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

Adam Martin amsm2 at cam.ac.uk
Wed May 9 23:15:32 New Zealand Standard Time 2001

----- Original Message -----
From: "Madrona Tree" <madronatree at hotmail.com>
To: <mud-dev at kanga.nu>
Sent: Wednesday, May 09, 2001 8:29 AM
Subject: Re: [MUD-Dev] I Want to Forge Swords. [Another letter to game

> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Sie Ming" <sieming at gatheringspot.com>
> To: <mud-dev at kanga.nu>
> Sent: Tuesday, May 08, 2001 4:39 PM
> Subject: RE: [MUD-Dev] I Want to Forge Swords. [Another letter to game

>> I tend to agree with this.  I don't JUST want to bake bread.  I
>> also want to see the rest of your game.  I don't know what a good
>> way to do this and be fair about it would be.  You could have an
>> artificial distinction between crafting and adventuring (and
>> perhaps social) abilities.  Something along the lines of...

> In Ackadia (UO-Emulator) we had three "GM" skills (100), three
> "Master" skills (80), and unlimited tertiary skills, which were
> capped at 40.  I ranted and raved and generally made myself a "pain
> in the butt" (*wink* JF) until I got a Trade Skill Slot that was
> separate from the other Adventuring Skill slots.  >

(Wishful thinking) I've long wanted to get a skills system working
where there was no limit on the number of skills you possessed; but
you had to continue to practice them in order to keep them from
degrading. Limits on which/how many skills you are allowed to "try
your hand in" so to speak have always felt painfully artificial to
me. I'd love for someone to reply to this with "Yep. Done that, it
works. And it works very well too." but I've not yet seen a complete
fulfilment of the idea.

I bring this up because of the number of posts recently that have
alluded to wanting to be able to be a crafter as well as an
adventurer, not in spite of it! Long discussions with fellow RP'ers
some time ago led to a handful of conclusions:

  1) Managing the skill increase and associated decrease behaviour is
  a very hard balancing act - not least because by definition it takes
  a long time to experiment with a new set of weightings! - and you
  want to try to do this procedurally.

  2) It would intuitively feel a lot more believable, and force people
  to spend a *little* time "practicing" their skills without the
  designers having to give them reward for it - the perceived "reward"
  being that the player's skill doesn't regress for another week.

  3) It would add a lot of meaning to being the best at any skill - it
  ceases to be something "anyone can do" because it requires ongoing
  commitment. And yet, probably most people at the high end of any
  skill would be happy to be merely very good - i.e. each individual
  would seek the balance between time spent and skill-level attained
  that seemd to them to be the best bargain, bearing in mind the way
  they played the game.

  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",

  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.


Adam M

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