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

Jeff Cole jeff.cole at mindspring.com
Fri May 2 14:16:05 New Zealand Standard Time 2003

From: Paul Canniff
> From: Jeff Cole

>> I am not sure in what way you consider water "fungible".  The
>> fact that companies can charge a significant price for bottled
>> water is evidence that water is not fungible, let alone highly
>> so.

> To my taste nearly every brand of non-carbonated water is the
> same, thus despite the efforts of Coke & Pepsi to create their
> brands (Dasani and Aquafina, I think) I treat bottled water as
> highly fungible.  If you're comparing bottled water to tap water,
> or to a muddy puddle in the gutter, I agree water isn't 100%
> fungible.  :)

Mostly, was talking about "drinking" water, since that was the
example Dave used.  For whatever reason, the fact that a market
exists for bottled drinking water demonstrates that it isn't
fungible.  But there is also a more subtle point: with respect to
industries like public utilities, railroads, etc--that is, so-called
"natural monopolies"--the fact that there is a single good/service
may result not from the fungibility of the good/service, but from
the nature of the industry.

> Most game "loot" seems to be VERY fungible ... and I wish more of
> the stuff that dropped off monsters had some place in the economy.

There is a concept that player economy and loot must either compete
or be mutually exclusive has virulently infected design.  Even SW:G
seems not to be immune insofar as it boasts that player-made items
will be the best in the game.  One of these days, we'll see a design
in which economy complements rather than competes with loot.

Ultimately, the primary function of an economy in an MMO*/MUD is
different than in "real life".

Yrs. Affcty,
Jeff Cole

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