[MUD-Dev] Request for ideas

Marian Griffith gryphon at iaehv.nl
Tue Oct 9 20:11:12 New Zealand Daylight Time 2001

On Thu 04 Oct, Ian Collyer wrote:
> holding99 at mindspring.com wrote:

>   Scenario 2. The players' characters are part of the ecosystem
>     Much more interesting but inherently unstable.  The root
>     problem here is that your ecosystem is no longer closed,
>     players login and logout and new players join the MUD.  The
>     fluctuating number of concurrent characters in the game make
>     it impossible for any sort of equilibrium to be reached.

Unless of course the ecosystem is many, many times larger than the
number of players.  A player can kill ten rabbits, and even a hun-
dred, but if there are millions then it is simply impossible for a
player to exterminate them.

Of course, you do not have to have that many rabbits in the game for
each player.  The same effect can be achieved by lowering, or even
removing, the reward for slaughtering rabbits, and by keeping most
rabbits as numbers rather than as actual creatures in the ga- me,
revealing only a tiny fraction to the players, and less so if they
continue killing them.

But if your game world has the size of an average country or state
then there is no way five, or even ten, thousand players are going
to make a dent in its ecology.  They can be no more than a roving
band of grasshoppers.  They drop down somewhere, strip everything
bare and move on, while the ecosystem recovers.  The problem is that
most games have the size of somebody's backyard, which puts every
virtual living creature within convenient reach of the play- ers.
Who promptly slaughter it.  (also because the entire ecology
consists of barely more creatures than players).

Yes - at last - You. I Choose you. Out of all the world,
out of all the seeking, I have found you, young sister of
my heart! You are mine and I am yours - and never again
will there be loneliness ...

Rolan Choosing Talia,
Arrows of the Queen, by Mercedes Lackey

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