[MUD-Dev] Proposed Law

Matt Mihaly the_logos at achaea.com
Fri Oct 19 01:45:50 New Zealand Daylight Time 2001


On Wed, 17 Oct 2001, John Buehler wrote:
> Matt Mihaly writes:

>> 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.
 
> I'm not assuming those things.  They are non sequitors.  I can
> only repeat myself: if the entertainment of your game is
> destruction, players look to destroy things instead of interact
> with them.  The reuse of the content is only entertaining when
> there are a bunch of different variables in how the object gets
> destroyed.  My point is that there is far greater bang for the
> buck from content that interacts with other content - without any
> destruction taking place.

Why? You seem to me to be slipping in and out of context here. When
a monster is "killed" and respawns, there's no destruction of
content taking place. It's just interaction of content and player.
 
>> How is that different from a system where you kill resetting
>> mobs?
 
> It differs in player perceptions.  The very mob that you beat up
> last week shows up again.  If you're permitted to take things from
> it, then it will show up without that thing.  If you succeeded in
> breaking a bone during the non-lethal fight, perhaps your opponent
> has a temporary limp.  There is believable continuity instead of
> trivial death and reappearance of a dead opponent.

After the 50th time you've broken the leg of the orc, I don't think
it's any different to the player than killing the orc. Either way,
he's met the victory condition. The first couple times, I agree,
it'd be cool to have your orc enemy show up. On the other hand, I
don't think there's anything believable about not being able to kill
the orc you just battered into submission.
 
> If an NPC is killed, it shouldn't reappear.  That causes players
> to consider the impact of their actions.  Just as burning the ship
> should make them stop and think.  They should value the ship as a
> source of entertainment, not as a pile of timbers to form a big
> bonfire with.

I think those are arbitrary rules, not applicable to games or MUDs
in general. Why shouldn't the NPC who was killed reappear? And if
they're burning the ship, they're probably getting entertainment out
of it. Designers can't control what players get entertainment out
of. They can only influence.

--matt

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