[MUD-Dev] The Four Hour Alchemist

Batir batir at frontiernet.net
Sat May 5 16:52:22 New Zealand Standard Time 2001

From: "Brad Triem" <triem at sierranv.net>
> On Saturday, May 05, 2001 9:48 AM, J C Lawrence wrote:

>> The Four Hour 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.

> This sounds like a simple game design flaw.  I have gone through
> similar hurdles.  For example: Mining skills.  Several years ago I
> built mining, which is the warriors version of alchemy.  You mine to
> find ores.  You use metallurgy to extract rare and magical
> metals/gems from the ores.  Then there are forging skills.  You can
> forge magical weapons and armor based on different metal/gem
> ingredients.  But you run into that same problem.  How long does it
> take to become an expert miner and smithy?  Several days of playing,
> not to mention that you never really know all the different
> ingredient combinations.  Then you run into keeping the players
> interested.  It boils down to how you design that aspect of the
> game.  It isn't easy but that is what I enjoy about game design.
> Traversing those hurdles.  In your case, I agree that if you can
> macro in 4 hours or even power play yourself to be a master
> alchemist in 7 hours, there needs to be an evaluation of the design
> of that aspect of the game.

Just about every skill can easily be macro'd or power gamed to
Grandmaster status in a few days.  There are two causes to it; the
power hour, as it is called, and learning skill from failed attempts,
even at the highest levels.  Power hour is the first hour of play, per
character, per day, during which you have a greatly increased chance
to gain skill.  What used to inspire pride now means diddly.

To OSI's deffense, there are some limit's to the gains.  Some skills
require movement, and others require switching targets.  But the
movement required (8 tiles if your interested) and ways to out think
the targeting limits were soon discovered, and are now easily bipassed
(in no little part due to me and my cohorts at http://uo.stratics.com,
so I am not entirely blaming OSI)


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