[MUD-Dev] Re: MUD-Dev digest, Vol 1 #142 - 4 msgs

Marian Griffith gryphon at iaehv.nl
Sat Aug 21 10:56:01 New Zealand Standard Time 1999


On Wed 18 Aug, Greg Miller wrote:

> "Koster, Raph" wrote:

> > I view simulated economies as anathema entirely. This is also a huge shift.
> > I am much more interested now in letting a REAL economy develop by
> > simulating as little as possible. People will do the work your code would
> > have done--only better.

But only if you have a lot of players. For a game like UO it is possible
to have players run  the entire economy.  For smaller games  there is no
choice but simulate the economy and have players fit in somehow.

> Indeed, this is an important distinction that isn't always made. It
> comes down to whether you try to participate (through NPCs and other
> agencies that you control to various degrees) or simply provide players
> with the tools and let the chips fall where they may.

Which has its own  inherent dangers.  There is a very thin line  between
player control and gang-world... Anarchy is a brutal system when some of
the players  do not want to play nicely by the rules.  It all comes down
to the fact  that in the end  there is very little players can really do
to somebody  who wants to make trouble.  Often  it also comes at a price
other players may not be willing to pay. (e.g. the taylor's dilemma).

> This same issue arises with in-game justice systems. A lot of people
> fail to make the distinction between a system where admins attempt to
> make the game detect good and bad behavior and punish players vs. a
> system where players make those decisions and simply have tools with
> which to deal with each other. I think there's a very fundamental
> difference between a system where people get tagged with KILLER and
> THIEF flags (or negative reputation points) and one where players set
> bounties on each other or "vote" on each others' reputations.

There is a fundamental similarity as well:  both systems fail  with suf-
ficiently motivated troublemakers  (and sooner or later you are going to
encounter one of those).

> Indeed, and this is good. PGs enjoy learning the ins and outs of a
> complex system and how to use it to their advantage. RPers, on the other
> hand, are probably not there for the ecologies and economies. They want
> a chance to play a role in some story, and such a simulation doesn't add
> much (if anything) for them.

It probably adds  more to the game for roleplayers  than it adds for the
powergamers.  A game with  a detailed simulated ecology and economy  has
more depth to it, and thereby provides more chances to interact with the
game. Even if you can not affect anything, it still helps if in the game
the townsfolk  go about their daily routines.  It allows the roleplayers
to do the same, building a character and history to fit in the gameworld
If everything is simulated  then it may be possible that when the normal
behaviour is interupted the townsfolk react more or less predictably. In
most muds  the townsfolk ignore the invasion of orcs and stand around as
they are slaughtered.  In a simulated world alarmbells will toll and the
city guard will rush in to stop the invaders, while the townsfolk scream
and run for cover.  The end result may be the same but the simulation is
much more interesting to a roleplayer  (while a powergamer may ignore it
as he is only interested in fighting the orcs,  not the townsfolk who to
him are superfluous).

Marian
--
Yes - at last - You. I Choose you. Out of all the world,
out of all the seeking, I have found you, young sister of
my heart! You are mine and I am yours - and never again
will there be loneliness ...

Rolan Choosing Talia,
Arrows of the Queen, by Mercedes Lackey




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