[MUD-Dev] Group sizes and MUDs as sport?

Ola Fosheim Grøstad <olag@ifi.uio.no> Ola Fosheim Grøstad <olag@ifi.uio.no>
Tue Jul 31 13:52:29 New Zealand Standard Time 2001

"Koster, Raph" wrote:

> To put it another way, how do you GET groups of such sizes? It's
> not like guilds of 150 spring into being out of thin air. Whereas
> a village with sufficient food is pretty much guaranteed to get
> there, a player group or tribe has no growth forced upon it in
> that sense.

Why do you want them to be big?  To me the ideal size seems to be no
more than 40. Big enough to have other people online to chat with,
small enough to get to know most of them and build a tight and
powerful group identity.

Well, unless you want a global story line that is.

> People do tend to organize. But they don't seem to grow in size or
> develop into more complex structures without some prodding or
> need.

What specifically do you mean by prodding or need?

Leading a big group is a fun game to play.  Tagging along is ok too
even if you don't care too much, you get entertained by gossip and
get access to information.  Teenagers feeling a need to be in center
of whatever is cool support growth?

Clearly, you do need structure to prevent people from doing whatever
they really want to do, but is that a workable goal for an
entertainment system?

How many percent of the users actually participate actively in
larger groups?  To me there seems to be players that don't want to
be part of a formal group at all, and even if they become members
don't really act as if they are.  And if they do it is only to do
their "real-life-friend" who-really-cares a favour...

> on challenges, or seeking greater challenges). But we don't
> necessarily see them as contributing towards a greater social
> structure, perhaps because they fundamentally don't NEED the
> plebes.

Because they don't have a psychological need to be a leader?

> The "economic participation" guideline I am trying to apply
> fortunately cuts across the board. As long as everyone has ongoing
> costs (akin to rent, which has largely been abandoned in Dikus,

In terms of entertainment, a "stagewise" reset-based systems seems
to work very well in sports.  Why not in MUDs?

In a storybased game: guilds determine minor critical incidents,
which in turn influence the major critical incidents. However, at
the end of each incident you start over from scratch in terms of
certain resources/scores.

You can even go further in the sports analogy. The set of winning
guilds have to find N guilds as partners and build up and equip a
team with M members from each guild for the major critical

Ola  -  http://www.notam.uio.no/~olagr/

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