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

Dave Rickey daver at mythicentertainment.com
Thu Feb 20 21:13:31 New Zealand Daylight Time 2003


From: "Marian Griffith" <gryphon at iaehv.nl>

>> IRL it's painfully obvious that commercial centres are anything
>> but static: I don't know how many good examples there are in the
>> US (where my historical knowledge is I'm afraid very patchy) but
>> trade-towns and cities in Europe have been so mobile they
>> practically have legs.

> Actually, this is much more visible in recent american history
> than in Europe. Consider the many ghost towns, gold rush cities
> and obsolete cities that depended on a single factory that then
> folded. Many parts of Europe are too crowded nowadays to really
> see this effect, though truth be told, on an immense scale you can
> see it happening this past decade in former eastern germany where
> the local industry can no longer compete and completely vanishes,
> leaving entire cities without source of income, which is quickly
> followed by the younger population leaving for the western half of
> the country.

It happens that I have personal experience with this.  When I was a
kid there (mid 70's), Butte was the largest city in Montana with a
population around 250,000, the world's largest mining boomtown for
close to a century (although it had long since transitioned from
hard-rock gold and silver mining to open-pit copper).  In the late
70's copper from South America undercut the market, and the Anaconda
company essentially shut down in 1981.  By 1985 the population of
Butte was 45,000 and dropping, 3 houses in 4 were abandoned
property.

A community is a dynamic process in equilibrium, and although much
of what it does may seem far removed from the core engine of the
process, if that engine stops the community can disappear with
amazing swiftness.

--Dave


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