[MUD-Dev] Affecting the world

Nathan Yospe yospe at hawaii.edu
Wed Sep 17 11:21:10 New Zealand Standard Time 1997


On Tue, 16 Sep 1997, Matt Chatterley wrote:

:On Wed, 17 Sep 1997, Jon A. Lambert wrote:
:> Might I call them 'solo-hack-n-slash' muds?

:Since I would depict this as 'one type' of game, I have no objection. This
:is also quite a good term as it is simple, and fully self explanatory.

We've been dealing with four elements lately: group dynamics, methods of
play/advancement toward goals, social dynamics, and world dynamics. As far
as I can tell, S/HnS is zero GD, combat-oriented goals, unspecified SD, 
and generally minimal WD.

:> > Or where players are 'subtly' thrown together to cooperate against the
:> > environment.

:> Yep.  Being subtle is a key element.  Player's should be given the 
:> opportunity of discovering these subtle mechanics.  Once the 
:> subtleties are known and repeatably exercised dynamics may change.

So make them impossible to determine short of an effort similar to that of a
RL physicist?

:Yup. Subtlety is very important (even if I can't spell it). I suspect
:players would complain if there were a written stipulation that they play
:in teams of certain numbers - whereas if the game nudges them into doing
:so, very few will harbour such a grumble.

True.
 
:> Direct group mechanics.  Your adventuring party would fall within 
:> this category, as well as haggling, bartering, trading, socializing 
:> at the individual level.

:Yup. Something along the lines of 'shared and unshared skills and
:abilities' too?

How about things like accidental trapping of another player in your bear
trap?

:> Indirect group mechanics.  Economy, ecology, politics.  

:Eg, things with globally reaching influence, both social and actual?

Engineering a plague.

:> A simple but odd example:
:> 1) Players kill all the cats in Ithaca or King Bubba decrees all cats 
:> are illegal.
:> 2) Rat population increases.  
:> 3) Grain storage decreases. 
:> 4) Disease chance increases.
:> 5) Bread prices inflate. 
:> 6) Population begins to decline.
:> 7) Boffo makes a killing importing dogs from Troy.
:> 8) The alchemist Al finds en excellent source of income in selling 
:> poisons. 
:> 9) Bob starts a grain import business.
:> 10) Perhaps at some threshold the peasants revolt and depose King 
:> Bubba or attempt to lynch the offending players. 
:> 11) Bob goes bankrupt. 
:> 12) Boffo now imports cats as well.
:> 13) Bread prices deflate.
:> 14) Al has stumbled onto something a bit more deadly...
:> ...

:Woah. :)

I like this. A lot.

:[Snip]

:> Part of the problem with the solo-hack-n-slash mud is the ability for 
:> characters to become jack-of-all-trades.  There are a few likely 
:> causes.  Skill advancement is too fast and there are so few really 
:> used/useful skills available that it's easily possible to build the 
:> perfect character in short order through min/maxing, remorting, etc.

:Definitely! I intend for PCs to only be able to become proficient in
:chains of things which make 'sense' together (by implementing something
:along the lines of skill decay, in part).

My skill webs are of this sort. Decay, but even more important, relational
maintainance of skills. If a set of related skills support each other, the
tendancy is toward maintaining one or two major sets of skills.
 
:> You mention the amassing of player armies.  The cost and logistics in 
:> labor and resources would be vast.  The effects of this on local 
:> economies can be both explosive and devastating, even excluding the 
:> effects of actual warfare (the old guns or butter issues).  Then 
:> there's those elusive things called morale, training, and readiness 
:> which might make it all for naught.  

:Absolutely. This will probably work over long periods of time (both real
:and virtual), and from a small point up. If you have the money to finance
:a large or modest army from scratch, good for you - if you can't, you need
:to work up from something smaller. For instance, Robin Hood's merry men,
:or a band of thugs (synonymous with each other, based on your
:perspective).

Not to mention the results of armies looting as they move for food, or to
screw the enemy... in fantasy, this becomes a major issue. (In sci-fi, it
does as well, but in other ways.)
 
:> > 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. :)
 
:> I was thinking along the lines of traditional medieval occupational 
:> guilds and other organizations like schools, universities, political 
:> and religious institutions, in addition to player implemented 
:> societies.  Some might be already in-place thematic constructs and 
:> while others might be primarily social player constructs.

:Could be interesting. Think along the line of the guilds in Pratchett's
:Discworld books. ;)

Flautist playing without a licence walks with a stiff gait? (I feel sorry for
the tuba player. Not to mention the drummer.)

I'd like to see someone set up a seamstresses' guild. Mrs. Palm in a mud?
--

"You? We can't take you," said the Dean, glaring at the Librarian.
"You don't know a thing about guerilla warfare." - Reaper Man,
Nathan F. Yospe  Registered Looney                   by Terry Pratchett
yospe at hawaii.edu   http://www2.hawaii.edu/~yospe           Meow




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