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

Paul Schwanz pschwanz at comcast.net
Wed Jan 14 11:22:20 CET 2004

Ian McDonald wrote:
> John Buehler wrote:
>>  Paul Schwanz wrote:

>>> So why not introduce something like real farming?

>> 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 :).

I like that idea a lot.  I'd wanted to address the possibility of
having a range of danger for farmers to face, based on choosing a
location near a community that might offer greater protection from
the intrusion of monsters, but forgot to include it in my reply to
JB.  I imagined some sort of taxes paid to a nearby community as a
trade off for its protection.  Your feudalism idea works nicely in
this regard.  So, from the player's perspective, the game offers
gameplay appropriate to a number of different play styles.

  1.  I want to bash monsters - Head out into the wilds and bash all
  you want.  There isn't much money in it, but if you just want to
  relieve stress, knock yourself out.

  2.  I want to make a living bashing monsters - Hire out your
  services as a monster basher.  A good player-generated quest
  system should keep you in business.

  3.  I want to manage a monster protection service - Become a
  feudal protector and build defenses, hire patrols, offer bounties,

  4.  I just want to farm - Solicit the protection of a feudal lord
  or some other sort of community.

  5.  I want to farm *and* bash monsters - Build your independent
  farm on the outskirts of civilization and protect it yourself.

(In this post, I use the word "farm" not in the typical MMORPG sense
of farming monsters, but in a broader sense to indicate low-risk,
controlled activities like real world farming, ranching, mining,

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