[MUD-Dev] Optimized Object Storage

Ian Macintosh iman at issystems.co.nz
Sat Dec 18 12:51:51 New Zealand Daylight Time 1999


    > Michael Sellers wrote:
    >
    > > Ian wrote:
    > > Firstly, my opinions.  Let's you know what probably
    > > influences me in certain directions.  I strongly
    > > dislike OOC solutions, or transparently artificial
    > > solutions.  Object decay fits both of those
    > > to my mind, so I dislike it.
    >
    > I'm curious why you see that as an OOC/artificial
    > solution.  Having items
    > remain around forever in perfect condition seems to me
    > to be more
    > artificial.  Isn't it reasonable (not to mention an
    > interesting game
    > mechanic, requiring the player to make meaningful and
    > informed decisions) to
    > put a cost on keeping an item in good working order,
    > and/or giving it a
    > finite useful lifespan?

Hi Michael.

Having a piece of metal armor, kept in a presumed oiled condition, in
a dry environment, and then getting 'a pile of rust' or the even more
generic 'crumbles into dust', is OOC to my mind because it is not
realistic.  Some things do have a 'use by' date.  Others don't.  Just
lumbering everything into the same handling system isn't IC.  Having a
rose and a sword decay at the same rate is ridiculous.

I do not see the necessity of trying to kludge the system either.  For
example, making a player oil the armor, wrap it nicely, then pack it
in a dry safe location.  That is the sort of thing I assume the player
is doing by default.  Adding that onto the requirements is what I call
a kludge.

You can limit things in lots of IC ways.  For example, weight and size
limit you automatically as far as bags and carrying go.  Implement
them rather.  If the player starts hoarding too many boxes, crates,
bags and/or loose items, you can start tripping the player over
things, bring the whole lot crashing down and damage or destroy some
fragile items, and dent and buckle some others.  That's IC.  Even have
the player severely damaged and/or killed in the crash.  After all.
Having a box of swords smash and scatter everywhere, with you most
likely at the bottom, isn't going to be good for the health.  If you
code properly, the player would notice that the first two or three
times that happened, the damage increased dramatically with the amount
of stuff stashed.  If he dies in a subsequent event, he'll know why.
I should probably say she/he, as I've noticed woman tend to hoard
quite a bit more than men do :-)

Another alternative is to have this warehouse box crash cause sparks
to fly, and a fire to start.  Viola.  BIG explosions.  Leave him with
some chunks of melted metal and ash.  Players will think it's IC.  All
of the above are IC to me.  Simple decay isn't.

I don't know if you live in the USA or not, but there have been rather
frequent finds of Spanish Conquistador armor, in excellent condition,
throughout America (especially in dry locations).  That's why I don't
think having carefully stored items last forever is OOC.

Putting a cost on the item's condition maintenance is too much
micro-management to my mind.  You want to gloss over the finer details
as much as possible, so you don't get bogged down in detail.  There's
a very limited amount of fun in that, and the hassle of doing it all
soon makes the game more like work than like play, and you start
loosing players to the competition.

Trying to stop somebody hoarding stuff and forcing them to go
adventuring, for example, is like saying "You've had enough fun now.
I know you enjoy it, but I think you should rather enjoy something
else."  Players are your customers.  Don't try and sell them what you
want to sell, rather sell them more of what *they* want to buy.

I trust that answers your question.

Regards,

Ian.




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