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Guest Games blogger: Xxander Snook


Linden Lab

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1. Despite some of the technical challenges, combat gaming in SL seems to have a good following. Why do you think that is?

I think we have a strong following because of two main factors. One, the combat system is solid and provides a really awesome experience. I constantly get IM's from new players telling me, "I didn't know SL could do this," which really motivates me with pride. The other main factor is the players. We've been lucky to have a strong and devoted following through all the ups and downs over the last 3+ years we've been running MCM.

2. Tell us a bit about how you got started in SL.

It's an odd story, actually. I used to play a lot of MMO's, and one day back in 2005, a friend of mine told me about this game that had no point called "Second Life.” I was confused by his statement and asked, "What do you mean there is no point?" He said I would have to download it and check it out. This was back then you needed a credit card to set up an account, and so after getting it all set up, I logged in for the first time and realized that it wasn't really a game but another universe. I was hooked shortly after that and started exploring.


3. What do you think are some stereotypes about the combat community in SL?

Stereotypes? Well, since I've been running MCM, most of the cliché stereotypes I originally had have been shattered. I used to think that SL militaries were just drama junkies who would pretend fight each other, similar to flaming on forums, but my assumptions have been proven wrong many times. I don't really think that there are many widely held stereotypes, at least in the community that plays in the MCM sims. There is always bickering but that's the nature of competitive combat systems — people don't like losing. As a whole, I've been rather surprised by the majority of people.

4. Any changes or new features we can expect in the coming year?

MCM has been growing for almost four years now, but we try to include new features whenever we update the combat system. There was a planned patch roll-out around Thanksgiving, actually. This update is very technical — mostly centered around saving memory in the scripts by converting from integer flags to bit-wise flags — LOL — without sounding too nerdy. We have also been working on a very ambitious clan-ladder system, aimed at being a web-based mini game that plays out in world. It's a hugely complex system that has become like the "Duke Nukem" of MCM. In other words, we have been working on it for almost year :matte-motes-big-grin:. We plan to have it out soon though, before the end of this year.

5. What advice would you give a new SL resident to help them get started in this community?

We've spent a lot of time trying to make the learning curve as smooth as we could, because early on we realized that the system — with all its levels, gear, perks and Mechs — could quickly become daunting. So, for new people we have a training area, training videos, a player-run academy, and countless notecards and walk-throughs on the web and inworld. What I normally tell new players is to read the notecard that comes with the system first, and then go play in the training areas for a little while. It's pretty intuitive, but veteran players know all the tricks, so there is something for everyone.

Visit MCM Combat Systems inworld here.

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