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

Sasha Hart Sasha.Hart at directory.reed.edu
Mon May 20 01:55:25 New Zealand Standard Time 2002


[Dave Held]

> It seems that the key to a happy, healthy world is to put in
> self-regulating features that lead to a type of Gaia-like
> homeostasis.  That includes population controls on both the high
> and low end, as well as other ecology-regulating features.

If the homeostasis you build in is too perfect, though, then nothing
will change. And certainly no one can make a difference. This
doesn't fix the tension everyone harps on between allowing control
(and getting what you wished for, as terrible as it is) or not doing
so (and feeling cheated, or bored). So yes, you are right, but the
trick is making a happy healthy world that supplies the kinds of
natural change and manmade change you expect, and not the ones you
don't.

This can entail (at one extreme) scripting everything very strictly
or using very predictable or simple rules. At the other, total
acceptance of whatever the system gives, e.g. in the name of
realism.

> On the one hand, linear models are very easy to write and very
> fast to simulate.  On the other, I think demand for realism is
> reaching a point where non-linear rules need to be considered and
> implemented.

Yes. If you have exponential growth of rabbits, and want to control
the rabbit population, and you try to do it by subtracting constant
amounts rather than exponents, then you* will waste a lot of time
trying to approximate exponents with rapidly adjusted subtracted
amounts.

*me -I'm terrible with math.

On the other hand, perfect control provides nothing more interesting
than simulating the rabbit growth linearly gives to begin with. So
you do something simple - like adding in a time lag before control
kicks in, distorting it, etc.

This is where things get complicated fast. I think it's no accident
that it's also where they get interesting fast, for rabbit growth or
really anything.

Sasha
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