[MUD-Dev] I Want to Forge Swords. [Another letter to game

Sie Ming sieming at gatheringspot.com
Mon May 7 09:35:32 New Zealand Standard Time 2001

At 01:04 PM 5/6/01 -0400, Auli  wrote:
> S. Patrick Gallaty wrote:

>> Sticking to the point originally made - which I don't feel you have
>> really addressed, is that trade skills are enhanced by
>> localization.  You may disagree with localization for other
>> reasons, but that doesn't change the fact that it enhances trade
>> skills this way.  As with other complex elements of mmog, some
>> goals are (partially) contradictory.  Some needs are exclusive.
> Perhaps if the original article had been entitled "The ONLY Thing I
> Want to is Forge Swords" I would agree.  Unless you are literally
> building a trade skill simulator as the primary focus of your game
> then I think my points are still valid.  To date, at least on the
> massively commercial scale this is not the case.  Role playing games
> with cooperative adventure as their central theme is the norm, trade
> skills are secondary.  I wouldn't want to stake my investment on a
> game based wholly on baking bread or forging swords (though stranger
> things have happened, Deer Hunter anyone?).

As it happens, I certainly agree with you on at least two points.

First (but probably of secondary importance), Let me go on record
saying that I have nearly zero interest in playing a "trade skill
simulator", and I believe that would be a fairly typical (though by no
means universal) response from most players who enjoy
crafting. Furthermore, I don't even think that a role playing game
where crafting is the primary focus is a good idea.  If you are
focusing on crafter, you probably will not be attracting enough
victims ^H^H^H^H^H^H^H buyers to support the merchants.

Second, I fully agree that if the choice is between making locations
meaningful for players and limiting players ability to socialize that
meaningful locations should be dropped.  My own view is that there
does not have to be a choice made between the two, but if this proves
not to be the case then we certainly agree on which one is more

> Does anyone think a midevil economic simulator is a good idea as the
> primary focus for a MMOG?  Allow me to re-quote Mr. Ming:
>   "We would like to be known as the best bronze smith in Three
>   Creeks, or the only certified droid tech on Revoli Seven. If
>   popping from location to location is too easy, then people will
>   not settle down and call one location home."
> The question becomes 'what good is it to be the best bronze smith in
> Three Creeks?'  Assuming extremely limited transportation system who
> now lives in Three Creeks?  In Everquest if Mr. Ming were a gnome
> and he was the best bronze smith in Ak'Anon exactly where is the
> community to buy his wares?  They certainly aren't in Ak'Anon, the
> place is a ghost town.  No one goes there because its too hard to
> get to in spite of there being a druid portal in the adjoining zone.
> Once the newbies leave the nest they are gone for good.  Our
> intrepid gnome may adventure to East Commonlands and sell his wares,
> but he'll never be known as 'the best bronze smith in Ak'Anon'
> because there is no community centered in Ak'Anon.

I think you make a good point for how not to have locations, crafting
and social interaction work successfully together.  But there probably
are not many people who would point to EQ as a model of "crafting done
right".  Separating players based on their level, and the separating
levels by location tends to make it hard to call one place home for
any length of time.  But I have not played EQ enough to have much of
an opinion.

I think it would probably be more helpful (at least for me) to hear
ideas of how meaningful locations and social interaction can coexist
rather than argue that they can not.

Incidently, as this is my first message, let me say that I have really
enjoyed reading the MUD-Dev archives over the past few months, and
that it is only within the last week that I've gotten up the nerve to
actually say anything myself.

Sie Ming
Lloyd Sommerer

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