[MUD-Dev] Minimum community sizes

Dan Root dar at thekeep.org
Mon Feb 28 19:49:13 New Zealand Daylight Time 2000

In message <11A17AA2B9EAD111BCEA00A0C9B4179303D6E33C at molach.origin.ea.com>, "Ko
ster, Raph" writes:
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: Dan Root [mailto:dar at thekeep.org]
>> Sent: Monday, February 28, 2000 4:01 PM
>> To: mud-dev at kanga.nu
>> Subject: [MUD-Dev] Minimum community sizes
>> At what point do you cease to have a real community and 
>> revert to a couple
>> of people who are friends or acquaintences governed by 
>> multiplepersonal
>> interactions, rather than an group entity governed by social dynamics?
>"A few people governed by multiple personal interactions" scales up to a
>couple dozen at most, and certainly social dynamics can be observed in a
>group of three. :)

Ah, true.  I suppose I should clarify the question then.

At what point do administrators generally start to find themselves
considering seperate groups as single entities, rather that concerning
themselves with only indiviuals.

For example:

	On newly-opened BrandNewMud, there are only a dozen regular
	players, normally on in groups of four or five.  When Bubba 
	the admin decides make a major change to game balance, he can 
	think about all of them and consider the outcome of his 

	EstablishedMud, now a year old and with a couple hundred normal
	players, has a couple dozen of whom might be online any given night.
	Bubba and his friends that run the mud decide to make a similar
	change.  Now they consider Boffo and his cronies, who have taken up 
	the role of the PKers on the mud, plus Billy and his friends who
	hang out and chat most of the time, and a bunch of faceless players
	who just play the game, but don't seem to get involved in anything

	SuperDuperMUD, now around for many years and with a player base
	ranging into the tens of thousands, with hundreds active at any one 
	time, attempts to implment another change.  Bubba and his multi-level 
	staff no longer consider individuals players at all, they consider 
	only groups, such as the several PKer clans, the five distinct 
	primary social groups, and seven clans of regular players.

My question was more along the lines of: when do these changes generally
happen, in the experience of mud-dev members?   A dozen people?  Two-dozen?
A hundered?  Obviously there is no "right" answer, just like there's no
concrete answer to when trying to keep everyone a single community seems to

What (little) I know of classic sociology, and what I've seen here states
that you can't grow a single community much past 200 people without
fragmenting.  But I've seen relatively little on how small you can go and
still have a community, as opposed to just a collection of individuals.

/* Dan Root   -   XTEA cipher */  static unsigned D=0x9E3779B9,l=0xC6EF3720,s;
/* t=64bit text, k=128bit key */  #define m(x,y) ((x<<4^x>>5)+(x^s)+k[s>>y&3])
void enc(int*t,int*k){for(s=0;s!=+l;){t[0]+=m(t[1],0);s+=D;t[1]+=m(t[0],11);}}
void dec(int*t,int*k){for(s=-l;s!=0;){t[1]-=m(t[0],11);s-=D;t[0]-=m(t[1],0);}}

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

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