[MUD-Dev] DGN: Lords, Vassals, Serfs and the Clergy

Jaycen Rigger jaycen.rigger at sbcglobal.net
Fri May 13 19:15:01 New Zealand Standard Time 2005


John Buehler <johnbue at msn.com> wrote:

> This makes me wonder if the player governments work in smaller
> games because of greater cohesion in the player community.

My experience is with servers of 300 to 500 active accounts.  Peak
player counts are typically below 60 on the best nights due to
badwidth limitations (very few free shards can afford a T1 line).

I find that even on small servers (40 to 60 active accounts, peak
player count at 20), player-run governments were collossal failures.

> Players on top of six or seven layers of vassals tended to live in
> the game, getting online during odd hours so that they could
> actually play the game, while all mainstream hours were devoted to
> helping vassals.

I think the problem there is what I'm trying to work around with
this system; the player is playing two games.  I guess I assumed
that the Ruler position is going to be so busy being a Ruler that
players who are Rulers will be consumed with that role, and the
status and power conveyed by that role means they literally won't
have time to bother with grinding for the sake of whatever their
character class is.  This might not be true for a lower-level Ruler,
but as the size of his city and responsibilities increases, he won't
have time or inclination to grind in the traditional ways.

As a completely mechanic-supported system, the Ruler should be a
social/political character.  I think the failure you saw was because
they just didn't take the thing far enough.  They poorly defined the
power and the role of that character "sub-class" in the game society
and players started dropping Peter-builts through the holes.

> Is it community size or some other attribute of games where the
> political process works?  Is it that players inclined to read all
> the text in text MUDs are more inclined to be participants in
> complex processes?

Community size does have an effect.  Read the essays:

  http://www.legendmud.org/raph/gaming/index.html

Interesting question about text MUDs.  I could tell you, though,
I've only ever played graphics-based.

Jaycen
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