[MUD-Dev] A place of my own

Ola Fosheim Grøstad <olag@ifi.uio.no> Ola Fosheim Grøstad <olag@ifi.uio.no>
Fri Sep 26 00:16:33 New Zealand Standard Time 1997


"Jon A. Lambert" <jlsysinc at ix.netcom.com> wrote:
>I think this topic deserves it's own little time in the sun.  

>Should players have houses, castles, furniture, hirelings, etc.?

In som of my interviews (on Meridian59 beta) I asked some users how
they would feel about having their own house. I believe a common
attitude was that having their own place was a good reason for
pay-to-play.  I believe it is essential to create a feeling of
belonging in the world.  In LPs users seems to spend quite some time
designing their workroom, in muds with buildingcapabilites building
your own home could be good training for building in common areas.

>How does one go about obtaining this good stuff?

I'd say it should be within reach after 100 hours of online activity.

>Can it be built by the player, purchased, rented, designed?

I believe that personal homes should be owned by the user just like
his avatar. It should also be customizable, and customization should
be easy. Just like the avatar the user probably will feel that his
home is a part of himself if he spends some time customizing it. I
know I would quit playing a mud if the admin/system destroyed a
workroom I had spent several days drawing and programming.  It would
be as if they attacked my person.  However, I guess a rental approach
with an option to buy is ok.

Grouphomes or guildhomes could probably be rented, because you would
not be alone in your misery if you should loose it. Besides they could
gang up and have their revenge. (like forcing the new inhabitants to
move)

>What security mechanisms can a player place in his own space?

I believe it should be 100% secure, especially if the user is inside.
If not it would not be a good place for sensitive personal chatting.
When the user is away I guess one could go for a 100% secure small
chest (for storage of affectionate items, love letters etc)

>How much maintenance and upkeep is required?

To avoid heaps of unused homes, I guess you could have poor NPCs
walking around the doorsteps of your house if you don't use it much.
If you don't chase them away they will gradually take over your house,
steal your belongings. I'm not sure what to do with the chest? Have
some authority take it and throw it into some lost+found storage?

The rest of your questions are dependant on the semantics of your
game/world.

Some ideas of security is to allow the user to subscribe to sercurity
services. The police will come and arrest the offenders. Or to
maintainance services. Gardners and carpenters will maintain your
house as long as your bank balance is good. One could provide
different services, with some tradeoffs (like one gardner will eat all
your carrots, one carpenter will change your wallpapers to a nasty
colour etc, giving the npcs some personality) 

Another idea is to let the user by robots/npcs that watch/maintain
your house.  Whenever something goes wrong, your original design is
kept as a blueprint, and they do their best to satisfy that blueprint.
They might do funny things though, like replacing a door with a window
if only windows are available, etc. (again to add personality, and
disadvantages to not doing it yourself)

Ola.



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