[MUD-Dev] Law of Resource Congestion

Christian Loth chris at gidayu.max.uni-duisburg.de
Wed Aug 9 20:16:16 New Zealand Standard Time 2000


Greetings,

On Wed, Aug 09, 2000 at 12:13:03AM -0700, Dan Shiovitz wrote:
> 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

Actually it was not my intention to give any judgement. It was just
simple math; thats why I called it 'law' and not 'theorem' or
likewise. You have:

  i
  -
  p

Where i (item) is fixed, and p (playerbase) is growing. Over time,
this is an approximation of 0.

> <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.
> 

I personally don't like either. My opinion of players is, that they
are 'heroes' of a gaming world, and as such should not wear uniforms.
Note, that I don't mind if those are 'powerful' uniforms or
'puny' uniforms. I prefer a gameworld with unique characters,
and as such they should also dress differently.

As a side note: in the law, I never mentioned the quality of
the resource. If players wear equipment like the one you listed
above, these items count as the 'common goods' of the law.

> 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. 
> 

On the other hand: wouldn't it be great for the storyline, if
a unique item became part of the personality of a player? Like
his 'trademark'? Also, wouldn't a feeling of 'uniqueness'
increase motivation of players?

> 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

About customizing items: has anyone ever played the Might & Magic
series? There was a spell in the water-realm, called "enchant item".
It took a normal, non-magical item, and depending on the caster's
skill and the item's quality, a special enchantment was bestowed
on the item.

If you have like 10 materials, 20 different enchantments, and
30 different weapontypes, this already creates a great variety
of 10 * 20 * 30 = 6000 items. This variety almost makes it
unlikely that people walk around in uniforms.


> 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.)

In my MUD, I use the combination idea. There are 80 types of weapons,
and 15 types of materials, freely combinable. Enchantments for those
weapons can be implemented and loaded at runtime with the help of a
plugin mechanism.

This is similar for armors, where I have 20 materials, and 
8 'worksmanships' (sorry, I'm lacking a better word. This is
how materials are crafted to become armors: plate, scales,
rings, etc.). Enchantments are also loadable as a plugin.

If you now abandon the 'strict prototyping' of Diku MUDs,
and add a zone reset concept with a little bit of 'randomness'
(e.g. load a sword, instead of load *the* sword #13451),
this could lead to great variety.

- Chris

--
Christian Loth
Coder of 'Project Gidayu'
Computer Science Student, University of Dortmund
chris at gidayu.mud.de - http://gidayu.mud.de



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