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

Dave Rickey mahrinskel at brokentoys.org
Mon May 12 02:11:22 CEST 2003

From: "Jeff Cole" <jeff.cole at mindspring.com>
> From: Dave Rickey

>> Go check out eBay or "Antiques Roadshow" and tell me that there
>> is a rational demand for many of those items.  This one is *not*
>> symmetrical.

> Of course it's not always, for every good, symmetrical.  But
> anytime one abstracts general principles from the extremes, well
> ...

Boundary conditions may be only unimportant "extremes" irrelevant to
general principles for an academic.  But when you're building
systems from scratch that actually have to work, rather than
observing systems that already exist and will continue to regardless
of your conclusions, it is even more important to account for the
extremes than to explain the general case.

>> Again, explain to me how Camelot forces irrational behaviour.
>> Explain to me how any economy can force irrational behaviour, for
>> that matter.

> Inefficient information propagation.  If your players do not or
> cannot get information, then they are forced to make market
> decisions irrationally.  Camelot was designed around
> information-hiding and it didn't work: to wit, the delve command.

That was then, this is now: Even with complete information, players
still make irrational decisions.

>>> Once developers shift the economic bases from "necessary" goods
>>> to goods/services that support and complement such "necessary"
>>> goods, then developers can more directly manipulate both demand
>>> and supply.  Resource sources and sinks can be managed more
>>> effectively *and* from the players' perspective, organically.
>>> Not to mention an increase in the possible "professions" that
>>> players might undertake.

>> Okay, I read that 5 times, and it still didn't make any sense.
>> What are you trying to say?

> "'Necessary' goods" is ill-chosen and overly broad.  What I am
> trying to say, is increase the bases of economic interaction such
> that crafters are complementing rather than competing with loot.
> By doing so, a design almost has to offer greater possibilities
> for player-to-player interaction, economic and otherwise, as well
> as more effective managment of world resources.  But, it will
> require a fundamental change in the approach to the economic
> game-space.

Such as what?  For example, right now in Camelot, player-crafted
dominates for those pieces that *can* be crafted, but that's only 8
out of 14 slots, the other 6 slots must be filled with
dropped/quested pieces (and the 8 crafted pieces spell-crafted to
match up with them).  Isn't this "complementary"?


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