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

J C Lawrence claw at under.engr.sgi.com
Wed May 6 11:18:52 New Zealand Standard Time 1998


On Fri, 1 May 1998 17:12:36 -0500 
Koster, Raph<rkoster at origin.ea.com> wrote:

> On Friday, May 01, 1998 2:30 PM Dr. Cat [SMTP:cat at bga.com] said:

> Yep, that's a pretty correct assessment of it. We changed game
> mechanics because the old ones were not working out. I'd be very
> curious to hear how other list members handle this problem, which I
> am sure has arisen for them as well. Any mud that's constantly
> adding things ends up with rebalancing necessary, and inevitably the
> advancement curves, average wealth, etc etc of players changes
> depending on when they began playing...

The classical text MUD solution of course is a pfile wipe.

> FWIW, we don't use any such justification. We just make the change
> and say something along the lines of, "we're making houses more
> expensive because there are too many of them in the world and it's
> hampering play for server load reasons and for aesthetic/place space
> reasons." I don't see "realism" as much of a crutch for design
> decisions either, I'm quite in agreement with you on that.

I always liked the approach:

  "Hey guys I went and changed the rules like so-and-so.  Why?  Umm,
'cause I did.  Have fun now ya'hear!"

That given a quick archive search reveals how rarely I've applied that 
to this list.  Sorta.  Its presentation is a lot more socially
acceptable,, but the mechanics are the same.

>> I think making a game that accentuates the difference between
>> old-timers and newcomers strongly is a bad idea commercially.  It
>> makes it so that your customers from your first few months are the
>> most likely to be satistisfied, and so it's a lot harder to grow
>> your customer base with new players after that.  Artistically I
>> think it's a bad idea too.

> I agree with that too. We went to great lengths in UO to minimize
> this, but we faced the competing pull of "advancement" which is of
> course a very valuable part of any game framework. We pushed
> "alternative forms of advancement" such as ownership and access to
> greater range of activities, but nonetheless retained enough
> traditional advancement and acquisition of power that it still is
> somewhat of a problem. A gang of newbies can however take out an
> advanced player, with losses. Which is better than many level-based
> systems, anyway. Not perfect by any means.

Translation:

  X starts early and establishes a significant lead.

  It is important to allow Y, who started later, ability to remove
that lead thru __other__ means (socio-political, forming gangs,
whatever), or to allow Y (who started later) to establish a
significant lead in a different field.

RL tends to do this by constantly changing the ground rules such that
"power" in one contingent doesn't map well into power in another area.
Really good boxers don't tend to also be well paid programmers, or oil
tycoons the founders of fast food chain empires.

--
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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