The dangers of over-informing

People often talk about how new players are coddled with bots but there is seldom any mention of the pile of information that has sprung up recently to pander to new players. The amount is staggering, and there’s only a handful of culprits. One need only look at Tokai’s site, or now Poromenos’ wiki (which looks mostly to be Tokai as well) to find all kinds of in-depth information that people used to have to go out and find for themselves.
Look at the complete walkthrough for getting bands of power, which used to be an elite item. Look at the information for Dennis Moore and the halfling necks. Look at the maps of areas like Seth’s, Nevermore and Blasted Lands. Look at the overinformation in these maps (the ones on rodpedia don’t have a byline, but I assume that they’re Tokai’s also) that ruins puzzles in the areas, like the colour code in Blasted Lands. What next? I can only guess how long before we get a map of Salburg and everyone stops going there. This is just part of a greater overinformation trend that influences the low-end economy and results in low rewards for anything that’s not brand new or just a horror to get.
Look at the complete mob and item listings on Rodpedia. This is all very nice, but makes guild scavenger quests impossible to write. How can you pick an item easy enough that the quester could actually find it and yet obscure enough not to be listed plainly on a website? It would be impossible.
People having maps to every area they want to go to discourages exploration and limits the discovery of new elements of the game. It’s easy to assume the map is perfectly complete and to take it as gospel – a danger, considering that the publicly available maps really aren’t all correct. Setting game knowledge into a static page legitimizes whatever you write – right or wrong – and preserves it in that state. This hampers innovation and really just plain takes the fun out of the game.

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