[MUD-Dev] Elder Games

Kylotan kylotan at kylotan.force9.co.uk
Sun Mar 14 03:22:05 New Zealand Daylight Time 1999


Martin C Sweitzer wrote:


>Excerpts from mud-dev: 13-Mar-99 Re: [MUD-Dev] Elder Games by Matthew
>Mihaly at best.com
>> > What things have people used successgully?
>>
>> Well, and I don't intend for this to come off flippantly, but what you
are
>> describing is only a problem if a game is so one-dimensional that the
only
>> goals to achieve are levels. I thik the things people have used
>> successfully are too numerous to detail, but they boil down to making the
>> game multi-dimensional.
>> --matt
>
>great now we have an N dimmensional game.  And we choose the worst case
>of the guy that has mastered all N dimensions.  He has maxLevel in them
>all.  He is the MAN.
>
>So what do these people do?
>
>Your little quip is that you make the game have so many dimensions that
>no one can master them all or get to a point that they are bored.
>People will ALWAYS get to that point.  And that is the "elder game".
>(or they will get to the point where it no longer interesting to "excel
>in the game" they have done all the N dimensions)
>
>What do you do with the people that have mastered it all?  Or have done
>it all either serially or concurrently.

I think one solution is to try and make it so your system does not allow any
single character to master all the different elements to your game.
Restricting characters to a single class is the classic example of this
(although I personally dislike such an approach). A warrior can never be a
master magic-user, priest, assassin or so on.

I believe there is a system that performs much the same function in Ultima
Online, where a single character can never have more than a certain number
(700 perhaps?) of skill points simultaneously.

Neither of these solutions really answer your question on "What do you do
with the people that have mastered it all?", but then again I am not
confident that question can ever be answered satisfactorily. Try asking
yourself "Is there a way I can prevent any one character from mastering it
all?" and implementing that instead.

Of course, this only addresses the problems of a character achieving these
things concurrently. I don't see any way of stopping players making several
characters and 'doing everything' eventually... short of a 'one character
per player rule' (eg. Threshold). If your game is good enough, they will
surely want to do stay around and do this.

I think there is always going to be a finite limit on the mechanical content
of any one game, and so apart from the usual adding of areas, spells, or
other similar feature, you need to make sure it will take a long time to
learn everything. Or, emphasise on the social aspects, which tend to evolve
over time depending on your player base, and which by their very nature
cannot be 'mastered' as such... there are always new people to meet
(assuming your mud is popular of course!)

Kylotan.



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