[MUD-Dev] Re: Brand Loyalty

Sasha Hart hart.s at attbi.com
Fri Jan 24 12:21:30 New Zealand Daylight Time 2003


> Well, what I tried to describe above was difficult. When I say,
> everyone advances at the same rate, I mean just that, simply.  If
> you play 6 hours a day, or 1 hour a day, if you take the right
> combos of abilities to kill things twice as fast or generalize
> more and kill half as fast, whatever you do, i.e. really flatten
> out everything, it completely negates player skill.
> Imagine a game where you make a character on Day 1. You get 1
> skill point per day, regardless of how much you play that day,
> regardless of what you do if you do play, regardless of whether
> you log in or not. Characters progress by the passage of real
> time. In such a game, there is no player skill component, becuase
> the rewards are the same regardless.
> Well, the extrinsic rewards at least. Such a system would remove
> powergaming, but not one I think I'd really enjoy investing time
> into. Key word is invest.

I have to draw the same old distinction between advancement and
winning. You don't 'advance' in chess (at least, you might learn in
chess but that is not constitutive of the game nor does it exhaust
the reasons it might be fun).

I don't see a conflict here. The properly applied handicap saves a
game by letting the win conditions be more unpredictable and
interesting. It emphasizes the contribution of player skill to the
win-state. If you stipulated a game like golf or chess in which
everyone was always assured to win and the decisions explicitly made
no difference, that would surely not be a good thing for the game,
but it would also assuredly be different than setting up a good
playing-field or proper handicap.

It might finally be pointed out that winning doesn't matter to all
players equally or equally at all time.

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