[MUD-Dev] Nation of shopkeepers

Marian Griffith gryphon at iaehv.nl
Sat Aug 2 13:52:32 New Zealand Standard Time 1997

On Wed 30 Jul, clawrenc at cup.hp.com wrote:
> In < at mail.tenetwork.com>, on 07/12/97 
>    at 07:09 PM, Jeff Kesselman <jeffk at tenetwork.com> said:
> >At 10:40 AM 7/12/97 PST8PDT, you wrote:

> >>*grin* I wonder if people would still be laughing when they realise there
> >>will be no bread unless somebody else decides to bake it. And sells it at
> >>a price justified by demand.

> >Interesting question.. id it fun to force players to do basically
> >boring actions as the "price" of playing the game??

> Simpler questions:

>   Will some players consider it fun to know that they effectively
> control the supply of bread to the game and thus have the benefits of
> a personally owned monopoly?

I do not doubt that there will be players who enjoy to hold that kind
of power. Probably even attempt to abuse it by refusing to sell bread
to anybody they don't like

>   Will other players consider it fun to strive for or against this?

It's a different type of game inside the mud and it will attract other
players. Pure mudders will likely hate this innovation with a passion.
It forces them to spend time on other things than killing monsters.

>   Will the rest of the playing body be content to ignore this, or will
> it become a sub-game in itself?

I would expect it to become a sub-game and a large body of the players
will ignore it to the best of their abilities. The more of this type of
sub-games the game has to offer  the more "solid"  the overall game ex-
perience will be to all players. The trick is to make the sub-game suf-
ficiently interesting of its own and have it affect the entire game but
not to the point of infringing on it. I mean players who do not want to
play this sub-game must be able to do so, but should not be able to to-
tally -ignore- it (the way they do now with food on the average mud).

> I suspect it would quickly devolve into a rats fight among those who
> wanted to be the bakers, while the rest of the players just bought
> whatever bread was available and went on their way.

That is possible. Competition is what could spark the interest for the
players who don't want to go out and kill. Requirement here is that e-
conomy is sufficiently complex that going out and just collect food is
not an option for players.  Just as they should have to do some -work-
to get money. The big danger here is that this work slips into the re-
alm of tedious. It should either be difficult to accomplish. The horde
of a dragon should be hard to get at and it should mean something. And
killing something to sell its equipment for some quick cash should not
work for very long (if it is at all possible).  If this whole thing is
not properly balanced and heading to an equilibrium then the game will
quickly fall apart and nobody will have much fun out of it.
The stories about the virtual worlds that have been mentioned  about a
month ago (I forgot the name, the ones with avatars rather than muds),
convinced me  that this setup IS possible,  and that there ARE players
who will enjoy it.

Yes - at last - You. I Choose you. Out of all the world,
out of all the seeking, I have found you, young sister of
my heart! You are mine and I am yours - and never again
will there be loneliness ...

Rolan Choosing Talia,
Arrows of the Queen, by Mercedes Lackey

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