is normally classed as emergent gameplay, see the Eve video "the butterfly effect"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oq2oxt7Nrxo


 
A simpler way to explain what I mean, would be:

"emergent gameplay" is gameplay that evolves within the game and within the rules of the game.
 
@Remi

I think you are referring to 'unintentional emergence'...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emergent_gameplay#Unintentional_emergence

Still considered to be emergent gameplay.
 
This comment has been removed by the author.
 
This comment has been removed by the author.
 
@Kramer

I think there is room for intentional and unintentional emergent gameplay within the definition as applied to MMOs.

The one thing special about MMOs is that the emergent gameplay has to be within the rules of the game for it to be labeled as such.
Otherwise it is just "cheating".

This is probably not the case with single-player games, where your actions do not have an effect on others.

 
@Remi

From the same link...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emergent_gameplay#Glitch_or_quirk-based_strategies

The fact that WoW is an MMO is irrelevant. Tobold is correct, it is (was) an in-game exploit, also know as unintentional emergence.
 
I know that "in theory" you can apply the term to cheating. What I pointed out is that it almost never is in MMOs.

The only people in Eve that ever use the term "emergant gameplay" in relation to hacks or explots are:
1. sarcasm and trolls
2. someone caught cheating who is trying to get let off.

Tobold specifically mentioned Eve.

I am saying that cheating is not generally deemed "emergant gameplay" within the Eve community, unless they are being sarcastic.

Im trying to think of a cogent paradigm, maybe later...
 
But much of EVE happens outside of the game. The activities of the CSM or The Mittani rarely happen just *in* the game. Players form alliances or betray each other using other forms of communication than just those provided by the game or proscribed by the rules of the game.

Look for example at the recent news that CCP is going to punish alliances for bots operating in their space. Isn't that a prime example of how cheating leads to emergent gameplay, and that sanctioned by the devs?
 
Yes, emergent gameplay is best reserved for PvP-heavy games like Darkfall and EVE.
 
I have to go with a lot of the above and say that a hack that just kills everybody in a given city isn't emergent game play.

The links above all offer examples where flaws or glitches in a game lead to new and unexpected play styles. And these styles often become part of the game itself.

I don't think the ability to nuke a city will become an accepted part of game play.

Or, to flip it the other way, if you accept this as emergent game play, then account theft must be as well.
 
then account theft must be as well

Well, people count account theft as emergent gameplay in EVE Online when it is used to destroy an enemy alliance.

I would say what is part of the game is not always for the developers to decide. Bots have become a major part of gameplay in many games. Gold farmer spam is part of daily life in many games. And what would you call gold sellers killing level 1 characters to form advertising with their corpses in Stormwind if not emergent gameplay?
 
agreed with Brenda.

The few things of wow i remember fondly are events like these. I remember "the plague", Gutrot's lvl 70 Sen'jin Beach Party ( http://www.wowwiki.com/Server:Aerie_Peak_Europe/Gutrot ) and a few other things out of the ordinary..
 
Another emergent gameplay story:

A guy had his magical sword stolen in a game so he tracked the thief down and killed him in Real Life.

If you start labeling everything related to a game as 'emergent gamepley' you are off on slippery slope.
 
I am afraid that I disagree with you Tobold, I think it is absolutely the right of the devs to decide what is emergent gameplay and what is cheating.

In your example, account theft in order to disband an alliance is illegal, and will end in a ban and possibly criminal fraud charges. It has never been considered emergent gameplay. CCP have always been very clear on this point.
I do not know of an instance where this has happened successfully even. In the rare cases that this has happened, the devs have always repaired the damage.

However, joining an alliance with your own character as a spy, and working your way up to a position to disband the alliance from within IS within the rules of the game. In these cases the damage has not been reversed, and is a good example of emergent gameplay in Eve.

Again I Believe that if you are not operating within the rules of the game, then it is not gameplay. Emergent or otherwise.
 
I am afraid that I disagree with you Tobold, I think it is absolutely the right of the devs to decide what is emergent gameplay and what is cheating.

In your example, account theft in order to disband an alliance is illegal, and will end in a ban and possibly criminal fraud charges. It has never been considered emergent gameplay. CCP have always been very clear on this point.
I do not know of an instance where this has happened successfully even. In the rare cases that this has happened, the devs have always repaired the damage.

However, joining an alliance with your own character as a spy, and working your way up to a position to disband the alliance from within IS within the rules of the game. In these cases the damage has not been reversed, and is a good example of emergent gameplay in Eve.

Again I Believe that if you are not operating within the rules of the game, then it is not gameplay. Emergent or otherwise.
 
@Kramer: The problem is that this ISN'T an in-game exploit. The hacker is using outside hacks that aren't just in-game glitches to execute the hack. It's nothing like the examples mentioned in the wikipedia article. A glitch in WoW might be something like using the old glitch-jumping method to reach normally inaccessible areas. DDOSing Blizzard's servers so that WoW goes down is not.

Regardless of your own personal definition of emergent gameplay though, I kinda have to address the silly loaded statement in the original post. I think we can all agree that barely anyone would find a hacker insta-killing you "fun", regardless of the game. Emergent gameplay isn't always necessarily fun, and this is most definitely not one of the funner ones.
 
I do think that cheating, botting, hacking and other "out of game" activities are part of emergent gameplay. Just read some of the EVE stories, a lot of them have significant "out of game" parts.
Not in the ones I've heard of - they all involve negotiations about the game (even if the negotiations are trickery and lies).

What, when you do a dungeon in wow and actually talk to the other players about what you do next, that's an out of game event?

What stories are you refering to? Links?

Look for example at the recent news that CCP is going to punish alliances for bots operating in their space. Isn't that a prime example of how cheating leads to emergent gameplay, and that sanctioned by the devs?
Seems the exact opposite?

You seem to have a really porous idea of what is inside the scope of a game and what is outside of it.

And what would you call gold sellers killing level 1 characters to form advertising with their corpses in Stormwind if not emergent gameplay?

The killing and bodies is in game. The advertising is out of game. If the bodies advertised the name of a guild, it'd be doubly/entirely in game.
 
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