[MUD-Dev] "Social control", was butthead features

clawrenc at cup.hp.com clawrenc at cup.hp.com
Wed Sep 3 18:39:51 New Zealand Standard Time 1997

In <c=US%a=_%p=EA%l=MOLACH-970827233734Z-77296 at molach.origin.ea.com>,
on 08/27/97 
   at 04:38 PM, "Koster, Raph" <rkoster at origin.ea.com> said:

>In the context of this list, though, I was more curious about general
> design flaws or loopholes, rather than specifics like the above
>(which  I'd just call a bug). For example, we found a problem related
>to  "social control" measures like reputation systems in that remote 
>regions such as farms or villages are unprotected to the extent that 
>towns are, tend to predictably have a supply of fresh victims to 
>butcher, and offer enough sustenance to make players not need towns
>at  all. So players were able to live quite comfortably with the
>negative  infamy without feeling any repercussions.

>To an extent this is desirable in that you want lawlessness to take 
>control of the wilderness--I think both UO and DSOII have that as a 
>goal--yet you don't want the utter scum to have free run of the place
> and suffering *no* ill-effects from their standing, and on top of 
>that, more powerful than everyone else simply because they are
>willing  to exploit the (as designed) system. There needed to be some
>downside  to that situation--either periodic guard raids, or
>something that  makes them need to risk their neck, etc. At the very
>least a downside  needed to exist to provide continued risk (read
>"challenge and fun")  to the folks who figured out this trick.

First thought:

 The majors from the local area glom (lord of the manor, earl, duke
whatever), periodically launch or commission surveys of their lands
(tax gathering?).  If such a survey happens on an overly troubled area
they will either detach a contingent to watch over the area (guard)
for a while, or send a runner back to town for a contingent to occupy
it for a while.

Increased trouble in that area then leads to a simplistic calculation
between tax revenue and importance of area against cost of outpost. 
This can of course be weigthed with human-determined stategic scores
(on the road to major city == high weight, middle of nowhere == low or
negative weight, etc).  More trouble then either leads to a greater
population of guards etc in the outpost, or an abandonment of the area
to lawlessness.

Most interestingly perhaps for what I understand of your system (Or
was that Chatterly?) is that this could also be extended to the
concept of borders between nations/city states etc.  Thus border forts
would semi-naturally spring up or decline as the unrest along a border

Underlay the whole thing with resource economies and it could get
really cute.

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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