[MUD-Dev] Law of Resource Congestion

Dan Shiovitz dans at drizzle.com
Wed Aug 9 00:13:03 New Zealand Standard Time 2000

On Sun, 6 Aug 2000, Christian Loth wrote:
> Christian Loth's Law of Resource Congestion
> -------------------------------------------
>   If your gameworld provides a resource that is limited by an absolute
> number, it will become rare with a growing player base, hence leading
> to resource congestion. Ultimately such resources might be never ever
> again seen in the game. And again ultimately this might lead to a uniform
> playerbase where all players just use the common goods.

This is fine, though, isn't it? There's nothing sillier than one of those
muds where all the high level characters look like

<worn on wrist> a super-31337 magic bracelet
<held> the golden dragonscale shield of Sauron
<wielded> Thor's hammer
<used as hat> the glowing ultra-keen death beanie

Much better to have 99% of everyone's stuff be normal armor and clothing
and that kind of thing, maybe finely crafted but not exceptionally so, and
then some of the people have one or two unique magic artifacts.

You do need a certain amount of resource circulation under this
model; it's no fun if the guy with the Amulet of Invisibility stops
playing. I guess one obvious fix is to not let artifacts leave the game;
even if players can rent & quit, you have to hide your Wand of Death
someplace before renting or it gets dropped in the reception (or
whatever). Which leads to people building houses to hide stuff in and
buying safes and that sort of thing, and other people breaking in and
stealing them. 

You also need the ability to customize normal items, I guess. Has this
been discussed here much? The standard diku thing is letting immortals
"restring" items to change the descriptions arbitrarily, but of course
this doesn't scale. Ultima Online has dyeing, right? Are there other muds
that let you change stuff like this? Put different designs on things and
carve or cut them or whatever? What about more emphasis on creating
different stuff, like making a silk shirt vs a cotton one? (And this I
remember has been talked about, because there was a discussion that people
don't generally go for the 100-gold-piece goose pate over the 5-gold loaf
of bread if they both restore three hunger points. But maybe that changes
when most of the items you have are normal.)

Dan Shiovitz :: dbs at cs.wisc.edu :: http://www.drizzle.com/~dans
"He settled down to dictate a letter to the Consolidated Nailfile and
Eyebrow Tweezer Corporation of Scranton, Pa., which would make them
realize that life is stern and earnest and Nailfile and Eyebrow Tweezer
Corporations are not put in this world for pleasure alone." -PGW

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