[MUD-Dev] Geometric content generation

Brian Hook bwh at wksoftware.com
Wed Sep 19 22:20:18 New Zealand Standard Time 2001

At 08:32 AM 9/19/01 +0000, Matt Mihaly wrote:

> Hmm, that doesn't make sense to me. I could easily make chess more
> complex, by making it, say, 9x9 instead of 8x8. That would, I
> believe, decrease the likelihood that someone could dissect it
> into a simpler system.

A 9x9 board radically changes the power balance in chess.  Pawns
become significantly less powerful and bishops, rooks and queens
have suddenly increased in power.  The style of play would radically
change.  Adding a new piece could have balance shattering
repercussions depending on its power.

> It just seems to me that there's no fundamental reason why MUDs
> can't do the same thing. It's more difficult, certainly, and I
> don't think you'd even want to try to achieve the kind of totality
> of interaction that chess has, but I don't see why it can't be
> done.

You can look at a system as an engineering task, or you can look at
it as an artistic task.  In my experience, anyone who does the
latter by effectively adding complexity so that the system achieves
perceived depth through obfuscation and subtlety eventually fails.
Lack of clinical understanding of a system's mechanics and how each
piece interacts leads to imbalance as the system "settles down".
The many different changes to EQ have done just that -- even minor
changes can radically alter the balance in the game because of often
unknown or poorly understood side effects.


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