[MUD-Dev] better usage through mechanics [from: CGDC dinner]

John Bertoglio jb at pulsepoll.com
Fri Mar 17 01:07:47 New Zealand Daylight Time 2000

> -----Original Message-----
> From:  Lovecraft
> Sent: Thursday, March 16, 2000 12:13 PM

> 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 suspect a major bandwidth sink is players who automate boring stuff
to gain levels/skills/etc.

It would be easy in many systems to implement a system where a player could
designate what his/her character will be doing during downtime.

Why stay online and macro when you can get a similar result offline. This
would be especially compelling if the player could apply the credit in a
number of ways.

All the system would have to do is check the last logout time and apply
the "credit" to whatever the player choose to do. You could even forego
the need to predestinate the skills and simply allow the credit to
be applied to whatever goals the player has. You could even allow
advancement to skills requiring consumables (money, reagents, etc.)
like magic at a slow rate. I would be cool to come back from vacation
to find that my mage could now cast the "Flaming Poof Ball of Death".

This would do two good things for commercial (and to a lesser degree,
free games).

First, it would reward people to keep their subscription
going even when they are too busy to play. A serious student (they must
exist somewhere) who did not have time to play during the school year
would be rewarded with a message like: "Welcome back! Bubba has been
busy while you were away. He has the following improvements....". The
alternative would be to let the subscription lapse and start it up
again in the summer.

Second, it would limit mindless playing and macroing.
I suspect even the most die-hard, capitalist game owner would
be pleased if their bandwidth was being sucked by people who are
actually using their game world as it was designed. Couple this
feature with things designed to foil macros and you would have
a winner.

<example cut>

> I
> offer one I know well.
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