[MUD-Dev] How much is enough?

Damion Schubert damion at ninjaneering.com
Thu Apr 25 12:15:15 New Zealand Standard Time 2002

>From Justin Coleman
> Quotes from Brian Hook:
>> Power gamers can never have too much information.  They derive
>> enjoyment from optimizing their playing time and play styles.
> Exactly. The problem I see (from playing EQ way too much) is that
> I, as a non-powergamer, find that there is simply too much
> emphasis on the numbers. IMPG (in my perfect game) there would be
> only enough combat to allow one to practice skills and complete
> the quests, while the main form of entertainment and reward would
> be the quests themselves.

How well players are going to respond to this is going to be a
factor of (a) how much they have to fight to advance and (b) how
much they _can_ fight to advance.  Combat is a time-honored thing to
do in MUDs because it is a fairly interesting activity that is
highly renewable - it is mentally acceptable to do it repeatedly for
repeated gain.  Thus, we can code a combat system once that can suck
up hours and hours of a player's playtime.

If your other systems (such as quests) can eat up thousands of hours
of playtime, then by all means, go for it.  However, I've found that
the more specialized a quest is (and by extension, the more
interesting it is), the less repeatable it is.  Tetris is a highly
repeatable game, whereas Myst is not.  If your players will want to
play for hundreds of hours, you will want something closer to the
Tetris side of the scale.

That being said, the more that players engage in that one activity
(such as combat), then the more that players are going to become
powergamers over time.  Players who normally are all over the
roleplaying will quickly become slaves of the 'most efficient way to
fight'.  Even RPers will do so, as they realize that if they fight
as effectively as possible, they will level faster and have more
time for roleplay.


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