[MUD-Dev] The Best Guy on the Mud Thing

Ilya Ilya
Tue Aug 31 11:04:34 New Zealand Standard Time 1999

On Tue, 31 Aug 1999 17:26:44 +0200, Ola Fosheim Gr stad wrote:

))Dundee wrote:
))> But that, in turn, really screws the people who don't play very often... so
))> now I have this sort of half-baked idea to base skill success on the rate
))> of use of the skill over some unit of time.  If you logout, your rate of
))> usage wouldn't change, but if you stop using a skill and continue playing,
))> then your rate of use would drop - and measured relative to the other
))> players rates of use, that would result in a lowering of your skill.
))> Ehrm... what a nightmare that would be.  Well it is half-baked.  Maybe
))> we'll just stick-in some classes.
))It would fry social players.
))Anyway, some possible main goals based on what you wrote:
))1. Player A, who only play (say) 6 hours a week, should experience
))reasonable progress over a (say) 3 months period.
))2. Player B, who play play 80 hours a week, should experience reasonable
))progress over a 3 months period.
))3. Player A should be able to feel like a peer of B.
))4. Players should be allowed to choose and change their play style without
))perceived punishment.
))Doesn't 1-3 suggest that you should look into making a more diverse system
))that provide some mechanisms that favour B (playtime over real time), and
))some that favour A (real age over playtime)?

I've given some thought to the whole range of play styles (often or rarely, 
short or long visits).  It seems to me that the desire to make things somehow
even for these widely varying groups, though noble, is ultimately hopeless.

I have toyed with various ideas to try to ameliorate this, and so I'd like
to hear what Ola has to suggest, in case I hadn't thought of it!  All in all,
I think this is pretty much a non-problem.  Yes, some people can play more
and "get ahead" in the hack-n-slash games.  But they also get bored at higher 
levels, and have other problems.  So let them!

Along the lines of things to do, if one decides to try something --

Some games (not ORPGs, but it could be used there too I'm sure) provide
certain benefits for not playing too often.  This seems contrived to me.
"If your next visit is at least 24 hours from now, you will receive a
reward from your people!"

Some restrict all benefits to play time -- that is, you log your time,  you
get your goodies (points, exp, skills, gold, whatever).  What you actually
_do_ during that play time matters not at all in terms of these rewards.
You may gain other rewards by what you do in play, but not this particular
kind (probably experience).

At least one game system I can recall also gave time-based rewards, but
they were given whether you played or not.  So everybody got their level a
day, or 1000 exp a week, or whatever.  Time just marched on.  I like this
one in a sense, especially if combined with a sort of off-line persistence
for characters themselves.  So you'd have to take serious steps to protect
your character while you were way!  Hire npc guards, set up nasty traps,
build impressive keeps, or whatever you do, but stay alive till you can

My favorite idea on this was that you just create several instances of
your game, each designed for a particular time-line style of play.  So
you'd have the "unlimited" game, where people could play as much as
they liked.  And then there would be the "4 hour a day" game, and the
"2 hour a day" and the "hour a day" and maybe "4 hours a week" and
so on.  People could enter wherever they liked, but would have to stay

As I said, I am not too worried about disparities between players at
different rates of play.  The same disparities exist for players who
start playing weeks or months later than other players.  You can't
get rid of that, I think, so why worry?  Provide interesting ways
that you can both gain _and_ lose in gameplay, sure.  Or put in
stuff like my little social status system I've been puttering with
and wrote about elsewhere.  Anything more like trying to "make things
fair" or "make things even" is, I fear, doomed to failure.



  Ilya, Game Commandos     http://www.gamecommandos.com     

MUD-Dev maillist  -  MUD-Dev at kanga.nu

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