[MUD-Dev] better usage through mechanics [from: CGDC dinner]
dave at darkages.com
Thu Mar 16 12:12:34 New Zealand Daylight Time 2000
Raph Koster wrote:
> This leads to a game design challenge. For example, knowing that now, I
> never would have done a use-based system for skill advancement in UO. It
> encourages remaining online.
I heard that Gemstone does something for combat: after so much combat you
become fatigued for several real-life hours.
Embarassingly, I don't know of other games that reduce bandwidth/daily usage
by game mechanics. I imagine you, gentle listmember, may offer examples. I
offer one I know well.
Dark Ages employs a few usage-reduction/subscription-increase strategies
with crafts, quests, religion, and politics :
- One can only do so many crafts, or services, then must wait about the
time one expects to be the next real-life day.
- For religions, you may give thanks to your god each day, which
increases the points you can do--and do more powerful--miracles with when
you entreat your god.
- For politics: support may be given about once per day.
- For each sphere there is a transference activity ('labor, praise
worshipper, support/empower citizen'), whereby your <relevant sphere> points
or points potential are transferred to another user. 
My concern was not for bandwidth, although this happens, but for (1) social
merit and (2) daily involvement.
(1) The players with the most time on their hands are not the ones I
wanted to reward the most in this roleplaying environment.
To every player's benefit, tasks are convenient. For example you can
labor instantly and easily, though the available craft-time is accounted.
(2) I wanted players to play each day (for less amounts of time if that
is their time constraint) so that the community is fluid. For example, I
don't have a lot of time to play myself. Instead of playing several hours
at once on a weekend, I'd rather people like myself play a half an hour each
day, keeping in touch with in-game friends and staying active in the
Dave Kennerly * A world to live in
Game Director * http://www1.darkages.com
 There are, also, several use-base skills. For example: all attack
 Dark Ages has free trial but requires registration to use crafts,
politics, and most anything where transferable points are created.
Otherwise, there is infinite character creation and infinite point
generation that is transferred to one.
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