[MUD-Dev] Geometric content generation

Brian Hook bwh at wksoftware.com
Tue Sep 25 23:49:46 New Zealand Standard Time 2001

At 10:50 AM 9/24/01 +0100, Dan Harman wrote:

> The real problem with my system, is that people will often want to
> make a generalist and then be miffed that they can't be the best
> at anything.

A common refrain in this industry =)

> Thats where the reallocation aspect is again a helpful factor. In
> the end, the main objective is to create a system which
> acknowledges the difficulty of designing balance, yet doesn't
> penalise the player for our inevitable design mistakes.

What we're doing for our space adventure on-line game is letting
your _character_ become as advanced as you want through use.  No
skill points to allocate -- you naturally become better at the
things that you do.  Skills aren't even capped based on a level or
anything else, thereby discouraging "evening up your skills" before
levelling up.

There's a constant reinforcement mechanism with this approach -- you
tend to want to do the things that you already do well.  And because
the secondary part of advancement is upgrading and modifying your
space ship, making money is almost as important as increasing skill,
so you'll get pushed into doing things you're already good at so you
can buy a ship with better parts.

The other aspect of our design is that the ship is the central
balancing agent.  No matter how good you are as a fighter pilot
you're still going to suck in a dogfight piloting a barge.  And no
matter how good a trader you are, you can't carry that much stuff in
your interceptor.  And since you can only own a single ship,
"muling" isn't an option.  So even though your _character_ may
become very powerful, your character's actions are not overly
powerful since they will always be mitigated by the inherent
weaknesses of their current spaceship.

Brian Hook

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