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

David Kennerly kennerly at sfsu.edu
Sat Apr 12 00:32:42 New Zealand Standard Time 2003

Kwip wrote:

> I mean besides out and out laws - rather things like tax breaks

Richard Garriott's favorite feature of any online game was territory and
taxation in Lineage.

    "Once you take a castle, you can set the taxation rate for the
    general region, and you get the money for your group."  (July
    17, 2002)


What are some examples from other MMORPGs?

Or from MM P&P RPGs?  :)

> But is such a system -someday- feasible?

Maybe.  Matt Mihaly, others on the list, and myself have done some
of this and more.

I designed and scripted a political system in 1999 in Dark Ages.
It's not your order, but it's a player-driven political system.

I described the system in an article:

    Dark Ages Politics in Theory and Practice


for Imaginary Realities (September 2000).  Since then I evolved the
political system each year, so the current politics has different
proportions and expanded structure.

> Would that be trying to wear too many hats for a MOG to undertake?

I don't think workload is the bottleneck.  I designed, scripted, and
administrated a political system for thousands of players as a
fraction of my full-time job.

I think making it fun for the citizen players is the bottleneck.
What is an example of politics being fun for citizens in the real

Some people ask if online games are addictive.  What is more
addictive than political power?  What destroys more lives?  Ruins
more communities?  Political power is an addiction to which no one
is immune.

For example, the same Richard Garriott also liked role-playing a
king in Lineage.

  "That's a fascinating landscape for Lord British to step into and
  try to play the peacemaker like he did in the Ultimas.  He's here
  to help root out the despotic rulers and help find the true kings
  who should be in power in the land and to act as a spiritual guide
  to the path of virtue."


That's a discouraging sign.  Sounds like Lord British is having fun,
but at who's expense?  This point reminds me of the ring of power in
The Lord of the Rings.  Richard should know better than to wear it
so often.  For a man who wanted to improve ethics of players (same
interview) he should set the example and not equip the Ring of
Power, exempting himself from normal player status.  To set a Good
example, one should be a Good player, not a God player.


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