[MUD-Dev] Geometric content generation

Matt Mihaly the_logos at achaea.com
Wed Oct 3 18:11:19 New Zealand Daylight Time 2001


On Tue, 2 Oct 2001, Ola Fosheim [iso-8859-1] Gr=F8stad wrote:

> People that play Dikus _expect_ the (braindead) RPG or at least a
> run-of-the-mill game (not a _world_).  I (and most people on this
> planet) would never play a Diku/EQ/AO/whatever unless I get paid
> for it. =20

Actually, given that EQ was a lot of people's first MUD, I'm not
sure it's correct to say they expected one or the other when buying
it.

> And of course you know this.  You want to have player-run vendors
> and houses.  You want some autonomy and player control.  You want
> players to define their activities in ways that are meaningful to
> them, not necessarily the gaming system, right?  Still, you
> realize that you need to collect the money. Retaining players in a
> non-complex world is achieved by streeeeeeeetch the content, by
> polishing and relaunching, by making the world tedious, and by
> paying them to play, and nurturing their desire to belong to at
> least the middle-class (and making that a moving target).  Hmm,
> maybe someone should do a marxist analysis of MMORPGs.

As long as they are paying you more than you are paying them, good
stuff. It's investing in the players, not paying them.
 
> I don't like this, I think the extreme end of this is _wrong_, I
> also think it is wrong to addict people to soda pop by
> artificially injecting coffein, or tweaking cigarettes to increase
> nicotine addiction, putting alcohol in clear view at the entrance
> to make sure that alcoholics don't miss it or what not.

Fair enough. No one's making you play them. I don't have a problem
with any of the above activities personally, as I have no sympathy
for weakness of will.

> If people come out at the other end of the system, feeling empty
> or bad, then that system had no right to impose themselves on
> them.

I'm not even sure how to respond to this arbitrary declaration of
rights except to say that had I designed such a system, I would just
reply, "Yet I did it."

> I wish I knew of a study of this, but my unqualified GUESS is that
> quite a large number of MUD players only play MUDs for a couple of
> months until they are able to tear themselves away from the system
> to never really play again.  I also guess that this holds for a
> lot of hard core EQ players, they have learned and felt that they
> do not have the time to meet the requirements of the high level
> game play and will shy away from games that will induce an
> artificial need to do so. In a couple of years the majority of
> hard-core game players will have burned off any novelty they might
> have experienced under this gaming model due to the intensive
> requirements in existing systems.

The lovely thing about gamers is that there are whole bunches of new
ones created every year. You're not targetting a static population.

> So, then maybe designers will at least put in time-caps and
> provide a rich world for casual gamePLAY (opposed to work). So far
> MMOPRGs have been lucky, next to no competition, and novelty of
> the genre (to most players).

Timecaps. Ugh. One certainly hopes that such crude devices will not
have to be used.

--matt

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