[MUD-Dev] Re: online economy behavior (was: Self-organizing worlds)

Adam Wiggins adam at angel.com
Wed Mar 24 16:40:20 New Zealand Daylight Time 1999


On Thu, 25 Mar 1999, Mik Clarke wrote:
> Matthew Mihaly wrote:
> > As you say, in real life, you wouldn't work for 24 hours a day to maximize
> > your earnings potential, but in a mud, it is all-too-easy to do just that
> > with automation. Even without automation, I can't imagine that any mud
> > would require its players to put in a solid 8 or 10 (or 14 if you have a
> > tech industry!) hours a day in order to maintain a reasonable standard of
> > living.
> 
> On many muds you don't do any work at all.  You simply look around for someone
> (a mob) who has something you want and whom you can kill and just murder them
> for it.  Once your character has risen above the level of the lowest level mobs
> with a fairly high ticket item or a lot of loose change, you effectively have
> unlimited funds - you just need to remember to harvest them occasionally (or
> frequently if you need a lot of dosh in a hurry).  This probably has a lot to
> do with the vast imbalance in power between players who are fairly close in
> level.  Most players have a killing range of +/- 5 levels - more than 5 levels
> higher and you can't kill it most of the time, more than 5 levels lower and
> you don't get any xps - but you do get gold and equipment.  The mobs
> posessions don't however reflect this even though they are not organized
> enough to protect themselves.

You could probably solve this with some *very* careful game balance, although
the amount of effort it would take to get it to work properly might be more
than it's worth.  You could make it so that attacking and killing something
takes resources, so it's not worthwhile for "scrubs" unless you are a scrub
yourself.

For example: low level mobiles are things like turtles and giant insects,
with very hard exoskeletons but move slowly and don't do much damage.
Newbies attack them and pound on them with their newbie clubs.
A high-level character will have a nice fine-edged sword, and the amount of
money it would cost to repair the edge of the sword after pounding it on
a turtle's shell would be far more than anything the turtle's hide is worth.
By the same token, a high level mage might require components for their spells,
and thus don't want to cast them on anything unless it's actually worthwhile.

A simpler and more all-encompassing solution would be to simply give bad
"karma" (work it in with your religious system however you like) for every
kill (or attack, for that matter).  You get terrible karma for beating up
on creatures much weaker than you...

A common trick is to have guardians at the entrance to newbie areas that don't
let you in if you're above a certain level.  A nice twist on this that I
saw somewhere was that you could walk *into* the newbie area, but if you
attacked anything there some sort of avenging creature (very tough) swooped
out of nowhere and rescued the scrub mobile...

Adam W.




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