[MUD-Dev] Dealing with high-level characters.

Zak Jarvis zak at voidmonster.com
Tue Dec 12 00:42:33 New Zealand Daylight Time 2000

First off, I've recently become completely convinced that level-based
systems are simply not desirable for large-scale persistent
games. This led me down the interesting thought-experiment road of
trying to destroy my logic with different case scenarios.

I came up with an interesting level system I've never seen exactly,
and I was curious if anyone out there has tried it. These days I
pretty much assume that someone has. ;)

The basic idea is:

A character's abilities start decaying after a threshold level is
reached probably based on a combination of stats. Abilities do not
decay synchronously, instead decaying at different rates and different
thresholds depending on some nebulous black-box. Some abilities can
only be obtained by moving well beyond the decay threshold for other
abilities. Reach too high a level, and the character dies permanently.
Perhaps wizardy magic types must explore the limits of their life span
to achieve their most powerful abilities.

Players can choose whether or not they gain experience, and thus
advance. There's some other ideas tied in there with
accomplishment-based fame tracking and perhaps a trust system I came
up with a few nights ago, but right now this is just kind of a lark.

Relatively simple idea, really.  And I know it's kind of close to the
way UO does (or did, when I played ages ago) advancement. However,
what I'm talking about is irreversible decay, and decay which is
mandated for some abilities.

-Zak Jarvis

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