[MUD-Dev] Re: PK and my "Mobless MUD" idea

J C Lawrence claw at under.engr.sgi.com
Fri May 1 14:35:34 New Zealand Standard Time 1998

On Tue, 28 Apr 1998 21:59:13 -0700 
John Bertoglio<alexb at internetcds.com> wrote:

> From: Jay Sax <cimri1 at gte.net>:

> Some good ideas here but doing this *right* will run you right into
> the "UO Wall". The failure of *realistic* economic models is based
> on two major problems:

> (1) Players will screw it up. UO had a great system on paper. But
> players messed it up by hoarding creatures in stables and a host of
> other goofy things

I have a had time with the idea that such player activities
necessarily "screw it up".  It smells to more more like insufficient
feedbacks and dependencies.  Sufficient hoarding *should* result in
catastrophic deflation which spreads infectiously across the system.

Of course the challenge is to create a system which tends toward
balance and doesn't catastrophically deflate or inflate due to minor
player pecadillos.

> Gotta have seasons...how else would you know what herbs to look for? 
> I got permission from a fellow with a huge database of real and
> fantasy herbs to use it in my world. It allows you to select by
> terrain and/or season and rarity to determine what herbs are
> available.

Care to point us at said DB?

> Or you let it build itself. Or you say every town had a
> dungeon/catacomb/sewer. Seed it and watch it grow when the town is
> established. That is, one day the number of square meters of
> buildings hits a certain limit and , boom, new stuff is discovered.

*This* idea has some really neat implications, which closely parallel
and extend some of the areas of predictive generation that have been
discussed here.  

  Footpads: The number of game-generated footpads on a road is a
function of the total user-traffic on that road.

  Cutpurses: The number of game-generated cut-purses in any gathering
of players is a function of the size of the gathering.

etc.  Doing this on an area level with large scale generated
constructs becomes extremely interesting.  I whiffs of a wonderful old 
SF short where dieties only came into existance when a large enough
supporting (devout or not) population existed.

Hurm.  One could also do this with more subtle interactions:

  The small village of Wonka lies on a tiny twisted track deep in the
mountains.  Whoops!  Suddenly gold is discovered in them thar hills,
and hordes of players wend the twisted track.  Couple days later said
twisted track is no more.  Instead an 8 lane LA-style freeway fumes
thro the mountain fastness.  

  The city of Mushface lies at the foot of the great mountain BigRock.
The citizens of Mushface worship the great mountain God, DoughNose.
One day a killing horde levels the city and decapitates the entire
population.  Over the next few days the huge mountain BigRock turns
into a flat grassy plain due to the absence of worshippers to elevate

or, perhaps more believably:

  The small fishing village of Codsmack suddenly finds itself deluged
with adventuring players using it as a gateway into the dangerous
mountains beyond.  Responsively the system builds roads to other
nearby towns and villages (which react in similar if lesser fashion),
grows the tiny mud hut village into a large gleaming stone city,
populates it self with inns and merchant quarters, builds large
wharves, shipping fleets and navies etc (cf the early history and
growth of San Francisco) all in reponse the the player-thruput.  The
underlieing model would be that where there are playres, there are
invisible NPC's.  Where there is traffic, money is spent, and
resources are consumed.  Where money is exchanged and resources
consumed there is an opportunity for mercantile operations.  Etc etc

>> I'd like to see this implemented.  Or something similar.  It seems
>> to me if one simply steps back far enough by creating all the
>> systems to support creation, combination, fabrication,
>> experimentation, discovery and all those neat things so many of us
>> love to do, then let the world be defined by those systems.

> This has been a constant theme from JC and JL. 

You noticed!

> "Does this (feature, idea, coding, graphic, etc) advance the feeling
> that you are living and moving through a fantasy world of heroic
> fiction."

First question: Is the purpose of the game to create the sense that
the player is living and moving through a fantasy world of heroic

For me: no.  Others vary.

J C Lawrence                               Internet: claw at null.net
(Contractor)                               Internet: coder at ibm.net
---------(*)                     Internet: claw at under.engr.sgi.com
...Honourary Member of Clan McFud -- Teamer's Avenging Monolith...

MUD-Dev: Advancing an unrealised future.

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