[MUD-Dev] The Virtual Ecology

Greg Miller gmiller at classic-games.com
Mon Jul 26 16:33:56 New Zealand Standard Time 1999

"Ilya, SCC, Game Commando" wrote:
> As a species or animal group dwindles in size, it's harder and harder to
> find, and the things that rely on it begin to suffer, and all that other
> stuff we read about in the eco books.

Indeed, life in the real world is so resilient that 1, 10, or 1000
extinctions rarely makes a noticeable difference, but if life in your
simulation is more fragile than in reality, you can get some desirable
differences from reality.

> I think it's fair to say that experience systems could profit from
> being made broader than fight/kill/grow/repeat anyway, so make sure there
> are plenty of other rewarding possibilities for things to do.

The key problem is that all mobs have a certain amount of an abstract
resource called "xp" and little else. If a species goes extinct, so
what? Differentiating species would make a world of difference.

> In short, I think the system can be made to be at least somewhat self
> correcting.  This may mean that the self-correction includes starvation
> for the playing community!  Of course this may mean the person who 

Potential problem: The check in real life to the elimination of too much
prey is an elimination of some of the predators. If the predators are
paying customers (or if you just want a large player base), predator
die-offs (that is, players quitting your mud) could be problematic. :)
That limits your ability to implement any sort of player "starvation".
Conspiracy theorists mistakenly assume others think before acting.
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