[MUD-Dev] Containing automation?

Timothy O'Neill Dang timothy at nmia.com
Tue Jul 20 13:39:52 New Zealand Standard Time 1999

On Mon, 19 Jul 1999, Laurel Fan wrote:

> Excerpts from muddev: 19-Jul-99 [MUD-Dev] Containing automa.. by Timothy
> O. Dang at nmia.com 
> > I'm largely concerned with automation of trade skills...
> Randomness and unpredictability can also be introduced in to trade
> goods.. in the example you give, perhaps the prices of raw materials and
> finished goods can fluctuate, causing a bot to occasionally lose money. 

I'm trying to think about ways to make the production process both more
interesting and less scriptable by including unpredictability. Nothing
brilliant yet.. in fact nothing even clever yet, but I hope to get there.

A number of the things you mention sound like very good ideas but not so
suitable for us for a couple reasons. The one which sounds best is
requiring interaction with other PCs. If, for instance all raw materials
for production come from hunting (a less frequently automated task), and
need to be acquired from the PC who harvested them, that will be difficult
to automate.

We should be able to use that tactic fro some things. Unfortunately, one
of the primary things we're concerned about exploring is different
centralized market institutions for player-player trading. So, if we
implement a commodities trading pit, it will actually be pretty easy to
automate purchases, even though they're ultimately coming from another PC.

> Another way to deter bots is to have muggers who prey on merchants who
> appear to be oblivious to their surroundings...

Some variation on this is my default. The part I dislike about it is that
it seems sooo obvious that it's there to prevent automation. But I can
live with that. I imagine the muggers could be complex enough, and changed
enough, to prevent the bot from responding appropriately.

Still trying to determine PvP issues for the game design. Players
disciplining other players is also a potentially great way to go, but it
opens up the obvious can of worms.

Timothy O'Neill Dang/Cretog8
timothy at nmia.com
H: 505-843-6966
W: 505-244-8803
One monkey don't stop no show

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