[MUD-Dev] Basic principles of reinforcement for muds

Dave Rickey daver at mythicgames.com
Mon Jul 24 10:38:52 New Zealand Standard Time 2000

-----Original Message-----
From: John Hopson <jwh9 at acpub.duke.edu>
To: mud-dev at kanga.nu <mud-dev at kanga.nu>
Date: Sunday, July 23, 2000 9:05 PM
Subject: [MUD-Dev] Basic principles of reinforcement for muds

> It is a famous truism that if the only tool you have is a hammer,
>everything begins to look like a nail.  As an experimental psychologist by
>day, I tend to see the various ways muds can be set up in terms of
>reinforcement contingencies.  It occurs to me that some of the findings
>from experimental psych can be used to help design better, more effective
>muds.  The following is a sample of the kind of thing I'm talking about.
>If you find this interesting and/or helpful, please tell me so I'll know to
>keep posting similar stuff.
     I found this very interesting, actually....  Reading it, it struck me
that although we hadn't been putting it in those terms, with Camelot's PvE
we were taking basicly EQ gameplay, and adapting it from an FR and FI system
to a VR and VI system.  Lots of little things that were adding up to the
same thing: a move away from fixed rewards to more variable rewards.  For
example, in EQ, the fundamental mob respawn algorithm says "pop something
here every X minutes" and the only variability is in what pops there, the
exact point where it will pop and the time at which something will is
totally predetermined.  In Camelot, the system fundamentally assumes a
random element in time, every X interval there is Y chance of popping a mob,
and where that mob will pop is usually an area rather than a point.

    By the same token, there are "toys" that are associated with major NPC's
in both games, but in Camelot, there will be a slight chance of that toy
appearing on any of the mobs logically associated with the "boss" that would
normally carry it.

    Very interesting, I'm going to be printing out your message and showing
it around here.

--Dave Rickey

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