Huntn, on January 12th 2006, 03:50 PM, said:
Aside from Shadowbane, which has already been mentioned, the only MMO I've seen that does this to a certain extent is Clan Lord. However, CL has had some advantages that allows it to do this kind of thing. It's always been a relatively small community on ONE server. So the need to make recycle-able (or repeatable) quests for thousands of players on multiple servers isn't there. So while there are such static things in CL there's also plenty of things that make the CL world more dynamic than other MMOs.
Exploration and discovery has had plenty of examples where this is concerned. In numerous cases when you or your group discovers a new area you get the fame (and sometimes experience) that goes with it because that area can't be "discovered" by anybody again. In many of these cases the discovering individual or group has named an area and that name was incorporated into the game. Some area's have even been named after the individual who first stepped foot in them ("Wisher's Gate", "Alchemist's Folly", "Jannar's Grove", etc..).
There's been GM-run events that have different, landscape-changing outcomes depending on how we, the players, react. For example, our main town once had a large catapult protecting it's front gate. A long time ago, there was a major invasion by our greatest enemy, the Orga, in which we failed to fend them off well enough so they dragged our catapult away. Over time clues have surfaced as to the location of our catapult, apparently in a huge Orga Stronghold on the far side of the island, so efforts have been made to find this place. A truly massive underground labrynth of caves was discovered with clues that indicate they lead to this Stronghold. Unfortunately these caves are swarming with giant, man-eating, web-throwing Arachnoids and it makes any WoW 20-40 man instance look like child's play. Nobody has yet to breakthrough to the other side. I've been in a group working on this for TWO years and we've come very close. We were so close recently that we could actually hear the Orga drumd beating right above us (and we saw a ladder that leads up)! If we ever make it and defeat the Stronghold it will be a glorious day rolling that catapult back into town.
There have been other, less epic ways for players to make their mark. For example, there's a museum in town filled with statues, paintings, and various works of art, all player-created. There was also once this clan of evil witches (role-played beautifully by their clickers) who had their clan house burned down by another player who's character was an enemy of theirs. To this day the burned ruins of their house are still there.
This is yet another advantage of the single server, small community situation. The GMs tend to really listen to the players and actually know them. You're not a number in CL. So GMs tend to participate in and enhance certain player-driven stories and ideas, in addition to creating their own.
I could go on about the dynamic aspects of CL but this is the general idea. After playing CL so long you could probably understand why it wasn't long before I found WoW pointless and boring.
This post isn't really an endorsement for CL. It's a technologically very old game, and like Vendetta the (great) development team is very small (and mostly voluntary) so content comes at glacial paces. Plus Delta Tao never really seemed interested in making alot of money off of it so never bothered advertising, fixing their atrocious payment system, or internally developing a Windows client. But survive it does because of a small, but loyal, player base, mostly consisting of vets who have been playing for years and are enormously strong (there's no level cap). It's a mom & pop operation which hasn't necessarily been a bad thing for me obviously.
I would LOVE to see many of CL's concepts in other, more technically current, MMOs but I'm not certain it could be done with thousands of players on multiple servers. Until that happens I'm kinda with Whaleman in that MMOs are, for the most part, a waste of time.