[MUD-Dev] D&D vs. MMORPG "complexity"

John Buehler johnbue at msn.com
Fri May 2 07:18:18 New Zealand Standard Time 2003


[liberal and hopefully useful snippage throughout]

Dave Rickey writes:
> From: "John Buehler" <johnbue at msn.com>
>> Dave Rickey writes:

>>> But why was it possible to be a supplier of goods to other
>>> players?  Why were you able to create them (become Supply), and
>>> why did they desire them (provide Demand)?  Because I assumed
>>> that economic activities were the process by which Time
>>> converted to Power?  Or was it pure chance, I threw random darts
>>> at the board of potential economic structures and happened to
>>> come up with a reasonably stable configuration?

>> I said that I found entertainment in providing goods to players
>> for reasons other than my own advacement in power.  I would still
>> have found that same entertainment value if the rest of the game
>> hadn't been predicated on a power & time structure.  You're
>> assuming that power & time are the raison de etre for this genre
>> and that no other basis of entertainment can support a
>> multiplayer experience.  I don't make that assumption.  Ergo,
>> employing another form of entertainment as the basis of demand
>> would permit my entertainment to be derived from something other
>> than a power & time structure.

> You sidestepped my point: Why did the players desire these goods?
> Because they represented *power*.  To them, you were the mechanism
> by which their time (measured in currency) could be converted to
> power.  From their point of view, it would have made very little
> difference if they had purchased them from an NPC (not completely,
> I hope that they themselves were more entertained by the process
> of personal interaction through which they managed the conversion.
> But many of them argue the point).

Actually, I just stuck with my original point.  It doesn't matter
why other players are interested in buying my items.  I was
underscoring why *I* was interested in making them in the first
place.  It wasn't due to power and time considerations.  As a
result, power and time are not the sole source of game
entertainment.

I understand that you believe that power and time as the basis of
entertainment in the game is what makes my character's career as a
craftsman viable.  I don't believe that, because if I can derive
entertainment from being a craftsman independent of the power and
time structure that crafting uses (specifically, in Dark Age of
Camelot), then I can derive entertainment from being a warrior
independent of the power and time structure.  In fact, I did.  That
may be pointlessly anecdotal, but it certainly influences my view of
these games.

I am a believer in achievement as a source of entertainment.  I
don't believe for a second that it is *the* prime mover of
entertainment in multiplayer games.

>> I agree that supply must be limited.  Level treadmills are not
>> the only means to accomplishing that.  They are simply the only
>> proven way to do it.

> It wasn't my first choice for the crafting system.  But in all
> truth, I didn't have the time or resources to really pursue
> exploring alternatives, and it was more important to me that the
> system *work* than that it was new and different.

I have the same goals.  I want it to work.  I want to find
entertainment.  Given my accumulated aversion to Yet Another
Treadmill, the assumption that time and power formulae are *the* way
to provide entertainment is dismaying, to say the least.

JB

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