[MUD-Dev] Geometric content generation

Adam Martin ya_hoo_com at yahoo.com
Thu Sep 27 09:25:22 New Zealand Standard Time 2001


----- Original Message -----
From: <Daniel.Harman at barclayscapital.com>
> From: Brian Hook [mailto:bwh at wksoftware.com]
>> At 10:50 AM 9/24/01 +0100, Dan Harman wrote:

>>> 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.

> I've considered upcapped systems before, and whilst I strongly
> believe that your balance should indeed be maintained with
> uncapped numbers (i.e. so it scales indefinitely) I think having a
> top level of 60 or whatever is a strong motivator. I know I would
> never have returned to EQ each time I quit if I didn't have this
> niggleing completeist aspect to my psyche that just wants to get
> 60th (58 and counting right now ;). If the system scales you can
> always up the nominal cap once the mean level base is higher. Sure
> its moving the goal posts, but at least there is a goal post. I
> concede that I may be unique in liking this aspect, but I think
> milestones have an intrinsic motivating appeal.

For a good essay on the psychological side effects upon players of
using known levels, random skill increases, and semi-random skill
increases, have a look at this Gamasutra article:
http://www.gamasutra.com/features/20010427/hopson_01.htm

Adam M
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