[MUD-Dev] Law of Resource Congestion

Andy andy at mouseclick.demon.co.uk
Sat Aug 12 17:53:51 New Zealand Standard Time 2000

----- Original Message -----
From: Christian Loth <chris at gidayu.max.uni-duisburg.de>
To: <mud-dev at kanga.nu>
Sent: Sunday, August 06, 2000 12:01 PM
Subject: [MUD-Dev] Law of Resource Congestion

> 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.

Have you ever heard of a term King of the Hill? Its most recently used
in Quake mods for a style of game play where one player has a special
talent or weapon that the other players seek buy trying to kill that player.
By making anyone who carries these weapons targets can make for
some interesting game play.  It also seeks to restore some balance too,
since though this player now has an exceptionally powerful weapon
he/she now also has allot more potential enemies.

Ther are of course going to be items that are not powerful in themselves
but that you want to keep alive in players memories/imaginations.
In these cases and the one above use a rumour based system to either
help track the item or at least keep players aware of its existence.

Also try changing the no loot feature.  If a player dies or is knocked
unconscious then allow the looting of items was holding or perhaps
even wearing.  Don't make it to easy i..e "You are unable to prise the
sword from the corpses hand."

You can also make the item slippery i.e. if the player is gone for a long
period of time then the item will be lost in some made up event.  I
would suggest having an insurance system, so that a player who
loses such a treasured possession can seek out the local guards
and report its loss. The player will then receive compensation
for the loss of the item.  A number of scenarios are that the player
reconnects and wakes up in some local jail cells.  The mobs then
explain that he was found drunk and unconscious in the street with
some robber bent over him.

>   A nice example of this e.g. is if you have an item called
> "The Sword Excalibur" and you limit this item by the absolute
> number of 2. This is okay for maybe 100 players, but now the player base
> steadily grows. The scenario here is, that 'old' players fetch the
> two available swords, and maybe are never seen again, hence excluding
> the precious item from the gameworld forever. This *might* be okay
> for a truely unique item, but no matter, if you absolutely limit
> resources, and the playerbase grows steadily, the percentage with players
> who own the resources steadily decreases, only leaving the 'limitless'
> goods available, which tend to be non-special resources like leather
> and daggers. In the end, considering a steadily growing
> (or rather: changing) playerbase will lead to look-alike players.
> - Chris

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