[MUD-Dev] [MLP] Why care about levels? (was: The use of ecolo gy models)

Sasha Hart Sasha.Hart at directory.reed.edu
Mon Apr 29 18:32:36 New Zealand Standard Time 2002


[Daniel Harman]

> Everyone ignores stats that don't matter. You see this a lot in
> Everquest where most casters only care about 2 of 10 stats (I
> think its 10 =/) and most melees only care about 1 of them (at the
> highest level).

Point taken - in which case my question was "What is the distinction
between stats which get ignored and stats which don't, in terms of
anything but the fact that they are ignored"? :)

In an obvious way stats can be currency, exchangeable (even if only
at certain times) for in-game "goods" or themselves so tightly
associated with goods that they are identified with them.

To some extent my confusion is more fundamentally what players get
out of games to begin with - one suggestion I have heard so far has
been that stats are associated with social prestige. In that case,
the question can be pushed further - what properties of a game are
necessary to harness the social prestige motivation? By one
philosophy, which almost works, higher numbers are more prestige.
Hence points? On the other hand there could be a points system which
counts down (time taken to finish it). So it rather seems to be
something about either completely defining arbitrary goals (the
meeting of which is winning and presumably valuable in some way
related to social prestige), doing things which are difficult,
heroic, adept etc (and hence prestigious) or both (e.g. getting the
points in pac-man is the goal, but the goal matters because it is
difficult or unusual).

Sasha

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