[MUD-Dev] Proposed Law

Travis Nixon tnixon at avalanchesoftware.com
Thu Oct 25 18:55:28 New Zealand Daylight Time 2001


From: "Madman Across the Water" <burra at alum.rpi.edu>
> Paul Schwanz wrote:

>> But wouldn't it be interesting if cows didn't respawn?  I could
>> kill it and get 5p for the meat now, or I could try to keep it
>> alive and come back periodically to milk it.

>> What if I could own a house with a few acres, build a fenced in
>> area, put a cow and bull together, and breed them, while trying
>> to keep the wolves from stealing calves?  I'd probably milk some,
>> breed others, kill a few from time to time, and hunt down any
>> wolves I spotted nearby...and I'd probably still be playing AC.

> Unfortunately, it would have lasted until some griefer came and
> killed all your cows... and all the cows in the world. Or just a
> lot of short-sighted people, all going for the 5p right off,
> figuring someone else will keep a cow alive somewhere, I need
> money now!  And then, no more cows.

> It's the ecosystem problem that comes up time and again. Unless
> there is some external way to reintroduce, say, cows to the system
> (respawning, usually), then players almost definately _will_ make
> them extinct.

Or, to rephrase in a way that doesn't make me cringe:

Unless there is some external way to reintroduce cows to the system,
AND if you put 100 players in a small area that only has 200 cows in
it, AND if there is some benefit to killing cows (you get the meat,
you practice archery, whatever) AND if the benefit is worth the time
spent (which obviously is very subjective) AND if there is no sense
of ownership or if there is ownership, there are no penalties for
killing other people's cows, or the penalties are outweighed by the
benefits, AND if there are no downsides to killing cows, other than
the fact that all the cows will be dead...

If all of those things are true, then yes, the players definately
_will_ make them extinct.

Duh.  :)

You can even drop the probably.

If the real world wasn't such a big place, we'd have driven a lot
more species into extinction than we have.  That is just as certain.
:)

People kill all the cows because you've told them they're supposed
to.

How much money, in real life, could I possibly hope to gain from
killing a cow?  And how much work would it take to get said payoff?
Would it be worth it?  Highly doubtful.  And that's assuming that I
don't get arrested for killing some farmer's cow.  Note that I'm not
saying games should be like real life, but it is rather silly to
provide an ecology not even the size of a small town, throw a couple
thousand players into it and say "Here you go!  Kill stuff.  Advance
your character.  Make money." and not expect that they'd totally
clean everything out in notime flat. :)

Of course the ecosystem is going to fail.  It can't do anything BUT
fail.  It's not possible for it to do anything but fail.  Put 100
wolves in a closed pen that has 200 rabbits.  How long do you figure
the rabbits are going to live? :)

Hell, how long do you think the wolves are going to live after they
eat all the rabbits.  lol

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