After reading Monte's recent post on game design, he puts a heck of a lot of weight on the "wants" of players, then uses an example where game designers listen to the players and make a correction with a tweak.
The players in Monte's example did not get what they wanted (in this case, a faster reload time that would have been unbalancing and unrealistic) but got a tweak to the reload animation that did not change reload time. They got what they needed, not what they wanted.
Players want lots of stuff they don't need. They buy splat books with new classes, feats and the like because they want it. The splat books do serve a need - the need of WotC to bring in revenue. Which works until the game system gets crushed beneath the weight of the splats.
Which is why I'm very wary when game designers say they are designing games based upon what players "want". Designers need to look deeper, and find out what players really "need" in their games. I know the answer isn't as simple as it sounds, but it's the only way to make a game with lasting success in my opinion.
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