[MUD-Dev] Interesting things to do (was: Player Accounts on a Non-Commercial MUD)

Damion Schubert damion at ninjaneering.com
Tue May 7 13:25:17 New Zealand Standard Time 2002


>From John Buehler

> Three thoughts:
 
>   1. If you give players new content, they will experience that
>   new content the way you intended for some period of time.  Then
>   they will reverse engineer it because there is no longer value
>   in just experiencing it - in games that are achievement
>   oriented.  Some players will choose to pursue the revere
>   engineering task immediately because that is a big reason why
>   they play the game in the first place.  There is a notoriety in
>   doing the reverse engineering first, more completely, etc.  This
>   is the Inquisitiveness Factor.

I don't think notoriety has anything to do with it, and I think you
overestimate what I mean by reverse engineer.  Put another way, if
the system is providing them with any amount of percieved value,
they may play it once the way you intended it to be played.  The
second time they play that systemm they will cut some corners.
Soon, they will find the most efficient way to 'work' your system,
because time has value to them.  This isn't about powergaming.  This
is about the average schmuck in EverQuest realizing that actually
hunting monsters in EQ is more time consuming than sitting and
waiting by a static spawn spot.

It also doesn't have to do with being achiever (and at what point
did the word 'achiever' become dirty among us MUD designers anyway? 
=) An explorer will, for example, find the fastest way to see
everything in the world, or sit next to an NPC saying the same thing
over and over again to see if the NPC will, in fact, say 'boobies'
one time out of a million.

>   2. Give players a game which is not focused on achievement, such
>   that doing something more efficiently gives you nothing in
>   return.  In fact, it will give you less.  It's like running
>   through the National Museum of American History.  The more
>   efficient you are, the less entertainment you find.

I thought that Museums were attractive places because they allowed
you to see all the wondrous things in the world all while saving you
the trouble of flying all over the world and digging things up
yourselves.  It's powergaming for real-life explorer types, and it's
entertaining BECAUSE it's so efficient.

>   3. Do people reverse engineer simulators?

If there is a gain or loss associated with it, then they will
min-max it.  If there is not a way that players can be affected by
it, then why put it in there?

--d
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