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

Timothy O'Neill Dang timothy at nmia.com
Thu Sep 16 10:57:50 New Zealand Standard Time 1999


On Wed, 15 Sep 1999, J C Lawrence wrote:

> Players expect, even demand, that the game will always reward them
> for their time investments, and doesn't remove those awards once
> gained.
> 
> This is directly parallel to UOL's fishermen who where incensed when 
> they found out that they could fish all day and not be able to sell
> their caught fish for much more than peanuts.  (Raph, don't you have 
> a law here?)

I forget whether I've commented on this before or not, but there's a
useful way to think about such phenomena (specifically economic actions,
rather than issues of skill gain). A system which encourages
economic activity in general without some sort of contracts for payment
essentially requires everyone to be an entrepreneur. Most folks aren't
used to being entrepreneurs, are not really sure how to do so, and may not
want to do so.

This is a benefit to the constant-rate, unlimited-quantity NPC shopkeeper.
It's the simplest way to code a contract into a game world. With such a
system, a player can choose unpredictability when they want it (selling to
a different shopkeeper, or acquiring some item they don't know the price
of).

Alternatively,an NPC could award variable contracts at different times.
Then short-term predictability would be retained (I would know I was
fishing for a given profit), but dynamic economics would still be allowed.

Obviously, one of the main things which could be useful to support an
inter-player economy is some facility to support enforcable inter-player
contracting.

Contracts will mitigate the problem, but obviously not solve it.
If a player invests great effort in learning bronzesmithing, which becomes
almost totally useless with the onset of ironsmithing, they're going to be
upset. In principle, a thorough system of contracting can handle quite a
number of possibilities, and one could perhaps insure against skill loss.
That probably goes much deeper than most players would have an interest,
however.

------------------------------
Timothy O'Neill Dang/Cretog8
timothy at nmia.com
One monkey don't stop no show




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