Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Would you buy into a time-share character?

Something to chew on:

Need: I have no time to play all the MMORPG games that interest me. When I do play, more often than not, I never get to any good content, WoW raids for example. However, I'm a professional with disposable income so I'm just waiting for a solution.

Solution?: Someone sets up a service that creates a batch of starter characters, let's say 50. People pay to play these characters (more on that later). Some people will want to start in the beginning to learn the ropes and will progress those characters up. As everyone plays the 50 characters, these characters will advance at different rates. Eventually, characters will span the spectrum of experience and play types.

Time in the game with these characters are sold in a time-share manner. So let's say, you pay $5 for a batch of points. You spend your points on hours that you can play any character you want but it costs more points to play more advanced characters.

That's the basic premise. I know there's a lot of obstacles to consider. Like how to prevent people from just logging into a character and griefing it. The publishers will never support this. There is a bond that people create with their characters that will be missing. There's a community element that you can't just jump into as well. I know; the devil is in the details. But I think there's definitely people that would use and pay for this (I would be one).

There are elements of these games that a casual player could really enjoy. Right now, there's no way for casual types to experience these games in any meaningful way. You could buy a character from a farmer, but no one likes that. Is this a horrible idea?

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