[MUD-Dev] Too much magic?

Ben Hawes cruise at casual-tempest.net
Sun Feb 15 14:19:18 New Zealand Daylight Time 2004

Damion Schubert wrote:

> While I appreciate the distaste some have for magic, my experience
> working with the graphical MUDs shows that the problem is a
> broader problem of equippables.  Players have a tendency to all
> gravitate towards the same 'best' armors (usually best light, best
> medium, best heavy), and as such every tends to look the same.

Indeed - I think perhaps the inclusion of the word "magic" in the
original post has perhaps confused some. I believe the discussion
was more on how to prevent the proliferation of super-items, and the
constant "twinking" pkayers feel they need to advance. The problem
applies to sci-fi based worlds such Anarchy Online just as much as
any of the "typical" fantasy based MMOG's.

> As an added minus, players feel they must feel every slot with
> armor, or they are behind the Joneses.  This is especially true in
> PvP games such as Shadowbane, but it also resulted in my EverQuest
> experience devolving into a world where everyone wore largely
> identical tin cans.  I want a world where playing a bare-chested
> Conan-type is viable!

Exactly. As I said in a previous post, games, and particularly
RPG's, are about player choice - having only one "best" item reduces
the choice to "as good as everyone else, or not", which is not
really much of a choice. Restricting an item to only certain classes
only moves the choice back to the original choice of character.

This is getting dangerously near to one of my favourite rants about
certain choices always being worse in games - everything should have
plus or minuses. A theif tends not to use a warhammer, not because
somehow as a thief is prevented from holding it, but just because it
makes his other tasks difficult to perform. But if a theif wants to
try a surprise attack with a warhammer, at the expense of his
stealth, why not?

> If nothing else, magic can actually help the situation.  If a
> player randomly finds a 90% breast plate with some kickin' magic
> on 'em, at least at that point he has an interesting option from
> the otherwise always superior 100% breast plate, and maybe there's
> a chance that he won't end up looking exactly like every other
> heavy armor wearer in the world.

Or in Brian's or my scheme, the enchantment has negatives to balance
the positive. The player then has to decide which they need.

It occurs to me that Deus Ex also handled this in an interesting
way, but having each implant location be a choice - there was no
"best" item, simply a mutually exclusive choice, depending on how
you envisioned your character.

	"quantam sufficit"
[ cruise / casual-tempest.net / transference.org ]
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