[MUD-Dev] trade skill idea

Zak Jarvis zak at voidmonster.com
Thu Oct 5 15:06:37 New Zealand Daylight Time 2000

> From: Dave Rickey [daver at mythicgames.com]
> Sent: Thursday, October 05, 2000 1:01 PM


>     I never thought "Money Pumps" were fun.  The fact that I
> could sit down and boat-mine 1000 ore, turn that into 1700
> ingots (on average), turn that into 850 carpentry hammers,
> and turn *that* into 13,600 gold, wasn't at all fun, it
> was boring as hell.  The only reason I did it was because
> I needed  money, for mastering Magery and buying my tower.
>     And, frankly, I doubt I was alone, and making the whole
> process less repetitive wouldn't have helped much.  To me,
> the potential fun in Trades is in making things people want
> to buy, not in churning a gather/produce/sell cycle without
> ever interacting with others.  Trades are potentially *huge*
> community builders, but only if people want and need what
> the tradesmen produce.

There are, I think, two separate ideas at play here. The obvious one is
what you've addressed, and I agree.  They key to making tradeskills work in
traditional MPG's is for them to provide real utility to the community.
That means that players make items that aren't available elsewhere.

The other issue is simply one of GOP games, which I've slowly been
convinced aren't the way of the future (says the guy neck-deep in designing
a GOP game). What's useful in a GOP game is likely to be a sword that does
more damage, or armor that protects better or a potion that ... potes
better. This makes it really easy to end up with an unbalanced game. In
non-GOP oriented game useful is more likely to equate to interesting, and
this is where there is simply enormous potential for the design of a
successful game, but none of the big developers seem to be thinking far
enough outside the box to stumble across the ideas that seem pretty obvious
(at least to me). Things like in-game auctions (for real money) of
player-created collectable items, player designed structures, 'simple' art
(hang on a wall in the game variety), clothes or anything else actual
people spend money for.  It's not an easy design goal at all, of course,
but it's by no means insurmountable. Anything can be done with sufficient
abstraction.  Who now would possibly believe it'd be possible to write a
game that allows the user to visit -- in 3d -- 65,535 unique solar systems,
have meaningful interaction and the basis for some narrative on a 1mhz
computer with about 43k of ram?

-Zak Jarvis

 "Baby's insane,
  Baby's insane,
  Baby's on a trip to the morgue again
  Hide all the knives,
  cause Baby's insane."  -Diamanda Galas

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