[MUD-Dev] Sustainable Ecosystem
mordengaard at redhotant.com
Thu Jul 20 20:16:06 New Zealand Standard Time 2000
From: <jolson at micron.net>
> It might be necessary to remove or diminish players' incentives for
> killing members of a virtual ecosystem in order for that ecosystem to
> be viable. If there was nothing to gain but a carcass from killing an
> animal, maybe players would stop once they had what they needed.
Ah yes, well, Yhared is a level-less MUD, which rewards the Acheivers among
us by use of Glory points (given when the player completes a quest, wins a
public tournament, or kills a particularly tough opponent). There's nothing
to be gained from wiping out the wild horse populations of the great plains
except perhaps a small amount of money in horse skins (assuming you can skin
well enough) and the wrath of the Plains Elves who's herds they are. Most
of the time the travel and effort involved is simply not worth it.
> Or maybe what's needed is a better simulation of reality, at the
> expense of playability. I'm fairly sure that if I ran after a herd of
> deer while waving a sword around, every one of them would easily escape
> me. Very few animals will stand and fight a group of humans under
> normal circumstances if they have a choice in the matter. If players
> are forced to use realistic means to kill animals (stealth, traps,
> large-group hunting tactics), maybe the animal populations would have a
> more realistic chance at survival.
Actually the majority of the creatures on Yhared are what's commonly
considered "wimpy" (they run once they take a certain amount of damage).
Completely non-aggressive creatures will run at the first sign of hostile
intent, and as you say, unless you're on a fast horse or carrying a fair
sized bow, you're not going to be able to do much damage to the population.
Of course there are exceptions - back any medium to large-sized creature
into a corner and see how deadly they can be. We had an amusing incident
during a phase of testing where a player hunting a boar trapped it in a box
canyon, and thinking it would be an easy kill drew his long knife... his
comrades found him later, draped over the corpse of the boar, almost dead
from blood loss from the multiple gore wounds.
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