[MUD-Dev] Do players enjoy farming? (was MUD-Dev Digest, Vol 7, Issue9)

Rayzam rayzam at travellingbard.com
Fri Jan 9 20:55:16 CET 2004

From: "Paul Schwanz" <pschwanz at comcast.net>

> So why not introduce something like real farming?  Those who are
> interested in farming-like or even mining-like activities can be
> the major producers of resources in the game.  When you add
> monsters to this mix, you can get something very interesting.  The
> farmers don't want to be killed.  That's not really their game.
> However, the monsters have a nasty habit of ruining their crops,
> killing their sheep, or otherwise making a nuisance of themselves.
> So, the farmers hire monster killers (those who like high-risk
> activities) to help keep the nuisance to a minimum.  Or maybe they
> hire builders to construct a better wall around their property.
> In any case, you avoid the very strange case where the game is
> about seeking out monsters to farm, camp, or otherwise harvest as
> the major source of game resources.  You can make monsters bigger
> and scarier with less thought given to balance, since the entire
> game is no longer based on harvesting them.  Best of all, you can
> evoke emotions that are much more in line with how monsters should
> be viewed.  Not as something like corn or wheat, but as big,
> scary, dangerous things that we love to fear and love to hate.

> It is a very different approach, but one that makes a lot more
> sense to me than does the current one.

That assumes that monster farmers want to do those other activities.
That the activity is the enjoyment. I think when players enjoy
farming, its and ends and means thing. They like the end: more
levels, abilities, spells, gold, whatnot. That lets them compare
more favorably to other players, or beat them in PvP combat.  By
farming, a player can safely advance to become bigger and
badder. It's slow gain, but with no risk, so its a good paradigm for
the risk-averse individuals. Being a farmer or a miner isn't the
same thing, because while it may be the same sort of means, its not
the same end.  What heroic farmer defeated the dragon by having the
best crop yield?

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