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

Sean Kelly sean at ffwd.cx
Thu Apr 25 08:47:54 New Zealand Standard Time 2002


From: "Matt Mihaly" <the_logos at achaea.com>
> On Sun, 21 Apr 2002, Sean Kelly wrote:

>> Personally, I like the idea, as in Horizons (and AO), of pitting
>> groups of players against one another.  Seems a good way to
>> provide a sustainable opposition with a minimum of effort.

> *boggle* A minimum of effort? Surely my friend, you are joking! As
> someone who has spent the last 5 years of his life as the head
> admin and developer on a group vs. group MUD, I can tell you it
> requires somewhat more than a minimum of effort. It's been my
> experience on three different group vs. group games that admin
> intervention is absolutely crucial to keep the conflict between
> the groups alive and, more importantly, interesting. Fighting over
> the same issue for years can get tedious, and creating new issues
> for them to fight over (when they aren't finding their own
> reasons) is not a small amount of work.

Good point.  But if players can both compete directly as well as
affect the world at large (some sort of content creation), I believe
that the game is much more self-sustaining than worlds where this is
not the case.  Asheron's Call case in point.  Designers spend all
their time working like crazy to get the next month's block of
content out the door, and the more industrious players finish it in
48 hours.  Also, since only a limited amount of content can be
created, the entire populace ends up being attracted to the same few
places (though I grant that the team has done a good job trying to
distribute things as much as possible).  Compare this to, say,
Ultima Online, and I think UO comes out on top in terms of designer
effort vs.  replay value.


Sean

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