[MUD-Dev] Containing automation?

Matthew Mihaly diablo at best.com
Tue Jul 20 15:06:58 New Zealand Standard Time 1999

On Tue, 20 Jul 1999, Timothy O'Neill Dang wrote:

> On Mon, 19 Jul 1999, Matthew Mihaly wrote:
> > 
> > Hmm, yeah, that's true. If you're going to go with an economic system of
> > that type though, why not just let the players hire mobiles to do the
> > grunt work? Assign specialties to each type of work, and have general
> > labourers. Each type of work takes X investment in raw materials and X
> > investment in labour-hours.
> I see what you're saying, since the other style of production is so dull
> and automatable. Unfortunately, if we did what you say above it makes it
> even more dull. It does level the playing field, which is a good thing.
> But it moves the production process up to the level of management
> decisions rather than character actions. Then you're moving into a trade
> war style of game instead.

Hmm, yes, that's true, but is that a bad thing? I suppose if you don't
want it, then it's a bad thing by definition. Although I really don't give
a toss for "realism", it does make sense to have players start out trying
to make a living themselves, and slowly moving up the business food chain,
if they are successful.

I designed a way over-complicated system like this a couple years ago that
would basically allow players to start off doing simple peasant-like
activiies (fishing, hunting, woodcutting) and move up in terms of
complexity through things like running a mill or a farm or an inn, up to
the most complex things (which also required the biggest up-front
investment): vineyard/wineries and commodity exchanges. (I was
particularly amused by my vineyards, which were totally over the top for
anyone but other wine aficianados. It would generate random tasting notes
depending on the quality of the wine, which depended on climate, soil
quality, elevation, time left on vine, etc etc). Anyway,  I've learned a
lot since those days, and haven't really given much thought to how viable
such a system is. It does appeal to me, though I'm sure there are likely
to be problems with such a system that can be pointed out.

> Ideally, I'd like for the production process to be entertaining and
> non-automatable. I'll settle for inoffensive and non-automatable.

Yeah, me too. Entertaining would be nice. Inoffensive would be acceptable. 


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