[MUD-Dev] Proposed Law

Matt Mihaly the_logos at achaea.com
Wed Oct 17 16:38:02 New Zealand Daylight Time 2001

On Tue, 16 Oct 2001, John Buehler wrote:

> "Destruction burns content"
> Although it seems rather obvious, it's worth stating.  Here we
> are, wondering how to retain content or reduce consumption rates,
> yet most games out there are predicated on murder and mayhem.  If
> you want content to be valued for a long time, make that content
> inherently entertaining.  Making its destruction entertaining is a
> one-time return.  I can sail a ship to many places, but burn it to
> the ground or blow it up only once.  Burning ships is certainly
> dramatic, but it only inspires players to look for more of the
> same.  Pretty soon, all your ships are burned to the waterline.
> Make your content valuable for what it is - not for how it can be
> destroyed.  There's a reason that players don't destroy armor when
> they find it.  There's no entertainment in its destruction, but it
> facilitates entertainment if used.

That assumes that you can't rebuild the ship, or that game mechanics
don't just automatically restore the ship. Players can be "killed"
in many MUDs, for instance, and are just 'rebuilt' automatically.

> Part of this law is a prod to encourage designers to get away from
> the motif of constant destruction.  I'm working on a design
> document for a game, and combat is predicated on blunt weapons and
> martial arts.  Nobody dies.  They get knocked out.  That way I
> don't lose the content of my NPCs and their relationships with
> other NPCs and players.  NPCs can die, but it's an unusual
> occurrence, and not controlled by players.

How is that different from a system where you kill resetting mobs?


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