[MUD-Dev] Geometric content generation

Brian Hook public at pyrogon.com
Fri Oct 5 15:15:11 New Zealand Daylight Time 2001


> From: Daniel Harman

> Surely you just limit the total number of skill points they can
> have, and allow them to move then between skills if they need to
> change career. If its not an instant process (i.e. takes a week or
> two real time) then they won't be able to abuse the system. Taking
> things away through atrophy really annoys me in games.

The reason I don't like this is that it explicitly prevents you from
being a generalist, and it pretty much encourages you to min/max the
allocation of your points.  However if players feel that they can
"do anything" without any tangible downside, then they'll breathe a
little easier (even if the reality is that they're still limited,
but this time based on their action/inaction).  Yes, the atrophy can
be annoying (especially for GoP types), but it would be a very slow
atrophy, on the order of weeks to see anything appreciably.  If you
haven't been in a battle in months, your skills should reflect that.
And in all likelihood, if you haven't fought a battle in months,
then you've likely decided that combat isn't your cup of tea and
you're much happier colonizing, surveying, trading or building so
you won't even notice (in theory =) ).

There would, of course, be things that prevent your skills from
atrophying too much.  You don't want to feel like Sisyphys and the
rock.  My general idea is that your skill increases ratchet as you
get better -- hey, a hotshot gunslinger is still pretty good even if
he's put down the six-guns for a year or two (think "Pale Rider" =)
).  That way you don't have to worry about completely wasting your
time.  In the end, the system will strengthen you in your activities
of choice (the ones that you do the most), and it won't completely
destroy the activities you've stopped performing for a while.

So the skill point rebalancing is simply an implicit activity
instead of an explicit one.

Of course, pure powergamers hate this type of system because they
want to become uberpowerful tank mages (in space =) ) without
sacrificing anything.

This game is really based on the premise of "getting better at the
things you do".  It's nice and intuitive, especially for people that
don't play RPGs or MUDs.  And since there's no fixed allocation,
you're never in the position of thinking that you've completely
screwed up and now need to reroll a new character.

Brian


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