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Think about this for a moment: why does nearly every game in existence automatically log your character back into the world at the same position they were at when logging out?  (I actually can’t think of an example that hasn’t done this.)

It’s not really for consistency.  Weeks may have passed in the game world after all.  People you were grouped with at logout may be on entirely different continents, heck, planes of existence, by the time you log back in.

It’s not really for the player’s convenience.  Sure, at times it’s handy. Other times, it’s a pain in the neck.  Sometimes, it’s downright problematic… if you log back in, ungrouped, in the middle of monster-infested territory, for example.  Yes, we’ve all been trained to find a safe location to log out… (note the word “trained”).

Would it really be all that difficult or fantasy-shattering or whatever to allow the player to simply choose where they want to log the character back in at?  The choices could be limited in various ways: perhaps the options are

  • where logged out at (default)
  • in the character’s home (if they have one)
  • in the character’s guild hall (if there is one)
  • in any major tavern the character has visited and selected/memorized

The choices available could also be constrained by how long the character has been logged off.  The longer the character has been out of play, the further away a specific login position could be from the logout position and still be offered as a valid option.

Consider what this (dirt-simple) change might offer to the player.  There are several scenarios, from re-supplying to finding groups to making socialization more convenient, that are potentially served.

So, what am I missing here?  Is there an overriding purpose to nailing characters down to a specific world position while logged out that I’m overlooking?

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Live in or near Mpls/St. Paul? Interested in talking MMOs with other like-minded people? Join us on either June 30th or July 14th at MMMOGIGs #1.9 or #2.1 (or both!), details coming soon. You can also join us in Google Groups or meetup.com to discuss the when/where of the next meeting, provide feedback, etc.
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