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

Marian Griffith gryphon at iaehv.nl
Thu Dec 20 12:25:43 New Zealand Daylight Time 2001

On Wed 19 Dec, Bobby Martin wrote:
> From: "Andrew Hefford" <andrew.hefford at coregen.net>
>>> From: Daniel.Harman at barclayscapital.com

> It seems to me that the solution to this is easy: make crafting
> take some not insignificant amount of time, regardless of skill
> level.  The time of the master is much more valuable, so he won't
> build the trivial items.

Actually, price is a result of scarcity first. If your water company
asks 500 for a liter then you are going to collect rainwater and use
that.  The inconvenience of having to produce your own water is
outweighed easily by the gain not having to pay such a high price
for it. The fact that a craftmaster's items are expensive is not
because his time is more valuable, but because there are less people
who can produce the same quality items.  If there are more people or
if the utility factor of the item is not high enough then there is
no justification for a high price and players will not pay it.  In
the given population size, and the ease with which players travel
throughout the game world, there is no room for more than one or two
craftmasters in even the big graphical muds. There is also the
question of increased utility of crafted items, when every other
monster drops something equally good on its death.  And the issue of
balancing quality items. Allowing crafting means that everybody can
obtain that killer item without having to risk fighting the creature
first that you need that weapon for in the first place.  Allowing
crafting totally changes the entire game, just like changing the
structural wall on the first floor changes the entire design of a
building. You can not simply add crafts to a hack and slash game and
expect everything else being unaffected by it.  You will have to
redesign the game from the ground up with that aspect in mind.

> The complication to this (it's no fun to sit in front of your PC
> while your character crafts an item) is taken care of in Cosm by
> allowing the players to script offline behavior.  So a crafter's
> online time is spent gathering goods and looking for those few
> special raw materials he needs, doing social interaction, etc. and
> setting up his tasks to be performed offline.  The next time he
> logs in (or looks at a hypothetical post-release Cosm web page),
> he can see what items he's made, on what tasks he has failed, etc.

I do not see how this would work. You have just created a profession
that is required NOT to play the game.  Or at least rewarded for not
being around most of the time. If the problem is that crafting is in
itself not fun, then that problem should be adressed.  You will have
to think why a player should want to play a crafter, and what is it
that makes that an interesting profession in your game, the same way
that playing a fighter is interesting because of the constant things
that happen around them while they are playing (combat, recovering,
preparing, boasting, etc). If you do not then players will simply go
and create a character to craft and then only play it every now and
then when they need some weapon, and hardly any player will ever see
one in the game, unless the happen to know who is running a crafter
mule character.

The way you describe it I am wondering why you want to have crafts
in your game in the first place.  Is it because you feel they belong
in a medieval society?

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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