[MUD-Dev] Do players enjoy farming? (was MUD-Dev Digest, Vol 7, Issue 9)

Tom Tom
Mon Jan 12 21:57:36 New Zealand Daylight Time 2004

Friday, January 9, 2004, 10:17:25 PM, Paul Schwanz wrote:
> Tom "cro" Gordon wrote:
>> From: Paul Schwanz

> For me, I think the killer MMORPG is going to be the one that lets
> me drop into something like a management interface via a web
> browser when I'm bored and want to take a few seconds to feel
> connected to something interesting:

>   How is my farmer doing?  What are wheat prices at now?  Are
>   there any reports of threats to my little farm?  Has anyone
>   stopped by to see me or left me a message?

> Even better if I can make a few selections on the interface to try
> to improve my farmer's progress or profits:

>   A wolf lair has been spotted nearby that may threaten my sheep?
>   I'd better send out a request for someone to destroy it.  Hmmm,
>   how much can I afford to pay?  Maybe I should IM Bubba and see
>   if he is interested in the job.

> Or if I have the time and the inclination, maybe I'll log in and
> take care of it myself that evening.  After all, I'm itching to
> use that new sword I purchased last week.  Or maybe I feel like
> going on an adventure up into the wild lands.  Current MMORPGs are
> decent about letting me do this sort of thing, but they are really
> rather poor at letting me farm or ranch or mine or run a shop.

Just to throw something into the mix here, around this time last
year I ran into a company who have developed a very good MMO game
that lends itself perfectly to information sharing outside the
client, and based on my suggestions they developed a secondary
interface design (never actually implemented) to their MMO game
suitable to run inside a Java runtime environment.

IE a web browser or *any* Java-enabled mobile phone.

Smells like killer MMO material (where you're not participating
purely in PvE or PvP that requires constant monitoring). To build on
your farming analogy (which oddly is used to great effect in this
MMO - it's an RTS style game so requires 'farming' or 'gathering' of
resources), the biggest issue is always going to be timing.

If you've dabbled in A Tale In The Desert, you'll be aware of the 3
stages of Flax (3? 4? can't remember). Expand the idea over a longer
period of time, and if you're not at home in front of your PC when
your 'flax' needs tending or harvesting or whatever, get the game to
send you a text alert to your cellphone, which you can then use to
log in and check your 'farm'.

Same goes if critters attack - ge an alert, get online on your
cellphone.web browser/whatever and take steps by using a
limited-interaction interface. Make the game come to you, not only
you going to the game.

I like the concept of farming - more so than the resource gathering
in SW:G or similar. I think I'd like to be a farmer - perhaps a
gentleman farmer who hires in labour though :)

More on the MMO/Mobile cross here:


Tom "cro" Gordon
CEO, AlienPants Ltd
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MUD-Dev at kanga.nu

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