luke at rocketship.com luke at rocketship.com
Wed Nov 7 10:11:19 CET 2001

Note: This message was written via the list web archives.  There is
no guarantee that the claimed author is actually the author.
Original message: http://www.kanga.nu/archives/MUD-Dev-L/2001Q4/msg00495.php

On Tue,  6 Nov 2001 22:41:17 -0800 (PST)
Mr Dylan Tovey <s201165 at student.uq.edu.au> wrote:

> The first things is that the human brain is plastic. That is the
> information we receive after birth has a direct and measurable
> impact on the construction of neuronal pathways.
> Our behaviour is not defined by genetic information (pre-coded
> behaviours) but by the post-natal stereo information we receive
> from our environment. (usually societal culture or family culture)
> Our genetic information defines a set of functional potentialities
> (skills perhaps) for the entire human race.

A person's learning potential has a lot to do with how willing they
are to accept something. How willing is a character to accept an
attribute? Age has a lot to do with this, but does it have to be so?

As to workability, that depends on how elegantly it's done, I
think. If each NPC is given the ability to read the stats of any
other NPC or PC it comes into contact with, it might allow the
dynamic NPC generation to be less computationally challenging. OTOH,
to get sufficient variety, you would have to isolate many of the
NPCs from each other geographicly, and perhaps make a "suspicion"
factor that makes it harder for them to immitate those with extreme
differences from themselves. E.g. dwarves and elves living in the
same place wouldn't tend to flow together into one race (I'm
assuming they are geneticly compatable, or could become so via
parallel evolution or magic) as quickly as average humans living
with either would. On the other hand, an extremely tolerant dwarf
and an extremely tolerant elf could become friends, or even lovers,
and therefore start to immitate each other, much more than less
tolerant people would. If their experiences with the other race are
negative (lies, killing, stealing, etc.) they will tend to be less
tolerant. If they are positive (help in need, honesty, etc.),
they'll tend to be less suspicious.

One thing is sure, the warlike races (in a realistic game) would be
challenging to play in the long run, because the prey would tend to
grow stronger and stronger, and more and more resentful. Peaceful
races would tend to amass large amounts of wealth by trading,
industry, and agriculture, which the more warlike races would want
for tribute, or else would pillage. When the warlike races got their
tribute, they would tend to grow fat and peaceful, and eventually
learn the ways of the peaceful races. Balance would be the survival
trait that makes and maintains large empires. When the empire is
mis-managed, it gets ruined, and it's back to barbarianism. Think of
Rome taking over Greece, then becoming essentially Greek itself,
then when it had nothing major to do to maintain it's agressive
nature, falling to the barbarians.

Well, enough of my rambling.

Luke Parrish
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