I read Elementalisty's thoughts on "dynamic" games. Read his post first. While originally commenting on his blog, I decided to post here, as I have been neglecting the blog for a bit.
According to dictionary.com: "dynamic" is defined as "pertaining to or characterized by energy or effective action; vigorously active or forceful; energetic." Further definitions and etymologies of "dynamic" use the concept of "force, power." I think the connotation of "dynamic=change" is rooted in the word "effective" in the dictionary.com definition. If an action is effective, you'll see the effect after the action is over. If there is no change, then the action is--by definition--ineffective.
Now, of course rifts change the way you play, and may even affect tonight's plan for questing in a given area. But I think most people who are whining are hoping/expecting something fairly permanent about the effects of the rifts and invasions. The effects of the rifts are gone within minutes. I think this expectation is unrealistic.
Is this any better than the phasing system currently used in WoW? Or systems in place in other games? I think the permanent change expected by some players when they say "dynamic" is shortsighted. They don't realize that it means they might not get to do some of the things that players who passed by just before got to do. Perfect examples would be the recent River of Souls event in Rift or the opening of the Gates of Ahn'Qiraj. Talk about dynamic. Only one person on each each realm in WoW got the open the gates, and after a time, even new realms had the gates already open. The River of Souls phases 2 and 3 lasted about an hour total, then were over. How's that for dynamic? But people complained--justifiably--that they didn't get a chance to participate.
Single player games literally pause whenever you stop playing. The virtual worlds of MMOs roll on whether socially/player-driven or environmental/developer driven. I have said it before, I like that stuff slowly evolves while I am away from the game, for a day or a month. Otherwise I would stick with SPRPGs.
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