[MUD-Dev] DESIGN: Why do people like weather in MMORPGs?

Koster, Raph rkoster at soe.sony.com
Tue Dec 21 20:24:36 CET 2004

Mike Rozak wrote:

> Oddly, MUDs have time and weather affect gameplay but they don't
> have too much effect on eye-candy (other then totally dark rooms
> and the occasional description of "the sun has risen"). MMORPGs
> use time and weather for eye candy, but not gameplay.

A lot of this has to do with ease of implementation of volumes of
content. It's easy to have granular lighting changes in a graphical
setting, and hard to have them in text (writing eight versions of
each room desc, yuck... Writing a programmatic way of doing it, also
yuck).  Conversely, having accumulated snow actually affect rate of
movement (and therefore imply different animations)--yuck in
graphics, easy in text.

> I can think of many ways of using time and weather. At what point
> do players start whinging that it's too realistic? If all the
> shopkeepers are away at night, do players whinge?


> What if a shopkeeper goes out to lunch?


>  Etc. Does anyone have > any experience with this and/or
>  suggestions?

My experience is that players whinge at anything that inconveniences
them. :) A lot depends on which gameplay god you are worshipping. If
you worship "easy in, easy out, quick to fun, fast feedback," which
is certainly the deity du jour, then the above are anathema.

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