[MUD-Dev] Player generated quests

Artur Biesiadowski abies at adres.pl
Wed Feb 18 22:42:06 New Zealand Daylight Time 2004


wcoles at reflectionsinteractive.com wrote:

> Just throwing this out (partially as an extension to the previous
> discussion about fed-ex quests). Although I'm sure it's not a new
> idea. Giving players the ability to provide quests for each other
> and provide experience gains for completion.

If players can transfer xp one to another freely or without big
hassle, xp will just become different currency. It will probably
totally replace normal money as far as player-to-player trade is
considered - xp is actually useful for something (levelling) in
addition to being trade currency, not like gp. IMHO, regardless of
how many artificial restrictions on xp transfer you will impose,
players will still work around that.

I would considering a bit different solution, to which your proposal
reduces after taking out smoke and mirrors. Forget about xp, use
only gp, with levelling achieved by paying a trainer certain amount
of gold.

What would make players to give such quests, when giving it would
cost them resources for next level ? One example I can phantom is
fire mage needing fire dragon scales for their trainer, so he can
level them up (in addition to normal fee). If fire dragon would be
immune to fire magic, this could explain why it would be easier for
somebody else, even lower level, to do the task. But how many such
trick can you put into game ? Most important, you would need to put
it into game - which sort of defeats idea of player-driven quests.

IMHO, solution to this is to aim for positive-sum exchange, or at
least quality instead of quantity exchange. If you want one player
to lose gold/xp and second gain it (or part of it), add some skill
to player 1. Create sophisticated trade-skills, with non-obvious
recipies (maybe random?), so tradesman can 'buy' given item from
questtaker for fair price, but at same time be able to transmute it
into more precious thing. But still, as long as you base it around
direct xp transfer, you will turn it into just another currency.

I would suggest putting some tax on experience transferred. Maybe
even 50% ? This way you will balance two currencies - gp can be
transferred 1-1, but xp can be used for levelling. I imagine that
most quests in such case would involve both money and xp - probably
with small amount of xp, because of high loss ratio. If you will add
enough benefit for trading gold/xp for services, it could work. But
balancing it would be very hard - will xp loss for quest-giver be
acceptable for benefits from service that can be received from
quest-taker for whom half of this xp amount is important enough ?

Artur
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