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

Bobby Martin bobbymartin at hotmail.com
Fri Dec 21 18:08:19 New Zealand Daylight Time 2001


> From: Marian Griffith <gryphon at iaehv.nl>
> On Wed 19 Dec, Bobby Martin wrote:

>> 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

The craftmaster's time is more valuable _because_ his items are more
expensive because there are less people who can produce the same
quality items.  So, he's going to be less likely to spend his time
making items that have low value (even if he can make them at higher
quality) because even high quality low value items don't make as
much money for him as medium quality high value items.  The lower
skill craftsmen can't make the high value items at all, at any
quality.

> if the utility factor of the item is not high enough then there is

Agreed, although "utility" can have a pretty broad meaning.

> 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

Travel will take longer in Cosm.  There will be instant transport
spells, but any of them that take you long distance will be 'fixed'
so that they can't be used to trade items from one area to another.
Also, item decay and item destruction will apply to all items.

> question of increased utility of crafted items, when every other
> monster drops something equally good on its death.  And the issue
> of

The monsters typically won't drop something equally good.  They will
drop something crappy, some money, or be scavenged for raw
materials.  Some monsters will drop 'good stuff', but it is our
intention to make the difficulty to get the good stuff fairly equal
between getting it from the monster or from a craftsman.  It should
be mostly a matter of playstyle preference for how you choose to get
such items.  It is also our intent to make items have enough
sophistication in their use that different items are best for
different applications, so you don't just get the uber-sword of
death and then not care about other weapons.

> 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.

Very true.

>> 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

Is there a MUD or similar game now in which crafting is fun?  That's
an honest question, not a troll.  I have yet to see one in which
crafting is more than clicking a button/entering a command.
Gathering materials is fun, finding out how to craft new items is
fun, selling items is fun, building a reputation is fun, getting
increased skill is fun, but crafting is not fun, unless you want to
build a game for every type of crafter (where they learn to take the
bread out of the oven when the color of the firelight is exactly
this shade of orange, etc., which is very subject to client side
hacking).  I want to move the not-fun part offline and leave the fun
part online.

...

> 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?

In our game, crafting is the only way items come into being, except
for 'simulated crafting' that we use to emulate a society, raw
materials (which are mined or harvested) and some special artifact
type items.  Crafting is where items come from.

Bobby
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