[MUD-Dev] [MLP] The use of ecology models (was: NPC Complexity)

Sasha Hart Sasha.Hart at directory.reed.edu
Sat Apr 20 02:41:08 New Zealand Standard Time 2002


[Sean Kelly]

> Any ecology will fall apart if 70% of the entire world's
> population (beasts included) are rampant consumers.

ALL real organisms are rampant consumers. If this seems trivial (who
cares about filter feeders, right) then realize how many predators
make it their daily, constant business to eat other critters. In the
case of insectivores, at a rate perhaps per-capita comparable to how
fast players kill things in UO.

  (That would make MUD players something like glorified virtual
  anteaters, wouldn't it? It's more sensible than the hero notion,
  anyway.)

Yet real ecologies are enormously robust, and predation is totally
ordinary business. Many differences have been suggested, but I think
I can let this stand as a proof that in principle, an ecology can
work even to supply constant killing to players. Now, whether or not
the CPU and dev time might be better spent elsewhere is a different
matter.

In this case, simple spawns are a vastly more economic solution. In
supplying us with something that looks alive, spawns are as terrible
a solution as the UO model was for maintaining high and stable
populations of prey. IMO :)

Sasha
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