Twitter Man, thank goodness you came!

Syp got all snarky yesterday about plans in Champions Online to introduce in-game tweeting (I know this works from being spammed a bit in twitter by beta testers already :) ).

I have no idea at all why I’d want to twitter from a MMO. I usually play in windowed mode anyway so if I wanted to twitter I’d just do it. And even if I did I don’t understand why I’d want to broadcast only and not receive. But that isn’t the point. Maybe someone else will find something cool to do with that functionality.

So often devs try to guide players by holding their hands every single step of the way in an MMO. Thou shalt level by killing 10 boars. Thou shalt do PvP on Tuesday mornings and Friday afternoons. Thou shalt raid, whether thou likest it or not. Thou shalt have thy weekly rant at Blizzard for not putting a defence trinket on the badge vendor. And so on.

The games where this is less common are called sandbox games. And a sandbox is a place where kids get to play however they want, within the limits of the box.

More freedom isn’t a bad thing for players. Devs putting cool stuff into the games just because they’re cool isn’t a bad thing either. I like the notion that sometimes we can get off the tour bus and just play with our toys. Throwing the players some cool stuff to play with, just because, isn’t a bad thing.

And it made me look again at Champions Online. If they’re willing to add random cool functionality just because they can, and trust players to find something to do with it, what else might they be willing to do? That type of thinking appeals to me.

(Note: If you want to follow me on twitter, I’m on as @copperbird )

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11 thoughts on “Twitter Man, thank goodness you came!

  1. I guess I’m old, crumpy and conservative. This leaves me just as cold as the wow.com application that seems kind of similar. Reporting zone-crossing and stuff. Sigh.

    But yeah, maybe some creative people will find some way to use it, kudos for them in that case.

  2. Because of you, I am now on Twitter, too. :)
    As “Longasc”, what else… :)

    I already have 5 followers! I do not know how I go them, they have botlike names *PANIC*

  3. Because of you, I am now on Twitter, too. :)
    As “Longasc”, what else… :)

    I already have 5 followers! I do not know how I got them, they have botlike names *PANIC*

  4. I’m pretty much at the point that I want to strangle people who go out of their way to complain about Twitter. It’s as though they think that their complaints will drown out the increasing coverage of Twitter on the news or other sites. Grumbling about how much you hate the thing isn’t going to make it go away; it just makes you look like a whining luddite!

  5. I definitely see it as a good thing, to be honest. Yeah, you could accomplish the same thing by alt-tabbing and Tweeting in a traditional way, but this will just be more convenient. I like convenience.

    Twitter is a funky beast and it seems to take a lot of people a few gos at it before it clicks. It has this bad reputation for being about “I’m going to eat a donut now” nonsense, and while there is some of that, to me it’s an awesome communication tool that combines the best aspects of IM & RSS.

    But I’ll admit I tried and left Twitter twice before I got it. Until you find the right group of people to follow, it can feel pretty pointless.

    And Longasc, someone (maybe Spinks?) Tweeted that you were on Twitter, so a lot of us familiar with your name from comments on blogs started following you. That’s how Twitter works, ideally. You follow a friend, who mentions other friends for you to follow, and they follow you back, then you see them having an interesting conversation with someone you don’t know, so you start following and replying to them, and suddenly you’re meeting a bunch of people with similar interests to yours.

    I love it.

    twitter.com/pasmith

  6. I enjoy Twitter and I’m pretty big into it (http://twitter.com/WeFlySpitfires if you wanna be my buddy!) but I wasn’t sure about this addition to Champions Online. The whole point about Twitter to me is that you get to see other people’s tweets – without that, it’s just like spamming random comments with no feedback.

    Might be a very clever move from Cryptic though as they essentially get free advertising without thousands of people twitting about their game, from their game.

  7. I am sure that if people cant find anything useful or distinct about twitring in-game, then they wont use it. Simple as that. If it doesn’t have some kind of edge on other types of communication it wont be used.

    Moral of the story: Have faith in the users!

    We see that users (and gamers in particular) are very creative and keep finding new ways to use applications and hardware. The modding community is a prime example of this. I am waiting in suspense on how gamers find ways to use twitter to enhance their game.

  8. My time spent playing in MMOs is sacred to me. Having any kind of mechanic that disrupts that immersion is just wrong. I wasn’t a big fan of Brad McQuaid when he invented the /pizza command in EverQuest. I also hated it when people could play .mp3′s in EQ too.

    Now Twitter?

    That’s crossing a line in the sand for me. What’s next people will start having their vitals hooked up to their computers so the public can view their heart rate, blood pressure and body temperature?

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