[MUD-Dev] Striving for originality

Rudy Fink rudyfink at owlnet.rice.edu
Tue Jun 11 03:49:44 New Zealand Standard Time 2002


On Mon, 10 Jun 2002, Damion Schubert wrote:
> From John Bertoglio

>> The goal in the proposal above was to create zones which were
>> magic friendly and those where it was sparse and rare. In
>> addition, we were trying to avoid the situation where a low level
>> mage has spell power that is the equivalent of throwing rocks and
>> a high level mage has spells with the power of a 16inch naval gun
>> (along with a rate of fire admirals only dream of). An important
>> component of the balance problem is the fact that with
>> advancement comes many orders of magnitude of power increases.

> What concerns me with this is what I loosely call the 'cleric
> problem'.  In EverQuest (as in many text muds), Clerics are very
> potent against the undead, and very mediocre against everything
> else.  The end result is that clerics choose disproportionately to
> spend more time in the undead regions.  Which is to say, unless
> you FORCE magic-users to go into zones where they are ineffective,
> they will simply avoid the zones where they have been castrated.
> This can have pretty serious ramifications on your social
> structure inside your world space.

I think players will move to where their efficency is highest for
attaining their goals, leaving goals loosely defined.

Trying to create zones that ballence out between classes seems
tricky.  If there is a difference folks can take advantage of, they
will leverage it.  This may be perfectly acceptable if you want
casters in certain zones and melees in others, assuming that is your
arch breakdown.

Damion's point is well taken that EQ is a good source of examples
for the dangers and benefits of a large number of classes with
specialization and differentiation.  EQ has had quite a lot of
zig-zagging back and forth trying to tune these differences through
player/class/arch-type adjustment and different zone types.  It
seems to be a never ending problem to try and ballence EQ.

As a trivial aside, most EQ'ers would probably assume something else
if one refers to the "cleric problem."  They will assume that you
are talking about the necessity of clerics for either click res'ing
or for complete heal.  These are two of the biggest points of the
current EQ game and kind of a lament of gameplay design imo.  I
think the general impression is that clerics are well-balenced to
over-powered, but not terribly fun to play.  Clerics undead
abilities provide them an opportunity to solo for exp if they choose
not to group.  Their solo abilities are limited in exchange for
their massive power in groups, which is considered appropriate by
most.

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