[MUD-Dev] New Skill System

John Buehler johnbue at email.msn.com
Wed Dec 27 20:01:14 New Zealand Daylight Time 2000


gmiller at classic-games.com wrote

> On Tue, 26 Dec 2000 00:30:01 -0800 (PST)
> Phil O'Donnell <podonne at yahoo.com> wrote:

>> Another possibility is a "skill point pool" from which all points
>> come and go. When you gain a skill point, one point comes out of
>> the pool. When you lose a point, one gets added back in. The skill
>> pool only has so many points in it, so at a certain point in your
>> development, the only way to gain more skill points is to become
>> less skilled at another skill. Additions to the pool could also be
>> another reward.
>
> OK, but what's the positive aspect of saying "sorry, you can't
> improve your character anymore"? That just speeds up the player's
> inevitable arrival at a point at which he has to either find "elder
> games" to play or quit the game entirely. The player may see
> diminishing returns, but "sorry, the numbers won't get any bigger"
> isn't needed.

Pishtosh.

That attitude is based on the notion that skill advancement is the
only interesting factor in gameplay.  In a game where skill
advancement (level advancement, whatever) *is* the only interesting
factor in gamplay, then your observation certainly holds.  But for the
set of all games (including those that are perfect - the ones that we
all have rattling around in our heads), there are other axes of
advancement.  Further, there is the radical thought that the in-game
scenarios themselves are worthy of coming back to the game again and
again.

Game designers seem to be very American in their thinking: you must
achieve the ultimate end as defined by the world.  Some achievement,
some success, some item, some action.  What ever happened to "It's not
the destination that counts, but the journey"?

JB


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