[MUD-Dev] Proposed Law

Paul Schwanz paul.schwanz at east.sun.com
Wed Oct 24 09:49:08 New Zealand Daylight Time 2001


Matt Mihaly wrote:
> On Mon, 22 Oct 2001, Paul Schwanz wrote:

>> Perhaps a better way to explain this law would include some
>> concept of the number of dimensions of interaction.  While
>> killing a monster is interaction of content and player, even in
>> cases where the monster is automatically respawned, it seems to
>> me tit is a bit one-dimensional.  Maybe this is just me, but I
>> think it is pretty self-evident that having monsters that can
>> interact with players on many dimensions is going to increase the
>> potential for interesting content that each MOB can provide.

> Sure, it's one-dimensional. So is every other method of
> interacting with a mob. That's no reason to get rid of any of them
> or disparage any of them. It's many of those together that makes
> it multi-dimensional.

Absolutely.  Although I'd still have to say that destruction (where
destruction is not defined as a mob simply being "taken out of
commision for a period of time") burns content.  Is that disparaging
of me?

>> Furthermore, I'd point out that respawning mobs actually removes
>> one form of possible (and intuitive) interaction: that of
>> destruction.

> Indeed, though removing a mob permanently removes all possibility
> of interaction with the mob in the future. The benefits to
> allowing it may be greater, but it still removes more avenues of
> interaction than just temporarily taking a mob out of commission
> does.

Right.  Destruction removes more avenues of interaction than just
temporarily taking a mob out of commission does.  It burns content.

>> I like the idea of giving freedom of interaction (including the
>> freedom to destroy) to players, but having them live with the
>> consequences of their actions (i.e. destroying something will
>> remove all other possibility of interaction with that game
>> piece).  To me, this seems like the sort of choice/consequence
>> dilema that makes a game fun.  Of course, giving players this
>> much power over content may require some other game features that
>> attempt to ensure the destruction of content doesn't get out of
>> hand.

> They live with the consequences of their actions either way. In a
> world with respawning mobs, the consequence is that it's taken out
> of commission for a period of time. Your argument is really for
> extremity of consequence I think, not whether player actions have
> consequences (it'd be a pretty boring game if nothing depended on
> anything you did). Sometimes extreme consequences are good,
> sometimes they're bad. I think it depends on the world and the
> playerbase.

Actually, my argument probably wasn't formulated very well.
Additionally, it is based on some personal preferences, so it
probably is best described as an opinion vs. and argument.  It goes
like this:

  1) I don't like re-spawns for aesthetic reasons.  They interfere
  with my suspension of disbelief no matter how consistently done.
  My preference is for a game to kill things it wants dead and not
  to kill things it doesn't want dead.  There may be exceptions to
  this, but I prefer them to be exceptions rather than the rule.  I
  covered some of this in another post.

  2) I also prefer to give as much freedom of choice as possible to
  gamers.  In other words, I'd like them to be able to kill things
  they want to kill and otherwise destroy things they want to
  destroy.

  3) Given the first two points, along with the knowledge that
  destruction burns content, I need to present the gamer with some
  reasons to not destroy.  One method of doing this involves having
  many different dimensions of interaction with game pieces.  As the
  utility of a game piece goes up, so does the consequences of its
  destruction.

I hope that is a bit more clear.

--Phinehas

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