[MUD-Dev] The Four Hour Alchemist

J C Lawrence claw at kanga.nu
Sat May 5 09:48:28 New Zealand Standard Time 2001

Also from Sie Ming:

  The Four Hour Alchemist

The Four Hour Alchemist

I am somewhat loath to write this article. It could be that I will
do more harm than good by doing so. It could be that OSI will ignore
this problem, and all I will have accomplished is to show those few
people who don't already know how easy it is to become a grand
master alchemist.

For the past six months, all it has taken to become a grand master
alchemist is about 80k worth of reagents, a macro program and four
power hours. If you're more of a purist, you can skip the macro
program and do it in seven hours. If this is the way OSI intends
alchemy to work, then so be it. It is, after all, their game. But I
don't think it is the wisest choice.

Please don't think I am just one of those "old timers" who want
everyone else to have it as rough as I had it. I feel fairly
confident in saying I have done as much as anyone to help alchemists
improve their skill. I even run a small website devoted to
alchemy. It is not my intent to discourage people from pursuing
alchemy. I simply feel that four hours is a bit much.

Who is served by allowing players to become grand masters in four
hours? I don't think it is those players who wish to actually play a
character with some alchemy skill. Those players intend to make
potions to sell and for their own use (something getting to grand
master in four hours does not accomplish well). They want some
experience with the different types of potions (again, something the
four hour method discourages). And, for the most part, they want to
interact with other players. If they are interested in selling
potions they need the time to build a customer base, and perhaps
adventure with the friends they make along the way.

Who is served by allowing players to become grand masters in 4
hours? Those best served are those people interested in outfitting a
mule with the alchemy skill. If it is OSI's intent to foster this
style of play, then clearly nothing needs to be done. If they value
players interacting with each other instead of players being self
sufficent islands floating in what is becoming a single player game
with very realistic NPCs, then some type of change is called for.

What would be the simplest and least disruptive way to remove the
four hour alchemist? Remove skill gain for failure from
alchemy. This relatively new addition to alchemy is the root cause
of the drastic decrease in the time it takes to become an
alchemist. This change would not cause alchemist to once again toil
for months to become a grand master. It would move the amount of
time somewhere between months and hours. A compromise that should be
easy for all to live with. Players who really want mules can still
make them, and players who want alchemists can relax a bit and enjoy
the profession. Let us go back to the days when to gain experience
in alchemy you actually had to make a potion. Let us move away from
the current practice of simply attempting the hardest potion
possible and hoping for failures that advance your skill.

No matter what OSI decides to so, I rest secure in knowing that
there will be hundreds of additional players with some alchemy skill
over the next few days.

Sie Ming
Posted on Thursday, March 29, 2001, 8:51 AM EST by Sie Ming

J C Lawrence                                       claw at kanga.nu
---------(*)                          http://www.kanga.nu/~claw/
--=| A man is as sane as he is dangerous to his environment |=--
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