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

Brian Hook bwh at wksoftware.com
Wed May 9 16:44:17 New Zealand Standard Time 2001


At 11:15 PM 5/9/01 +0100, Adam M wrote:

>   4) On one side we have players' oft-cited adverseness to having
>   things taken away from them, and also to not getting big rewards
>   for big time-investments in an activity. This would imply
>   degrading skills is a bad thing. On the other hand, everyone could
>   see that in a non-regressing-skills game there will be skill
>   "inflation", period.So....

The above is very valid, but in the end you sometimes have to deal
with game balance vs. tedium.  Trade skills are useless in EQ because
everyone that needs to have capped skills DOES have capped skills.
This wasn't true early on, but because of the permanent nature of
skills, that's how it is now.  But by the same token, some players
will get upset if they've invested time/money into become a 200 skill
Jeweler only to see it disappear later.

In addition, what about combat skills: if you're a great warrior and
now you've "retired" to work on blacksmithing, will you be as great
once you pick up a sword again?  If practicing is required, does this
mean you have to wade through goblins and orcs in order to get back
your dragon killing powers?  And what happens when you're peacefully
blacksmithing and your village is overrun by a marauding dragon --
your skills have atrophied so much that you have to run and hide, do a
Rocky-like training session, then come back?

>   5) Any significant effort to improve a skill should result in SOME
>   permanent reward - you have "regression limits" where once you
>   achieve a certain level in a skill, it can't slip back below a
>   certain other level. Alternatively (or in parallel?) the skill
>   would regress as normal, but it is very easy to get close to the
>   highest level you've previously attained in any particular skill.

The first seems like waffling to me -- "don't make it permanent, but
make it permanent somewhat" =) I like your last suggestion, where the
amount of practice required to get back to a certain point is reduced
greatly because you have prior experience that is kind of rusty.  This
has the added benefit of feeling realistic too (once you're a master
at something, you don't become completely helpless at it just by not
practicing for a while).

A key aspect is "what defines practice".  No one wants to just sit
there clicking in order to get skill up (although plenty of people
do).  Does practicing require money?

Brian Hook

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