[MUD-Dev] Managing MUD economy

Marian Griffith gryphon at iaehv.nl
Sun Dec 16 23:07:36 New Zealand Daylight Time 2001

On Fri 14 Dec, John Buehler wrote:
> Jeff Freeman writes:
>>> From: Vladimir Prelovac

> We live in a capitalist society, so we think in terms of working
> for money so that we can get the things that we want.  In a world
> designed for entertainment, I'm surprised that we continue to
> present this model.

> But for those who are interested in combat, let them worry about
> combat and the entertainment that relates to it.  For example,
> help to clear the lord's land of baddies and you get favors from
> the lord that permit you to obtain the items that you need.

It may be interesting to notice that it is believed that this is how
the vikings had organised their society. At least in theory.  The
king (or whatever he was called) owned the weapon stores and
armours, and the men who fought for him borrowed their equipment
from him.  Then, if they performed well, they got access to ever
better weapons and armour.  The heroes got the mythical weapons and
such. It would make a very simple, and very effective method to give
players interested in combat access to equipment fitting their
proficiency.  They sign up with some king's army and must fight the
king's wars.  At first they get the standard equipment of any other
soldier, but as they prove themselves capable of handling better
opponents they get rewarded with better weapons.  The interesting
thing is that if they (semi) retire they auto- matically will get
bumped down in grade again.  Of course their fame should account for
something, so they will not lose access to the armoury for not
playing for a couple of days, but event- ually they will be reduced
to the rank of common soldiers.  This even could solve the typical
inflation of muds, as fighters are expected to return the equipment
to the armoury on leaving the game, and checking out new equipment
on entering it.  Large kingdoms have bettter equipment, but also a
much bigger competition to get it, whereas in a small kingdom a
fighter can quickly rise to high rank, and perhaps help expand the
kingdom.  The later basically makes use of practices already found
in some clans, where members share their equipment, but formalises
it in some way so players need to earn the good equipment by skill
in playing the game.

> The lord's blacksmiths will repair your armor at no cost of gold,
> you have your pick from the lord's weapon inventory, etc.  A few
> coins are also handed your way.  Do enough for one lord and you're
> granted the right to have your own lands and run your own little
> fiefdom.  Of course, that smacks of money management again, so the
> more advanced favors from the lord might be to command some number
> of the lord's military might in the continued defense of the
> lord's holdings.

The second option, if the game is set up for it, is much better for
this approach than handing out gold and fiefdoms.

> This is still presenting barriers to entertainment, of course.  I
> must kill the lord's enemies before I get favor and I must get
> favor before I get better armor, or get to lead troops, etc.  The
> goal is to avoid making the barriers unentertaining to those who
> are interested in the more 'advanced' forms of entertainment.  If
> I have to kill stuff before I can travel, then I have a true
> barrier.  There is no natural relationship between killing things
> and traveling.  On the other hand, if I must first develop
> mapmaking skills and orienteering skills (in an entertaining way),
> then I have a reasonable barrier.  The odds of the barriers being
> entertaining are greater when the baby steps naturally lead into
> and relate to the giant steps.

[Not snipped because I thought it was worth repeating :]

Yes - at last - You. I Choose you. Out of all the world,
out of all the seeking, I have found you, young sister of
my heart! You are mine and I am yours - and never again
will there be loneliness ...

Rolan Choosing Talia,
Arrows of the Queen, by Mercedes Lackey

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