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

Christopher Kohnert chris at achaea.com
Wed Dec 5 16:50:34 New Zealand Daylight Time 2001

Vincent Archer wrote:
> According to Christopher Kohnert:
>> Let me begin by qualifying and saying that I am neither an EQ
>> player nor any sort of economist. However, I really have a bit of
>> a problem with people claiming that simply increasing the number
>> of players somehow magically solves some of the problems in
>> today's

> Increasing populations doesn't solve basic/intrinsic problems, it
> just makes the system less sensible to local variations.

[snipped DAoC specifics]

> There are many factors that affect this, but I ended up with a
> reasonable population of about 150 players funding one
> armorcrafter.

> Here's where population matters:

>   The problem is when your population at a level tier is about
>   200-300 people, then you probably have 2 crafters tops. The
>   "market" becomes very chaotic then. If you're not playing at the
>   right times, you can't buy from the crafter, since you can't
>   meet him at all. A crafter leaving for two weeks holiday
>   litterally starves his customers. A crafter dropping out leaves
>   the players without recourse and equipment (until a new crafter
>   rises out of the ranks).

> That's where larger systems might help: a difference of behaviour
> is smoothed out on larger numbers. If one crafter drops out, the
> slack is easily taken by the other, "relatively numerous"
> entrepreneurs around.

I'll admit that this is an interesting feature of having a larger
number of crafters available and working in the
environment. However, I think this sort of artifact only really
appears when your crafters are discontinuous in their supply; be it
online playing times or vacations or whatever. Fixing that sort of
discontinuity (via adverts, semi-automated shops, etc) makes the
numbers issue seem less important.

>> Hurrah for 100k+ players online, that will be extremely cool. But
>> I hardly think it simply solves problems in and of itself. I
>> should think it would introduce newer, possibly harder, ones.

> Another, quite distinct, problem, is the content reuse. Specially
> for designed content.

> Creating a "city" that hosts 500 players simultaneously costs a
> lot more than creating a smaller city that hosts 50 players and is
> replicated across 10 servers.

> But that's not in-game economics anymore at that point :)

Heh, no kidding. *G*

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