Re-events in MMOGs

Several years ago, I was an event volunteer for a large MMOG. Many of our live, in-game events required approval from higher-ups before we volunteers were allowed to enact them. The wait for approval often felt like forever, so I came up with an idea for re-usable events. My re-events would be simple situations or themes that had a high replayability factor, and not specific one-time-use event scripts. Once a re-event write-up was approved, I could essentially use it over and over again as appropriate.

For example, my most often used re-event was "Wixim the Mad."

Players wandering the wilderness would sometimes be approached by a disheveled, insane hermit named Wixim. Wixim would challenge players to his own particular game of dice. If you rolled higher than Wixim, you gained something (a pile of gold). If both tied, you could try again. If you rolled lower than Wixim, horrible things would happen (he would summon anywhere from a handful of garden snakes to dozens of giant ice serpents). The entire experience was peppered with Wixim's offbeat dialogue, and sometimes also sprinkled with tasty tidbits about his past.

Once the Wixim the Mad overview was approved, I performed this re-event throughout the gameworld on dozens of occasions. This repetition actually provided several side benefits.

Wixim's personal reputation grew. Player occasionally wandered around hoping to catch a glimpse of this famous hermit. Others enjoyed meeting him multiple times. At least one player was inspired by Wixim to create a new Wiximesque hermit of his own.

The combination of increasing fame and repetition provided the players with some sense of predictability. They couldn't encounter him upon demand, but even if they never encountered him directly they learned how his game worked, in what sort of locations he could be found, and the general days and times that he could appear.

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