[MUD-Dev] MMORPG, buildings, is it bad to be just props?

J C Lawrence claw at kanga.nu
Thu Feb 20 17:41:23 New Zealand Daylight Time 2003

On Thu, 20 Feb 2003 13:36:02 -0500 
Paul Schwanz <pschwanz at comcast.net> wrote:
> J C Lawrence wrote:
>> On Wed, 19 Feb 2003 15:32:17 -0500 Lee Sheldon
>> <lsheldo2 at tampabay.rr.com> wrote:

>> 2) The jump takes RL time (so its essentially a set of marching
>> orders), but frees the player to manipulate/track other game tokens
>> while it is progressing.

>> The problem for MUDs is that the player is controlling a only single
>> token at any time (his character) making #2 inapplicable...

> If we modify #2 slightly, I don't think it must be inapplicable.

>   2) ...but frees the player to manipulate/track other game tokens or
>   log out while it is progressing.

That would seem to start muddling it which #1, which while not
inherently bad, seems somehow suspicious.  The first blush dynamics:

  1) The activities to transition a player character between StateA and
  StateB consume observable time and are inherently boring (and are
  assumed to not explicitly require active player participation).

  2) The state transition occupies time as the time is necessary to the
  support of market and value economics in the game definition.
  (Consider the effect of teleports on remote object/NPC value, or the
  inception and decline of Clipper ships in the tea trade).

  3) The state transition time by definition allows for random

If you remove random encounters (generated by the game _OR_ other
players), then #3 goes away.  That merely leaves the tieing of
transition time to subjective cost to establish subjective value
assessments.  In the case of travel this more or less equates to travel
by very slow ballistic missile:

  Bubba is in The Great Square of GooGoo.

  Bubba elects to go to Castle Krak (and starts that transition).

  Bubba disappears from TSoGG (insert suitable pyrotechnics).

  Bubba appears in Castle Krak some 8 RL minutes later.

  During that transition time Bubba the character object was immobilised
  and incapable with participating with the "physical" game world
  (outside of the containing ICBM and his person), but Bubba's human
  player could continue to chat, read message boards, log off (and log
  back in after 8 minutes), etc -- which brings up Dave Rickey's (?) 
  comments on the semantics and effects of enforced downtime.

> Let the player choose which parts of the character's life he finds
> dramatic and which parts he does not.

Okay, but that leaves you with either accepting (and attempting to deal
with) enforced downtime, or removing time costs from your value
assessment dynamics -- which can be done but has large implications.


J C Lawrence                
---------(*)                Satan, oscillate my metallic sonatas. 
claw at kanga.nu               He lived as a devil, eh?		  
http://www.kanga.nu/~claw/  Evil is a name of a foeman, as I live.

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