'Stop and smell the roses' (was RE: [MUD-Dev] Winnable MMO)

lynx at lynx.purrsia.com lynx at lynx.purrsia.com
Wed Apr 9 15:27:57 New Zealand Standard Time 2003

On Tue, 8 Apr 2003, Sara Jensen wrote:

> Then again, I'm a big content-consuming explorer type, and not at
> all typical.  Most other players rushed through that stuff like
> they weren't successful until they reached the highest levels and
> had the best stuff, which does that game in particular a
> disservice -- its real strengths are in content design and
> worldbuilding, and its biggest weakness is character development.
> But how do you get the typical player to slow down and smell the
> roses, so to speak?

One possibility: create some bookkeeping mechanism so you can tell
if the player's farming the same area a lot.  If the player's
treadmilling in the same area, decrease experience gained.  (how
much more can the player learn from killing the same kobold pack for
the 100th time?)  Then people are forced to rotate.  The length of
that rotation may depend on how long your bookkeeping interval is.

Another possibility: instead of awarding experience for farming
monsters, give experience for completing missions which of course
may be in randomized locations.  Monsters still drop resources which
can be used for crafting, but to level up, you have to take on
missions for a faction, and those can go anywhere, so it pays to
know the areas.

Of course you have the argument 'I was supposed to kill a kobold
pack in this area, but you guys killed every last thing stone dead!
Did I complete my mission or not?'  On the other hand, it's still
less broken because at least with a random encounter generator, you
don't know where the 'good' encounters are going to be.

And finally, you can always get rid of character development, or
make it relatively short compared to overall exploration.  Then
there's nothing else to *do* but smell the roses.

-- Conrad

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