[MUD-Dev] A place of my own

Marian Griffith gryphon at iaehv.nl
Fri Sep 26 19:49:12 New Zealand Standard Time 1997

On Thu 25 Sep, Jon A. Lambert wrote:
> On 25 Sep 97 at 8:12, Caliban Tiresias Darklock wrote:
> > I for one think there's a BIG need for people to have their own space in a 
> > game... potentially something like a barracks, where you the player would 
> > log in and create you the character. If you died, you would go back to your 
> > barracks and make a new character. If you wanted to log off, you would go 
> > back to your barracks and quit. People need a place for their stuff, you 
> > know?

> > Potential problem: player takes really good character and goes out 
> > gathering really good equipment. Leaves equipment and a lot of money in the 
> > barracks. Character goes out and gets killed. Player makes new character 
> > and gathers up nifty equipment and piles of gold. *Is* this a problem? Is 
> > it any less of a problem if player has a friend whose character gives him 
> > that same stuff out on the street? Is that somehow prohibited?

It is easy to assume that said equipment is left available in the barrack
as soon as the player leaves, to be used by all other players of the same
affiliation.  That way a player can not 'collect' loads of nice equipment
and gold.  At least not for herself,  unless she wants to play a solitary
character and then she will have to worry about hiding her possessions if
she leaves the game.

> I think this topic deserves it's own little time in the sun.  
> I am highly interested in this aspect of virtual worlds and I suspect 
> that there may be many others.  So off the top-of-me-head a few
> questions:

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

Yes. It's an incentive to play that would remain interesting much longer
than amassing experience points by killing mindless creatures.

> How does one go about obtaining this good stuff?

My guess would be by learning the appropriate skill and to start build-
ing.  Of course that requires materials, tools and sufficient room. And
then they have to worry about maintenance of the place. Or if they made
themselves some kind of weapon or clothing or whatever, about the wear.

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

I would consider that the only viable solution.  Not many players would
be interested in hiring a house  that can not be distinguished from the
other twenty such houses in the same street. And players who are not in
the least interested in learning to build houses should be able to rent
or buy it from a player who learned the craft.  If there is enough var-
iety in skills some form of trade becomes inevitable.

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

Buy a lock from a good locksmith.  Or hire guards. Or build a room that
is really well hidden so no thief will find it. If the game is detailed
there should be plenty of ways to protect your property.

> Locks, guards, wards, safes, dungeons, chests, secret passages, 
> walls, windows, etc.?

All of the above :)

> How many rooms, locations, lands, gardens, shops, farms, etc. ?

As many as they can afford to maintain. A minor case of taxation by the
system would be in order. It both keeps the number of rooms down and it
keeps the amount of money in the game down. And of course if encourages
a certain amount of economy in the game. Preferably not enough that for
the average players with moderated building desires,  maintaining those
becomes impossiple.  But the player who wants to own a palace or a city
should have to work very hard at doing so,  or find inhabitants she can
tax to pay the upkeep for the palace or town.

> What can a player keep there, how about a family, spouse, kids, 
> brothers, sisters, parents?

Anything really. The idea of having a family is very nice and it offers
a wide avenue of roleplaying options,  that are absent  in the ordinary
mud.  It also makes it easy to overcome  the main disadvantage of truly
unique equipment, that when the player owning that leaves it is gone.

> How about peasants, slaves and other hirelings?  Livestock anyone?

Again,  all of the above,  with the possible exception of slaves.  When
players can have slaves then it would make sense that other players can
be enslaved as well, and that is something that nobody would enjoy in a
game. Livestock probably would be a must, if there is anything remotely
like an economy in the game.  Meat (and income) have to come from some-
thing after all.

> Does a players property produce stuff or resources?  

Depending on the skill involved in operating it I think.  To own a farm
it makes sense if the player is skilled in farming, and makes an income
from that, enough to pay the upkeep or the taxes,  and hopefully enough
to put a little money aside to enlarge the farmstead in the future.

> How much maintenance and upkeep is required?

That is a difficult question. It should be there but not enough that it
becomes a drudgery. And players should be able to hire others to do the
maintenance.  In my thinking that is not the same.  The game should tax
some money to keep houses and unique equipment around,  just to prevent
players from hoarding it.  Everyday usage should slowly destroy things,
unless they are being repaired regularly.

Yes - at last - You. I Choose you. Out of all the world,
out of all the seeking, I have found you, young sister of
my heart! You are mine and I am yours - and never again
will there be loneliness ...

Rolan Choosing Talia,
Arrows of the Queen, by Mercedes Lackey

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