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

Marian Griffith gryphon at iaehv.nl
Thu May 8 21:40:55 New Zealand Standard Time 2003

In <URL:/archives/meow?group+local.muddev> on Wed 07 May, Vincent Archer wrote:

> Another way of fighting this is to do away with the whole
> exponential wealth paradigm. About every single game is based on
> the same principle: a starting character has little or no coinage,
> a level 10's full equipment kit is worth 1g, a level 20 is worth
> 10, a level 50 is worth a thousand.

Yes, this is indeed a problem, as it prevents the game economy from
reacting on the player economy.

> Which creates the unfortunate consequences:

[some problems snipped]

>   - No low level character can engage in meaningful economic
>   transactions with a high level character, no matter what
>   services he wants to buy

And this basically destroys any player economy.

> Why not, instead, work linearly, or even almost flat. A level 10
> character's full equipment costs 100g, a level 50 character's
> equipment costs 500g at most.

> You need of course a couple measures to prevent farming of low
> difficulty mobs for their coinage (the various giants of EQ are
> quite popular for this purpose). Probably link the amount of
> coinage and probability of items that drop to the challenge of the
> mob fought. And put minimum levels to equipment, or (probably
> better) put caps to character power from equipment.

A couple of simple solutions that come to mind:

Ignore the whole 'superior equipment' issue.  A level 50 character
is better with a sword not because the sword is better but because
the character is. That means a level 1 character can buy or sell a
sword from a level 50.

Make it so that players have to *buy* training to improve their a-
bilities.  This means that, if set up properly, a player can never
amass a surplus of money. Unless she wants to stay at the same le-
vel of ability.

Do away with most of the 'loot'. Monsters do not drop equipment or
money unless they first stole it. Any value that enters the system
must first be created by the players.  No handy infinite supply of
weapons and gold, but a real reason to be a crafter. This would at
least remove the worst inflation from games, and make players that
more appreciative of their economic skills.

Yes - at last - You. I Choose you. Out of all the world,
out of all the seeking, I have found you, young sister of
my heart! You are mine and I am yours - and never again
will there be loneliness ...

Rolan Choosing Talia,
Arrows of the Queen, by Mercedes Lackey

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