[MUD-Dev] Affecting the world

Matt Chatterley root at mpc.dyn.ml.org
Tue Sep 16 17:13:57 New Zealand Standard Time 1997

On Tue, 16 Sep 1997, Jon A. Lambert wrote:

> On 12 Sep 97 at 15:30, Matt Chatterley wrote:
> > > On Thu 11 Sep, Jon A. Lambert wrote:
> > > 
> > > > So then the question might be:
> > > > Outside of traditional muds, what games attract a large female 
> > > > following?  
> > 
> > Just a side note. How would one define a "traditional mud"?
> Erm. Got me. Ignore my use of "traditional" and gender references 
> and substitute the following:

Sorry, more a nitpick on my part than anything else. :)
> The majority of existing muds allow one to succeed/win/maxout/havefun 
> without any imperative need for player cooperation.  There also exist 
> many varieties of RP-only games (talkers, mushes, etc.) in which 
> success/fun is impossible without player cooperation through social 
> interaction/storytelling/judge adjudication.

I agree this is largely true, especially of the "main stream" muds.
> Perhaps the gist of this is how to design game(s) where player 
> cooperation or interaction is required for success/fun and can be 
> mechanically or automatically adjudicated?

Or where players are 'subtly' thrown together to cooperate against the
> > There are lots of approaches to combat (strangely it always seems to be a
> > key issue in any game beyond a talker): The lo-tech (such as Riverworld
> > *plug* which has no hard set combat system beyond a command enabling you
> > to die with a given reason), hack'n'slash (stock diku, et al), and so
> > forth. Personally I plan on offering combat as 'one means to an end'. It
> > will probably be utterly inavoidable for 99% of players, at one time or
> > another - even a baker could get into the odd scrape!
> > 
> Is there any difference between economic combat, political combat, 
> miltary combat and individual HnS combat?  Could the mechanics of 
> scale make player cooperation imperative?   

Aha. This is where things are interesting. Part of my innate goal towards
an 'adventuring' environment seems to be moving towards require varying
talents within a group that embark on a given adventure - for instance,
the stereotypical D&D groups of fighter/mage/thief/cleric (of course, we
have no classes, but we do have a similar notion, based around the
acquisition of special skills and abilities). Adventuring purely alone
will be limited by the nature of the game (and hired help will be very
expendable, with a short expiry date).

> > Allowing statesment to control taxes / pass laws / commission buildings /
> > regulate guides / raise armies:
> > 
> > I handle this by not preventing it. I refuse to have admin-endorsed PC
> > governments in any form (a personal objection which I feel VERY strongly
> > about), but I do NOT prevent players from assuming power in some sense.
> > The governmental structures in any given place will be semi-invisible NPCs
> > (rarely will actually be present), and if a player wishes to set himself
> > up as being 'ruling body' its fine. Its more feasible to actually mass an
> > army and stomp the town (conquer it), but still. :)
> Yes, but are there mechanical constructs to "enable" it?

Not explicitly. Not all, infact.
> For instance, Bubba is "elected" king of Frobovia.  Bubba decrees a 
> 20% tax on all goods entering Frobovia.
> What are the mechanics in electing Bubba king?  Is this done by 
> players only or in combination/cooperation with mud NPCs?  How does 
> one replace/remove Bubba?  What can Bubba DO as king?  What must 
> Bubba do to hold on to this position?  Is there a way to get 
> "elected" and hold such a position with a minority of player support?

Players wouldn't be kings (or part of such theme) by election (the only
way to become a "king" in that sense is to bash a place and thus assume
the throne), but those players who do assume power (this may be by a
concensus of players - if NPCs disagree strongly, immortals will interfere
behind the scenes by biasing suitable NPCs appropriatly), will have to
enforce what they wish how they wish - by force largely, I would assume.
> Is enforcement of the taxes done through voluntary means?  Or through 
> "player" enforcers?  Or are there NPC guards, custom agents or tax 
> collectors who attempt enforcement?

It would have to be handled as the social dynamic it is (leaving
nonautomated NPC actions to be run behind the scenes by immortals).
> I think the latter enforcment method is more interesting as it gives 
> Bubba some special powers over game constructs which can be sources 
> of player conflict and cooperation.
> > Players could set themselves up to tax / enforce laws on each other, and
> > could request something be added in terms of a building (we are pondering
> > some sort of dynamic building handling). 
> Building/creating of items, structures (outside of magic-use) might 
> require a reasonable implementation of an economic model.  An 
> economic model would generate subsystems of inflation, pricing, 
> supply, demand, labor, competition and cooperation.  This can also be 
> vast sources and sinks of player gold.  Is becoming the mud "bread"
> magnate any less fun than slaying all the orcs?  The "bread" magnate 
> might move on to conquer the dairy market, while the orc-slayer moves 
> on to trolls. :)

Hmm, interesting. ;)


> > Since guilds are largely a social
> > orientational grouping, influencing them is fully possible, and as to
> > raising armies.. that is one of the two main 'high level' options.
> Why not provide guilds with mud mechanical structures and enforcement
> mechanisms?  Allow the guild leadership positions to be occuppied by 
> NPCs and PCs with access to those mechanics.

There will probably be some means for entering the 'higher up' positions
in guilds (since the guild will only be a small group to start with).
Pondering this in more detail at the moment. :)

	-Matt Chatterley
"Smoking is one of the leading causes of statistics." -?

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