[MUD-Dev] trade skill idea

Josh Olson jolson at micron.net
Thu Oct 5 16:23:27 New Zealand Daylight Time 2000


----- Original Message -----
From: "John Buehler" <johnbue at email.msn.com>
> I find it humorous that only the result of a trade skill can be 'used'.
The
> tools of a trade were made by a blacksmith, so I can 'use' them in that
trade.

I don't recall implying otherwise.

> The bottom line is that any trade should be structured for enthusiasts of
that
> trade.  Blacksmithing should involve many steps and many decisions along
the
> way for the player.

I agree.

But trade skills are ultimately formal processes with static components and
predefined outcomes.  After the hundredth or thousandth time you've smelted
the ore, heated up the steel, and pounded it out just right, you're going to
start getting sick of it.  No matter how complex or flexible the trade skill
has been implemented, the hobby eventually turns into a job because it has
no dynamism apart from random success factors.

The way to make the trade skill continue to be interesting after that point
is to somehow involve social dynamics in the process, making use of the "MM"
aspect of the game.  The obvious example is commerce: be a merchant.  There
are lots of other examples of course, including plugging trade skills into
large-scale player efforts or even world events.

> Analagously, consider combat.  The enthusiasts want
> different weapons, different opponents, varying skill levels, ranged and
melee
> weapons, and so on.  You want repetition?  How about EverQuest?  You do
the
> same thing over and over again, employing the same simple trade.

Not quite.  In addition to dynamism (which is crucial), combat offers danger
and social interaction.  As anyone who's played paintball or airsoft or
(dare I say) an actual combat veteran can tell you, that's a powerful
mixture.  I know plenty of people who still play EverQuest not because the
combat is fun, but because the people they came to know while fighting
monsters are still there and they still enjoy fighting monsters together.

In my original reply to this thread, I pointed out that trade skills
shouldn't be compared to combat or modeled after combat because they have
different appeal.  The original poster had suggested that the appealing
elements of combat should be injected into trade skills.  I'm saying that
trade skills should be entertaining in different ways than combat, and that
to ensure that they *stay* entertaining, it's necessary to think about what
happens after the widget has been constructed, not just how it's
constructed.

-Josh Olson






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