[MUD-Dev] People were talking about resets..

Sasha Hart Sasha.Hart at directory.reed.edu
Thu May 16 11:58:15 New Zealand Standard Time 2002


[David Held]

>  For a truly realistic ecology, you simply need to take away > the
>  motivation to kill everything in sight.  Only the lowest level >
>  players should kill "natural" mobs for experience.  The rest >
>  should kill them for food, and not need to kill so often that >
>  areas get completely hunted out.

I have to dissent - your average brown bat gobbles down many, many
insects each night. The insects survive anyway.  Point being that a
realistic ecology doesn't demand that players can't kill as much as
they want - they simply have to occupy a niche more like a bat or
anteater, and their prey has to keep up a sufficient population.

Of course, even if you have fantastic species which don't exist, the
ecology can still react "realistically." In terms of population
response, age distribution, interdependence via food webs, and tons
of stuff I am forgetting or don't know about.

Whether or not you want one player or another to be consuming large
quantities of mobs is a different issue.  If you are incurring a
whole lot of overhead per-mob, or need a type of mob to stick
around, you could just make them a difficult prospect to kill. There
is a reason brown bats don't eat many elephants or small dogs each
night.

The problem is often that people on the one hand want the player to
envision himself as a daring hero. On the other they want to
guarantee a completely even, constant stream of fights with
carefully managed risks.  You don't get both. Players generally
consume insects named "orc," rather than heroically fighting
orcs. If the hunted-out problem is solved by giving them the
characteristics of a prey population which survives the kind of
predation orcs work under (insects), that doesn't make them any less
heroic to kill than they were to begin with. If farming an endless
spawn of identical orcs taking about 1 minute each to kill is
heroic, then a brown bat handling an insect is also heroic. :)

Sasha
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