[MUD-Dev] Blog about GDC implies changes to MMORPG population

John Buehler johnbue at msn.com
Fri Jun 3 02:43:14 New Zealand Standard Time 2005

Jaycen Rigger writes:
> John Buehler <johnbue at msn.com> wrote:

>> I'll certainly agree with the latter point.  Stuff hangs around.
>> I'm actually okay with degradation, wear, etc.  I'm averse to
>> using degradation as a mechanism to handle the unreasonable pace
>> of introduction of items in current games.  It takes us back to
>> the factory model.  Monsters are factories.  Crafters are
>> factories.  It's American consumerism.  Crank 'em out, throw 'em
>> away, make some more.  As has been stated, without degradation,
>> the crafters would have nothing to do.  That's a sign of a
>> dangerous design mindset as far as I'm concerned.

>> Your first point (hoarding) is a philosophical issue for me
>> because it is a statement that underscores how people don't
>> resist selfish temptations.  Hoarding in a game is like sex and
>> violence in movies.  I don't like hoarding in games because it
>> feeds a simpleminded desire in players, just as sex and violence
>> feed simpleminded desires in moviegoers.  I'm always looking for
>> some higher-order stimulus for players, to draw them into
>> entertainment that they will find more enjoyable than the
>> simpleminded stuff.  I believe that the online communities that
>> result from higher-order stimuli will be better-behaved than
>> those that result from low-order stimuli.

>> I don't contest that people like to hoard items.  I wouldn't
>> contest that people like sex, or that they are fascinated by
>> violence.  I'd contest the notion that a game must cater to those
>> impulses, and I'd argue that there are forms of entertainment
>> that transcend such simple impulses.  Such as being a part of
>> empire-building.  Falling in love.  Helping others.  Less selfish
>> stuff.  (I said it was philosophical)

> So....back to some of the things I've suggested in the past.  Most
> of us agree that people like to accumulate THINGS.  We don't want
> to be punitive in our attempt to remove THINGS from the game, yet
> we need to pace the rate of new THINGS entering the game.

> Why don't we approach it from the perspective of creating
> something that encourages players to get rid of THINGS on their
> own?  Taxation was one avenue I suggested.  I want to pay my taxes
> (removing GOLDRESOURCE) because I receive some percieved service
> for doing so.  In order to pay my taxes, I must accumulate wealth
> by selling off my extra or less desirable THINGS (removing

You're talking about the current Source and Sink model for dealing
with game resources.  Sources introduce stuff to the game and sinks
take them out.  I believe that everything you've described has been
tried or is in use in current games.  Incentives to pursue sinks are
always part of gameplay.  NPCs that provide services that no PC can.
Imperfect repairs to objects, eventually turning them to unwanted
junk.  Consumables that players actually want to buy (possession
customizations are a classic here).  And so on.

> In this case, the player doesn't have to participate in the
> system.  Certainly, by killing monsters he could possibly earn
> enough income to pay his taxes.  It's also likely the player will
> want to have extra money to buy other consumables (food for
> example, if your characters must eat like mine do to maintain
> their regen rates).

Note that roleplayers are the only ones who get a kick out of eating
virtual food and paying virtual taxes.  The other 99% of the
population prefers to actually experience some stimulus that
entertains them.  But we all have our personal pipedreams, I

To be more clear about what I was getting at, I'm looking for the

  1. Commercial and military experiences are two distinct types of

  2. Those interested in business should have a fully-developed
  system of commerce in which to participate.  Such a system is
  about making money and having stuff.

  2. Those interested in warfare should have a fully-developed
  system of fighting in which to participate.  Such a system is
  about tactic
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