[MUD-Dev] MMORPG Politics (was D&D vs. MMORPG "complexity")

Kwip kwip at neenerneener.net
Fri Apr 11 15:45:17 New Zealand Standard Time 2003

On Fri, 11 Apr 2003, Matt Mihaly wrote:

> I'm thinking you've never played a large-scale game with politics
> that matter then. (Do not think UO, EQ, DAoC, etc. They don't have
> politics that matter to any great degree.)

Just chiming in a bit here...

That's actually a very interesting point - in the earlier days on
Darktide in Asheron's Call 1 (yes, I know, shudder, please bear with
me), there was a long period of some really interesting politicking,
back-room deals and back-stabbing amongst the various
Monarchies(Guilds). The amount of espionage and treachery were
amazing, and even taking into account that many of the players at
the time were young and what would be considered 'immature kiddies,'
the lengths they would go to in order to make and break these
treaties was fascinating. Role-playing was never really strong, but
out and out diplomacy had a huge role - just the stories about it
brought over some players from other servers to witness these
dealings and wheelings. Granted, we're still talking about a really
minor fraction of people that were already a minority of the player
base. But I can't help but think that if there were more tools in
place to support actual guild wars/political interactions (thinking
along the lines of M59), it really could have drawn many more

I don't know Shadowbane very well yet, but I'm very eager to see
what sort of 'politics' come to play there. I'm still very
interested to see what sort of development can be done on the
political aspects of future games - if, for example, you as a city
leader were able to punish/reward your guards based on their
behaviors, and they learned from these punishments/rewards (a la
Black & White) and modified their behavior accordingly, it would
certainly appeal to the more strategy-based players. Likewise, tools
in place to help administer city merchants and enforce certain
practices/behaviors. I mean besides out and out laws - rather things
like tax breaks, etc - e.g., if your city is preparing for a war,
you could do something like decrease taxes on weapon merchants, if
you were attempting to expand, you could offer the tax breaks to
farmers, etc - you get the idea.

When I talk with other players about things like this, there is
always a huge interest - but the problem (as I'm sure is always
true) comes when people begin debating the mechanics behind the
scenes. In my own ignorance, it seems like it should be possible to
'teach' governing NPCs certain behaviors, based on a rulers'
preference. Of course, I say all this and am aware that perhaps the
player base that such a system would appeal to might be relatively
small - but if this were in place as well as some of the more
successful PvE structures to keep the hack & slash folks happy...not
to mention the scores of PvP players that would want a good system
for their interests to be kept... Yeah, I'm dreaming a pipe dream, I
know. But is such a system -someday- feasible? Would that be trying
to wear too many hats for a MOG to undertake?


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