[MUD-Dev] DESIGN: Lightning (was: Why do people like weather in MMORPGs?)

olag at ifi.uio.no olag at ifi.uio.no
Tue Dec 21 15:31:45 CET 2004

Johan A. wrote:

> I would love to see weather have an impact on the world. I think
> in early AO, you could be hit by lightning!

Maybe in the Beta?

It is actually a good example. You simply cannot have the experience
of being in a thunderstorm if there is no fear associated with
it. I.e. the "transference" of feelings from your experiences in the
physical world.

The problem is obvious though. Bad weather regions won't be played
if being struck by lightning is random bad luck. Bad-luck-based
designs are generally poor... :-) However, this can easily be fixed:

  1. Tie the probability of being hit to properties of the
  character's configuration and location. (E.g. standing with a pole
  of steel on a hill top is like begging to be hit.)

  2. Make certain character skills depend on being hit by
  lightning. Like "Frankenstein".

  3. Make certain resources available during heavy weather, or right
  after heavy weather. Certain animals or plants for instance.

I believe that everything a world should tie in some way to either
player, character skills or at least the goals the player are aiming
for... in the most general sense. Plain symbols quickly loose their
meaning in MUDs that are played for several months.

Any other ideas for how the concept "lightning" can be used?

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