[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.

:> 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

:> 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.


:> 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

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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