[MUD-Dev] Proposed Law

Dan Burke flynx at primogen.com
Sat Oct 27 10:28:28 New Zealand Daylight Time 2001


On Thursday, October 25, 2001, at 05:55 PM, Travis Nixon wrote:

> 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.

Hmmm, I tend to disagree.  Now if the player has a character that is
supposed to be an adventurer of sorts then yes, going out and
slaughtering livestock would be the most menial of task.  In fact it
could be considered rather dishonorable if you use the Iliad as
source material, remember what happened to Ajax after all.

On the other spectrum let us assume that it is possible to create a
character who is not adventuring based.  Rather a character of
commerce, who has skill which allow him to maximize on a particular
industry in your game world.  In this case animal husbandry: Bovine.
So he could harvest cows for milk, and if needed also meat and
leather.  The concept of harvesting skills for use on NPC's is
something that seems to have been largely ignored for some reason.
Make NPC "bits" useful by not just having them fall out everytime
you kill one, but make specific skills to harvest them.  Could the
average person kill a cow, skin it correctly, butcher it correctly
and then sell it?  Probably not.  But if you know how to harvest,
say as a Furrier (For leather) and Animal Parts (I am sure there is
a better term for this) to get the meat, or organs from other
creatures this could have pretty far reaching scope.  Spell
components, ritual components (effectively advanced spells), daily
commerce.

> 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. :)

True enough, the negative behavioral psychology of a player denied
some aspect of the game has been aptly demonstrated in UO/EQ (my own
experiences) on a nightly basis since release.

> 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? :)

Depends on how long it takes the wolves to establish a pecking order
and how many wolves get killed during that period.

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

See above.  Watching players interact over resources is like
watching to cats in an alley.  They will bristle up and begin
hissing at each other.  This is not the end-all result, but it is
common enough plus being the lowest denominator of behavior so it
bears looking at.  If their differences over the resource cannot be
resolved there are two courses of action.

  A) One player (or group of players) will leave to find a new
  resource

  B) One player (or group of players) will attempt to remove the
  offending group.  This could be accomplished through PvP or use of
  PvE mechanics.

So the question becomes - How do you satisfy all the wolves in the
pen?  You could just keeping dropping more rabbits in the pen I
suppose, but then it gets to be awfully Monty Hall.  Plus its
expensive to keep breeding rabbits.  (Think of this as the server
overhead)

You could make a bigger pen so the wolves have to spread out once
you add more rabbits, but then you have the cost of a bigger pen
PLUS breeding more rabbits.  Plus your pen might be so big that yes
wolves won't see each other often enough to get into fights...but
they also can't form packs which is something wolves LIKE to do with
each other.  Just not 100+ at a time.  Since they can't form packs
its alot harder to find the rabbits in this huge pen.


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