[MUD-Dev] Star Wars Galaxies: 1 character per server

Sasha Hart hart.s at attbi.com
Fri Feb 7 02:14:45 New Zealand Daylight Time 2003


[Jeff Cole]

> I don't think it's so much that the 'experiences' or 'abilities'
> necessarily provide protection from the abuse of others but rather
> that the 'mill decreases (drastically) the number of people who
> can effectively abuse you.

Of course, it depends completely on which game you use as the
example. I was attempting to make a rather general point (extreme
skew in 'experience'/'ability' is not always just a matter of A
having more than B, and B being more or less unjustifiably envious).

> Parity of those qualities won't directly provide more protection
> to those with less time invested-- rather, it will provide less
> protection to those with more time invested.

Taking your perspective: Yes, two people with the ability to beat
hell out of each other are equally unprotected. Just protecting one
physically may seem simply better than protecting neither. Perhaps
it would be best to simply provide blanket protection and not let
anyone spawnkill anyone else. In some cases and games we don't want
to tie players' hands completely, we do want them to be able to
assess consequences on each other, or at least we don't care if they
do (perhaps because it is an inevitable consequence of an attractive
design).

Disagreeing: imagine prisoner's dilemma with one side prohibited
from taking any move but 'cooperate' and the other left
free. Freeing both will, indeed, expose both to 'defect'. But it
will shift ideal strategies away from 'always defect.' To me that
betters the lot of the guy who was freed *in addition* to creating
more parity. It doesn't just hurt the lot of the other guy. But,
easily, this completely depends on the game.

> You would still have to draw some line, somewhere, below which it
> is unreasonable for a player to expect parity of experience or
> ability.

Well, I might draw a line at real experience or ability, as sports
often do (but see the division of little league from big league).
But all kinds of games provide parity of handicaps, which is much
more comparable to game 'experience' and 'ability'; they assure
absolute parity of in-game handicaps by not providing any.



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