Saturday, 1 December 2007

Thought for the day.

Regarding Warhamer Online's Tome of Knowledge:

But above all, I think what makes the Tome of Knowledge so special is that it’s your story. We are simply making a vessel to show you how you play Warhammer Online, and we expect people’s Tomes to express their different play styles and methodologies. While we are making one Tome, we are also making many. We are making your Tome. It’s waiting for you, and we can’t wait for you to come and check it out.

It's a wonderful, powerful feature, which could potentially be the enabler for players to really identify with their characters and take pride in them. The WAR folks are always talking about realm pride, but they seem to be investing equally great an effort into developing a sense of character pride. Yes, there's definitely an element of the age old e-peen mindset about it, but the fact that the Tome also seems geared to tell the story of your character through many factors, not just those related to having hit other players over the head the hardest, means that it's not necessarily 'all about the epix baby'.

My thought though: if the Tome of Knowledge is indeed a complete scrapbook of one's character's adventuring life and not merely a few stats and titles, then please for the love of all that is holy, provide the ability to export the Tome into a document format that can be read outside of the game, pdf perhaps, or maybe XHTML based.

Blogs are a wonderful way to record the adventures of our characters, but if you have a feature within your game that already automates part of this - recording the basic history of a character - then exporting it would allow players to write around those raw facts and concentrate on fleshing out the spirit and feel of the game more, something which a data collection tool such as the Tome probably won't be able to capture.

If nothing else, I envisage myself in my eighties sitting in a rocking chair beside an open roaring fireplace, blanket across my legs and grandchildren all sat around my feet, and then relishing the groans and the looks of 'do we have to?' directed towards their parents, as grandad blows the dust off of his e-book, opens up his Tome of Knowledge, and begins to regale them all with the adventure of Gunberk the Dwarf vs the Dragon Ogres for the hundredth time. [crazy old man cackle]

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