[MUD-Dev] [STORY] Story and population size

Derek Licciardi kressilac at home.com
Mon Dec 3 00:17:24 New Zealand Daylight Time 2001


> -----Original Message-----
> From: Adam Martin

[snipped a bunch of stuff]

> Mostly I'd be interested to hear what anyone else has to think
> about how the whole ball-game changes as you rack up the number of
> players. This is purely on an academic level - rest assured that
> the company has a more coherent business model to sell the system
> than my ramblings in this email do ;).

> Hmm. This is probably quite an incoherent posting - apologies, its
> one of those 02:00am-after-a-long-day-at-work emails. FYI, to
> anyone who's interested, I'm expecting that we'll have a
> demo/prototype of our system out for limited public distribution
> in a few months time. Then you can all have a quick play with it
> :). Focussing on getting this out accounts for the complete
> abscence of postings from me in recent months (although its an
> unwritten company rule that everyone has to subscribe to MUD-DEV,
> so I'm certainly still listening ;).

The next generation games will most likely try to handle a larger
number of users.  Besides the budgetary costs associated with this
level of server design, it changes the entire design of the server
and directly impacts the gameplay inside your game.

IMO the first aspect of the game that should see a dramatic
improvement is the economy.  I believe it will be easier to manage
an economy given 50,000 or 100,000 plus players.  Today's games are
fragmented populations that do not have statistically large enough
numbers to sustain the proper buyer/seller relationship.  I use EQ
as an example where you can walk into Eastern Commonlands anytime
and hear a pile of seller and buyers with very few items actually
being sold.(based on the numerous repeat sell auctions and repeat
buy auctions by a single person in five minutes) By increasing the
number of players you increase the chance that the economic
transaction will take place and the flow of goods to and from buyers
and sellers will not stop.  that being said I think this whole idea
of improving the economic flow in these games will bring with it
increased problems from the admin side that we have never seen.

Aside from the major server concerns and the benefit of an
"improved" economy, I can't see there being much difference in
stories or interaction except that which could be attributed to the
higher chance that player-driven content could occur.  Without the
ability for players to affect their world in a dramatic way,
organize into larger than 250 person communities, and begin to make
a mark on the world other than slaying a moster that will respawn of
levelling and looting, players will be restricted by the game
mechanics more so than the server population.  I believe that
increaseing the server population removes one side of the problem
while adding player interaction that has "real" meaning answers the
other.(ie affecting the world they play in)

Enough rambling.
Derek


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