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

Ian McDonald ian at mcdonald.me.uk
Tue Jan 13 00:19:25 CET 2004

mud-dev-request at kanga.nu wrote:

<EdNote: Oh no he didn't!  Attribution fixed below.>

John Buehler wrote:

> > So why not introduce something like real farming?

> You get an interesting result, but only for the monster killers.
> The farmers and miners receive the hassle that you didn't want for
> yourself.  I think that you're mixing different types of
> entertainment for the farmers and miners.  They want to farm and
> mine.  They don't want to have things that oppose their very
> ability to farm and mine.

> Similarly, I don't believe that farmers want to spend time hiring
> people to defend their fields or to constructive defensive
> fortifications to protect them.

JB has a solid point, but having PCs soldiers protect PC farmers
resonates with a dynamic believable community. Particularly as
historically, feudalism began as farmers giving a soldier money in
return for protection. (Except when it was simply a warlord taking
over, or a Roman villa devolving into a Carolingian estate.)

How about this for an idea:

Farmers and feudal protectors and enter into a contract which pays
the feudal in kind regularly. If the farmer's crops are damaged
violently, the feudal loses social standing (or experience, if
social standing isn't valuable) *and* has to make good the
damage. In order for farmers to trust their protection, both
consequences would need software support (eg through a strong legal
system). Feudal protectors can then worry about defenses, hiring
more soldiers, offering bounties for dragon heads, etc, and leave
the farmers to farm.

In short, feudalism, but nicer :).
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