[MUD-Dev] Graphic MUDS/Ultima Online

Matt Chatterley root at mpc.dyn.ml.org
Mon Aug 11 23:10:12 New Zealand Standard Time 1997

On Mon, 11 Aug 1997 clawrenc at cup.hp.com wrote:

>    at 07:13 PM, Matt Chatterley <root at mpc.dyn.ml.org> said:
> >Not sure why saving corpses is particularly useful. ;) I intend to
> >have them rot slowly, be buried, traded for cash, chopped up for
> >food, skinned.. but they will probably not save over physical
> >reboots. Why not? Partly for efficiency reasons (think how many
> >corpses you could have if they took a long time to rot!).
> This is an eerily familiar echo of a discussion I had with Chris Gray
> way back when concerning his automatic trashing of minor objects left
> in rooms when players left the room which pretty well started the
> original CC version of this list.

I'm surprised it hasn't already recurred several times! I would imagine
given some of the concepts related to persistancy being ricocheted
its quite a common consideration.
> I see a big value in saving the corpses and every other minor object. 
> These are opportunities in the making, not problems.  Removing them
> __decreases__ the playability and intricacy of the world.

I see a value in having them around for more than 20 seconds while they
rot (ie several hours of rotting game time, depending on what happens to
them), but not in saving them over reboots and crashes. You are however
undeniably right that their existance creates opportunities - but if you
have a large amount of killing, and large amount of corpse objects that
use lots of resources (this does hint at poor design for the situtation,
mind!), you have problems too.

The solution that is amicable? make your corpses very simple objects that
use few resources, and have the complex stuff for making the best of the
opportunities elsewhere - also bear in mind the sort of natural cycle that
may develop..
> If the sheer quantity of corpses start to become a problem, then
> players will figure out a solution.  You can encourage this by having
> corpses lieing about the place have negative side-effects on players
> (smell, disease, flies, scavengers, tricking footing, difficulty
> breathing etc).  Sooner or later some player will come up with a
> solution.  Quite possibly he'll start up a mini-business, "5 gold
> pieces and I'll rid your house of corpses!".  This could then turn
> into a side line where he minced ths corpses and sold them for
> fertiliser, or dumped them in the canyon to attract dragons which he
> then lead paid troops of adventurers to attempt, etc etc etc.  

This is really fantastic - trash as a resource in its own right. Moreover,
it requires very little work to achieve, since its largely a social thing.
A player could collect the old corpses from a battle field (a battle
between the centaur and dwarves), and have the skin of the centaurs made
into tan/leather, and the horse body parts chopped up for food. The
dwarves could be shipped back to their people, or simply disposed of.
> The key change in mindset is to look at corpses as a resource, not a
> problem.  Once you view them, or any other "trash" object as a
> resource, the problem then changes to, "What can I create with this?",
> and not, "How do I get rid of it?"

So I see.
> Got a problem with players leaving sticks, branches and other torch
> materials about the land in huge quantity?  Let 'em be.  Sooner or
> later some enterprising soul will start collecting them and building
> houses, cheap wooden armour, shields, *something*.  Ditto for all the
> other detritus.

Yup! This is where one vital change in outlook is a key starting point.
Weapons are NOT separate entities in their own right. ANYTHING you can
lift and swipe with is a weapon! Just a sword is better designed for
cutting than a chair you grabbed in the inn.

	-Matt Chatterley
"Speak softly and carry a big stick." -Theodore Roosevelt

More information about the MUD-Dev mailing list