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

shren shren at io.com
Tue Apr 23 06:30:23 New Zealand Standard Time 2002

On Sun, 21 Apr 2002, Sean Kelly wrote:

> And ultimately, I don't think spawning is very entertaining.  The
> feeling I always got in MMORPGs was that I was in a funhouse.  It's
> not any fun if I as a player don't have any lasting impact on the
> environment.

The difference is the difference between:

  If you do X, Y happens.
  If you don't do X, Z happens.


  If you do X, Q happens.
  If you don't do X, Q happens.

But, with simple spawning, it's hard to come up with a Y because the
players don't really want the spawning to stop.  Imagine telling the
EQ players that they had defeated all of the evil, that no more
monsters would spawn, and that Norrath (right world?  right
spelling?) was now free to enter an age of peace.

One of my thoughts on this matter is to make micro-worlds that have
shorter durations, fixed player bases, and fixed goals, and the
micro-worlds close when the goals have been met.  So you get
together a hundred people, enter a small world, and spend about a
year saving it, making steady progress as you go.  When all of the
goals have been met, the evils defeated, and peace achieved, the
world respawns like a mud respawn, back at the beginning.
Repetitive, but there's a feeling of progress, and I seldom stick to
a game for longer than a year anyway.



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