Dance Emotes Are Awesome

Dance emotes are important. It’s important not to limit yourself to just one /dance emote as well. The more the merrier, and the more hilarious, the better. This isn’t just important for in-game fun, but it’s tremendously important for out-of-game fun, not to mention it’s a wonderful marketing tool you can empower your players with. It’s the root of some of the best grassroots marketing I’ve ever seen related to massively multiplayer games.

Case in point, the World of Warcraft vs. Guild Wars dance video. It has millions of views, and it rocks. Other games like Star Wars Galaxies have a lot of popular dance videos as well, but games like EverQuest 2 that have only one dance emote don’t have as many popular dance videos (or as many popular game videos in general).

So, for those of you animators and engineers out there who would rather not making a bunch of awesome dance animations, please do for the sake of players everywhere, and for the sake of your game’s potential guerrilla marketability. Oh, and make at least some of them pretty hilarious to increase levity (and attract more people to make dance videos using your game).

And on a tangentially related note, I’d love to see some paired dance animations and palatial balls thrown in fantasy worlds. That would be fun (well, I wouldn’t directly have fun dancing, but I’d have a lot of fun making fun of the people who were).

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21 Responses to "Dance Emotes Are Awesome"

  1. s a wonderful marketing tool you can empower your players with. It’s the root of some of the best grassroots marketing I’ve ever seen related to massively multiplayer games. (more…) posted by Ryan Shwayder @ 22:00 Comments Off

  2. I agree with you that dance animations are awesome.

    I bet there would be a lot more EQ2 dance videos on YouTube if even half the playerbase could run both EQ2 and Fraps on their computer without bogging down to 2fps. =/

  3. Exill

    A lot of times while raiding or just in a heroic group we will play some funky music over ventrilo and bust out the dance emotes!

  4. [...] to … er, be with people … who [...] Source: KillTenRats – Ethic Categories: Bloggers 06:00 Dance Emotes Are Awesome Dance emotes are important. It’s important not to limit yourself to just one /dance emote as [...]

  5. Kohs

    Emotes are hollow and empty shells of what could be a deep and engaging activity.

    I’d rather see the ability to have characters actually dance, rather than just everyone typing “/dance1″ on the count of 3, and watching pre-scripted animations.

    But that’s just me.

  6. Trucegore

    Not just dance emotes. Emotes are important.

  7. So, Kohs… exactly how would you give the characters the ability to dance? DDR pad support and a Wii-mote? :razz:

  8. Actually, EQ2 has TWO dance emotes now, since they gave the Fae their own unique dance. It is totally not gay.

    I agree though that little details that seem a bit goofy on the surface often end up being valuable compeletly out of proportion to their impact on actual game play.

  9. Jason:

    Wait and see.

  10. Sometimes I hate being on the outside… nothing is more frustrating that reading blogs and comments from people that I really want to have discussions with only for them to be constantly speaking in vague hints and promises.

    That said… I was joking with the DDR pad comment, and if people are going to take me seriously, I’ll just say right now that 1) if the DDR pad is required for your game then don’t count on my money, and 2) as much as we all love to say we love a sandbox and giving players freedom, we all know the truth and that is if you give them enough freedom, a percentage of your players are going to find a way to annoy the crap out of or ruin the game for your other players.

    One thing I would love to see more of in game is “interactive emotes”, like when I type “/poke Kevin” and the game emotes “Jason pokes Kevin” I would love to see my avatar actually poke Kevin’s avatar and his avatar react to being poked. The problem here is making it so that someone can’t follow you around poking you non-stop, especially if the poke reaction animation prevents other animations or actions. See someone dancing? Just poke them and after they react to the poke they stop dancing. A whole new level of social griefing emerges.

    And just for the record, I think City of Heroes has 10 (?) dance emotes…

  11. Yes dance emotes are awesome! Not just dance though, all emotes, lots of them, more than one could possibly remember or try to use in any given period of time!

  12. I wouldn’t describe myself as a player who would put “best emotes” on the list of why I would choose one game over another, probably not even at the bottom of page 26, but that is just me. Occasionally, to fill in some down time, I’ll access the help menu and see which emotes are available and /poke, /laugh, /grovel at someone else who is standing around bored until the rest of the party shows up, the tank gets a rez, the wizard gets back from an extended afk, or whatnot.

    I had never really thought of the dance emotes as a potential market share builder, but it makes sense. Seeing characters in out-of-game productions add an additional layer of enticement for a potential player, who could see the game and become intrigued, or might simply sign up to make other cool videos of their own.

    Thinking along those lines, wouldn’t it make sense for developers to not only include a wide range of emotes, but also build in some kind of video capture utility to facilitate the production of these kinds of out-of-game productions?

  13. Xrispat

    Since the topic has ran to pure emotes…..

    I’d like to see a game that gave out emotes as quest or accomplishment rewards. Not exclusively, but as a once in a while award. It would be fun to amuse guildies and friends during downtime by doing backflips or something and getting asked how you got it etc… Lots of games allow one to be unique with armor, looks, titles, pets, and shapechanging abilities. I think a game could use emotes as another way to make each character unique without bloating the economy or power curve.

  14. I’d agree with this and extend the idea in general. To me I’d almost say that 10 little things are worth at least as much as the 1 big thing in a game. So the ability to emote, have character animations sync with chat text, dance, chain any combo of them in macros and all that jazz is worth as much to me as the really big items because I encounter the little things more often and more importantly they often carry me through when I’ve gotten bored of the one big thing.

  15. JayP

    I’d have one thing to add to this discussion, and that is things like new /emotes, dances and other trivial effects in-game not only add alot to the enjoyment of downtime in a MMO players’ online time, they are also a great way to reward players without the slightest risk of a game-imbalance or an economy-breaking item-reward. One thing I always wished for in WoW was more social itemization, 2 years into the game and there is just nothing to be gained that makes my toon look better or adds some silly fun (I got the one item that forces other people to /dance when you play it, but that was around 18 months ago, and that lost its’ novelty value quickly).

    I see someone did raise the spectre of social griefing, but I think as long as you limit an emote to something that a character can only do to it’s own appearance in-game, there is very little risk of that happening. See WoW’s “Piccolo of the Flaming Fire” for an example of what to do when adding flavor items to a game :P

    Also, realize that once you start down the path of increasing /emotes or whatnot to your game, you will increase demand for more of same, and gamers who thanked you for adding them will eventually curse you if fail to add more, at a later date, in timely fashion, and suitable abundance.

    Ok that’s more than “one thing”. Apologies.

  16. JayP

    Edit: should have said “what not to do” in regards to the above; adding an item that forces other toons to do things their user doesn’t want is generally frowned upon in MMO’s.

  17. [...] Dance Emotes Are Awesome [...]

  18. @Jason

    Let’s just say i don’t see anything wrong with pre-scripted animations, unlike Kohs. I see plenty wrong with him, starting with the ‘tache.

    But the idea lacks scope. Suppose you allow players to prescript their own dances and share those via XML fragments. Suppose you create a graphical editor for those animations? And finally, suppose that players could choreograph large numbers of (willing) players by sharing their own generated scripts while still leaving room for a little freestyle showoff action?

    Those were questions i asked myself several months ago.

  19. The only problem I foresee with tools like that is basically turning every game into Second Life… a game which, if I had kids, I would never let them play… they had to create a Teen Second Life to segregate kids from the stuff adults were creating because every method of restriction they came up with either failed outright or was circumventable.

    What you say sounds great and I’m sure would be a blast to play with… but if you give players the ability to make their own dances, how long will it be before your game has virtual strip clubs? I mean, even in WoW, cartoony and friendly as it is… one night I walked in to the inn down in Booty Bay and there was a whole different kind of “Booty” going on. And that’s just with their canned dances…

  20. It’s a hazard, but one that can be bypassed by not letting them strip off or indeed, remove any equipped item while dancing.

    Go just a little further and you can stop people from being seen in public if not decently dressed (i have readymade mechanisms for this).

    Let’s just say, Faith will most certainly not be anything like SL, mostly because i loathe SL with a passion you can barely dream of.

  21. [...] Dance emotes are important. It’s important not to limit yourself to just one /dance emote as well. The more the merrier, and the more hilarious, the better. This isn’t just important for in-game fun, but it’s tremendously important for out-of-game fun, not to mention it’s a wonderful marketing tool you can empower your players with. It’s the root of some of the best grassroots marketing I’ve ever seen related to massively multiplayer games. (more…) [...]

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