[MUD-Dev] Do players enjoy farming? (was MUD-Dev Digest, Vol 7, Issue9)

T H lazingtiger at yahoo.com
Tue Jan 13 21:55:28 New Zealand Daylight Time 2004


--- Daniel.Harman at barclayscapital.com wrote:

> Its interesting that you say farming is low risk and slow gain. In
> the games I've played it has always been the most efficient
> approach, and personally I think that's why people do it. By
> farming you can pick a spot with a constant supply of monsters at
> a pace you can handle and likely known loot.  That tends to beat
> wondering around randomly looking for things to kill in most
> instances. Not only can you manage the difficulty so that it is
> consistent, with travel time considerations & death penalties the
> net gain is almost certainly higher.

I would agree with what youve said, and add that any game that
encourages players to form groupings, the more people gathered the
harder it becomes for them to move in a coordinated manner. Which
means if you can keep a group of people stationary, you are more
likely to spend time.

The basic cause seems to be that you are rewarded based on the
number of kills you make, with a pretty hard upper limit on
difficulty. Your only experience gaining choice then is to kill
things over and over and over, regardless if your moving or not.

> Everquest which is probably the game most associated with camping
> does now have 20-120 minute instanced dungeon crawls now
> available, and they seem to be pretty popular. You get reasonable
> xp & loot whilst crawling through a dungeon. The only downside is
> that it gets a bit samey after a while but people do like these
> bite sized helpings of achievement.

DAoC had kill tasks at low levels, that were reasonably efficient
for solo players at low levels.  Camping was replaced by running to
a target, killing it, and running back. This was a slightly less
repetitive task, but again, its repetitive nature comes from the
fact that the reward structure is such that you need to repeat a
task for hours to get a reward.

Its a nature of the progression models put in place that induces
repetitive behavior. Camping and farming I dont think are the
problem, instead the problems are symptoms of game environments
where there are only limited camping and farming spots, so that the
players return to the same site day after day, or worse yet have no
good places to camp and farm because others have taken the best
spots.

So I dont quite see camping and farming as a problem, but
repetitiveness as the root evil.
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