[MUD-Dev] D&D vs. MMORPG "complexity"

Rayzam rayzam at travellingbard.com
Wed May 7 00:14:43 CEST 2003

From: "Dave Rickey" <mahrinskel at brokentoys.org>
> From: "Rayzam" <rayzam at travellingbard.com>
>> From: "Dave Rickey" <mahrinskel at brokentoys.org>

>>> In an MMO, all scarcities are artificial and the only essential
>>> limit on a resource (barring failed experiments such as the
>>> closed-loop UO economy) is the time required to gain them.

>> Yes, time is a limit on a resource, but there are others:

>>   - intelligence. I've seen some players not be able to figure
>>   out how to solve some content to get to the resource at the
>>   end. So they are limited from gaining that resource. Those that
>>   do, if they don't publish it on the web, also get to limit
>>   others from having it.

>>   - social network. Some resources take X number of people to get
>>   to.  Don't have enough people/friends/large enough guild, don't
>>   get to make that run and get the loot.

>>   - lack of social network can also be due to social
>>   skills. Can't play nice with others, you may be limited from
>>   gaining a resource via not having a group, or not being able to
>>   abide by the rules of a guild.

> All of these things speak to the efficiency with which one
> converts time to power, and the particular route to power that is
> sought.  Certainly you cannot gain power without investing *any*
> time (although the time investment may not be in the game, if the
> route to power is social in nature).  These efficiencies can vary
> dramatically, by factors of hundreds even when the power sought is
> *not* zero-sum in nature.

I don't think that tenet is necessarily true. A complete social
misfit with immense amounts of time may never ever gain the power.

Yes, as social efficiency goes to 0, the conversion of time to power
goes to zero. At that extreme, time is irrelevant. At the other
extreme, having maximum social efficiency but zero time, again power
is zero. To me, that means there's an interaction between social
factors and time. Any argument that time is a limit on resources can
thus be made for the social factors.

This is only true for games where the social network is
necessary. Other games don't have that factor, and therefore the
equation reduces to only depending on time.


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