[MUD-Dev] RP thesis...

clawrenc at cup.hp.com clawrenc at cup.hp.com
Wed May 21 15:12:17 New Zealand Standard Time 1997


In <Pine.LNX.3.96.970521071717.148D-100000 at mpc.dyn.ml.org>, on
05/21/97 
   at 08:05 AM, Matt Chatterley <root at mpc.dyn.ml.org> said:

>On Tue, 20 May 1997 clawrenc at cup.hp.com wrote:

>> In <Pine.LNX.3.96.970519170804.777L-100000 at mpc.dyn.ml.org>, on
>> 05/19/97 
>>    at 07:59 PM, Matt Chatterley <root at mpc.dyn.ml.org> said:
>> 
>> >Yeah, this is an excellent case example. Alchohol will largely
>> >increase healing rate (metabolism for all intents/purposes) as well
>> >as providing another 'morale' booster for the troops (it's a good
>> >thing for friends to have a pint together in the ideal warm and homey
>> >inn type environment).
>> 
>> Ignoring the obvious political incorrectnesses (drinking alcohol for
>> health), there's an implicit level of social engineering going on here
>> which states that certain *social* environments are of necessity
>> beneficial for the physical health of the player.  Do you really want
>> to do that with all of its side implications?

>Hmm. It's only a tad !PC, since larger amounts of drink should start
>to have negative side effect (upto alchohol poisoning for those that
>attempt to drink 50 double-gins, or somesuch, to heal lots).

Accepted.  However consider the case of the religious tee-totaller who
firmly believes that alcohol is a primary weapon of Satan...  Granting
health benefits to alcohol in a system entertaining such a character
(be it an RP'ed character or RL personae) could raise interesting
side-effects.

Note: I am *NOT* recommending against your tack, far from it.  I am
however extremely interested in whether this aspect of it comes under
scrutiny.

>Certainly the idea of morale (which could be enforced in the above
>example) is something I want to carry through, and in a way, some
>social environments *are* beneficial (a chance to relax after a
>stressful day, and suchforth) - mind you, you're more likely to get
>hung over than healed if you go out for a drink with the 'gang' in
>the sense above! ;)

Okay -- but are there other, non-social-behaviour based activities to
gain equal/equivalent physical recovery?  Consider the case of Bubba
the Zen Buddhist who most definitely does not go carousing about the
pubs at night with his drinking buddies (let alone entertaining the
working ladies with his, err, physical control).  He's more likely to
attempt such recovery with a spot of transcendental meditation or
naval lint analysis.

What I'm arguing against here is the player awareness of the equation:

  Oh, my morale stat is getting low as evidenced by XXX.

  Therefore I should find a mate, go the the pub and get schnozzed 
  to get my morale stat back up.

Players will make that exact equation, and attempt to automate it.  (I
argue that any game design which allows players to profitably
automate/script their behaviour in the game is inherently flawed as a
design (and no, making the potential trigger strings vary enough to
defeat simple regex matching does not count)).

The counter of course is for the equation instead to be:

  Oh, my morale stat is getting low as evidenced by XXX.

  I could do XXX to get my morale stat stat back up, but that has 
    YYY possibly unwanted side-effects.  Or I could do ZZZ with 
    QQQ side-effects and penalties, or RRR/WWW...etc etc etc with 
    the player resultingly making a choice from am indeterministic  
    field of options and penalties all of which potentially satisfy 
    the problem being addressed.

which takes a sight more work to design, implement, and balance.

<<You may detect here a general dislike for simplistic models in game
designs,  They encourage simplistic equations and thereby simplistic
solutions which result in the real elegance and potential fun of the
problem/solution being (a)voided>>

--
J C Lawrence                           Internet: claw at null.net
(Contractor)                           Internet: coder at ibm.net
---------------(*)               Internet: clawrenc at cup.hp.com
...Honorary Member Clan McFUD -- Teamer's Avenging Monolith...




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