Author Topic: Grittiness and Harshness  (Read 19091 times)

Angela Christine

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Grittiness and Harshness
« Reply #25 on: May 03, 2005, 01:31:23 PM »
Inflation is not the answer.  

Yes, an experience player can run an independant that lives fast, dies young, and leaves a well-dressed corpse.  Newbies can end up selling their clothes to buy water because they can't figure out how to make enough money to stave off death.

Not that long ago the price of silk clothing was drasticly increased.  The price of water in some parts of the world has gone up dramatically.  The rate of thirst was increased.  Those were good changes, but making things more expensive isn't the only or the best answer.

If there is still a problem with silks, and I'm not sure there is, there are less drastic ways of nudging the problem.  
    -Some items a shop carries an infinite amount of, other items they have only one per boot, why not make all the fancy "designer" clothing items singles?  If someone else gets the only quirri-embroidered cerulian gown, then everybody else that wanted one will either have to special order it or wait until "blue" comes around again in the shops (a year or so later).  That way there would be fewer of each item around, making each one more special.  

    -Make more classy non-silk cloathing, stuff that is better than what the average commoner wears without looking like court dress.  Startched linen, conservative cotton, and so on.  Something that an aide or merchant can wear that is quietly fashionable but still buisnesslike.  

    -Let the nobles dress like peacocks.  Nobles pouring money into absurd cloathing and water parks while the masses starve is part of the harsh.  Jade and ivory codpieces for everyone!

    -Documentation.  Put it right in the docs for each and every clan what the elders of that clan considers appropriate clothing for common employees, high-ranking aides and advisors, junior family members and senior family members, perhaps further divided by event since different things will be appropriate at home and while representing the clan to the outside world, or everyday and at state functions -- even a wealthy noble should probably save her ballgowns for actual balls.  Give people a yardstick to decide if they (or their staff) are under-dressed, over-dressed, or just right.  Individuals are still free to go against their clan culture, but at least they will _know_ that they are behaving in an atypical way.



The idea that there are a bunch of rich independents and commoners running around is mistaken.  How many PCs own any real property, something of enduring value like a house, shop, farm, factory or wagon?    Very, very few.  (Due to their roots as nomads and OOC rarity, I consider a wagon to be in the same class as land).  If you don't own any property, not so much as a aged shack to call your own, then you aren't actually wealthy no matter what you are wearing.  Oprah isn't considered rich because she owns nice clothing, she's rich because of all the other stuff she owns.  Unlanded commoners running around in silk and acting fancy are possers and hangers-on.  Because this is a MUD, a game, it is easy to mistake gear for status.  The guy who wears a complete set of silt-horror plate armor is successful (and a bit daft) but he is not RICH.  People who are really rich own more than the clothes on their backs.


Angela Christine
Treat the other man's faith gently; it is all he has to believe with."     Henry S. Haskins

amoeba

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Grittiness and Harshness
« Reply #26 on: May 03, 2005, 02:32:47 PM »
Quote from: "Angela Christine"
Inflation is not the answer.

-Let the nobles dress like peacocks.  Nobles pouring money into absurd cloathing and water parks while the masses starve is part of the harsh.  Jade and ivory codpieces for everyone!


Every authoritarian regime has exhibited this behavior.  On Zalanthas this should be expected.  IMO it is silly to have to look at a nobles hand to see if they have the signet ring to tell if they are indeed a noble.  It should be blatently -obvious- that they are.  Think of RL parallels, how often do you have to look at a piece of jewelry to know a persons status? You don't.  In some cultures, wearing particular attire was punishable, sometimes even by death.  I may be wrong, but I believe this was true in some of the older chinese dynasties.   You would think that a noble would be pissed and threatend if someone tried to look like them.  

In earth history there have been many applications of "Sumptury" laws.  A good resource for this is http://podiatry.curtin.edu.au/sump.html.  One example from there:

Quote
Colour and material were very important in Roman times, as a means of depicting rank. Laws were passed restricting peasants to one colour; officers to two colours; commanders to three; and members of the royal household to seven colours. The colour purple was always reserved for the royal family. Scarlet could be worn only by royal family members and high noblemen


My base point is this, emphasise the disparities, don't dumb down the ruling classes.
quote="Morgenes"]
Quote from: "The Philosopher Jagger"
You can't always get what you want.
[/quote]

Supreme Allah

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Grittiness and Harshness
« Reply #27 on: May 03, 2005, 05:13:44 PM »
As it stands, I for one feel that far too much of the PC population is centered upon noble houses already. The player population is stacked heavily in places that the world population simply isn't. It feels like we're all contradicting Zalanthas itself.

Though I can certainly appreciate the RP opportunities these centers create, I personally dislike the way it's currently working as a whole, and in my opinion, making independent life harder would only worsen what I see as a problem.

I'm tired of seeing players able to just "make a guard for House X" and be at the start of such a prestigious career from day 1. These positions shouldn't be taken for granted, because simply they shouldn't be granted so freely as they are now. In my opinion, clan recruiters for the social elite (Noble Houses and the like) should have to be very, very selective even for the lowliest of starts. In my opinion, your average Noble-guarding soldier should actually be paid considerably more than what I've recently seen thrown around - the crux is that there should be far, far less people placed into such a trusted, elite class of soldier.

When word gets around in the Gaj, the Barrel or the Sun King's Sanctuary that the rich and powerful Lord Ellington Fancypants is looking for guards, I want to see mercenaries and farmboys and drunkards and maybe even nomads from all over leaping from their stools at the chance to get that position. Let's see some competition! As it currently stands it these supposedly elite collectives of men serving Noble House X just don't seem so elite. In fact, they just seem like everybody else.

Wise independents flourish because there's just so little competition for them to succeed against. All the other players if they so choose (and it really is that easy), are heaped into allegedly small, elite groups of soldiers on the limitless payrolls of wealthy merchants and the nobility instead of out there scavenging in the desert, chopping lumber, mugging people, begging, scraping, hunting, or picking pockets like most hard-up self-employed non-PC Zalanthans are forced to do.

To touch on the crime code a bit, I might note that it's simply impossible to be a "common criminal" and live past day two in either major city. If you ask me, letting NPC/VNPC soldiers overlook or just plain give less of a care about some guy roughing up children and halfbreeds in the common quarter in order to barely scrape by wouldn't hurt anybody. I don't want to see the crime code gone or even anywhere near it, obviously, but I don't like the currently omniscient-or-blind, black-or-white nature of it right now. Not every pocket that fails to be picked should result in death or jail time, and nor should every worthless longneck clubbed in the street.

Ease up on the crime code to create some more viable options in cities. Create less desirable, but still workable options outside of clans. Make guarding important people an important, well-paid and sought-after position. As Xygax suggested, give nobles and merchants a real budget to work around so that they must limit their number of underlings and underling fancy dress. Place some vicious beasts in the wild that live on and protect their precious water sources. Limit the number of trees in each section of forest.

Force more people to survive on them and we'll start seeing some real competition for resources in this barren world of ours.

ale six

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Grittiness and Harshness
« Reply #28 on: May 03, 2005, 06:05:46 PM »
Is less commoners in silk going to make the game more 'gritty'?

I say no. Again, the commoners who are getting silks have earned the resources to get them. Not every scrubhopper can do that, at least from what I've seen. The commoners who can get that wealth and status should be able to show it. If they can't protect those silks, they know they might run the risk of losing them - either to a robbery or to a noble or templar who decides he wants Joe Blow's fancy silk shirt and 'asks' Joe for it as a 'gift'.

Commoners should be seen as toys to the nobles. Dressing up your aide or your concubine in silks should be a statement nobles can make - it says, "Look at how powerful and rich I am, even my servants are dressed in silk." Spending the money to do that can be a powerful statement to whoever that servant interacts with. On the same token, I don't think any noble would be threatened by a well-dressed, well-mannered commoner. Nobles simply know they're better. They might say "How cute, the little commoner wants to look like us", but I don't think they'd be threatened by it. If the commoner ever -did- start openly making airs of being as good as (or better than) the nobility, I'd expect them to be killed in short order. But, since nobles are raised taught that their blood simply makes them better people, I don't think they'd be insecure of a commoner, no matter how rich or well dressed.

Again, if exposure to the elements turned your 'pair of fancy silk pants' into 'a sandblasted pair of fancy silk pants' (or some other sort of tag as getting bloody or dusty or stained, just something to reflect wear), then both the commoners and nobles that do have silks will protect them more, and the nobles who have more money to keep buying new silks will have the nice ones, while most commoners will be stuck with silk outfits that are worn and faded, but they can't afford to replace. That, I think, is a much better approach to making fashion more 'gritty' than simply telling commoners "Don't wear silk."

John

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« Reply #29 on: May 03, 2005, 06:08:02 PM »
Problem with making things harder is, to newer players (or to me :P) it's pretty hard at the moment, so it'll become even worse. And to older players, it'll be harder for a moment, but it'll eventually become old-hat. Beefing stuff up, makes things harder in the short-term, but old players can still wrought the system.

Quote from: "Ghost"
the biggest trouble against the grit is the economy of the independents.........But often times, the reason people not join clans is that, it is easy to make more coins independently......Each NPC merchant buys five of one item.. Make it so they buy one specific item from the same PC for a considerable time.
I just realised why I'm having so much more trouble then your average independant. For quite some time now, I've refused to sell stuff to NPCs (excluding when I come across the odd item or two that has nothing to do with my business) unless I'm desperate for 'sid. Just that small limit to myself has made it very difficult to play an independant.

That small limit makes all the difference. And to help independants out, I recommend trying to buy from them before you go to the store.

These will give independents more of a reason to seek a shelter in clans.  While those not joining, will have a hard time keeping themselves with coin.
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Cuusardo

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Grittiness and Harshness
« Reply #30 on: May 03, 2005, 08:26:12 PM »
I've found that there are PCs who recruit for the noble houses who are far less picky than they should be.  Some of the people I've seen who were being offered and given employment by some of these recruiters just boggled my mind!  It does not matter if you feel the clan needs more PCs.  Quality is what matters, not quantity.

Furthermore, I think that people are not seeing employment by the nobility (and templars!) as the honor that it really is.  These people are better than commoners, and it seems a lot of the common PCs take the jobs for granted because they are so easy to get.  (That goes back to recruiter PCs not being selective enough.)  Nobility and templarate should have nothing but the best when it comes to employees.  (That also means that if one of their employees is doing a horrible job, that employee should be gotten rid of if no methods to improve are effective.
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Angela Christine

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Grittiness and Harshness
« Reply #31 on: May 03, 2005, 08:56:09 PM »
I think the key to making clan jobs more valued it is to make it harder to get those clan jobs, not make it harder to stay independant.  You don't want people thinking "I'm not good enough to make it as an independant,  so I guess I'll have to work for Borsail.  It's a dirty job, but it's probably better than starving," "I'll work for Salaar for a few months, until I'm skilled enough to make it on my own," or "For the good of the MUD I'll bite the bullet and play a Kadian, somebody has to do it."  The more you try to force people into certain roles, the less attractive those roles become to some people.  Instead of being fun it can become a chore, an obligation.  They take a job not because they want it, but because they can't think of a good IC excuse to turn it down.  That's a recipie for disaster.

Then you get pre-emptive strikes, where players play "undesirable" characters just so that it becomes a challenge to get a good position.  A mutant, elf, halfbreed, dwarf, or 'rinther doesn't have to worry about a clan recruiter sneaking up behind him, sapping him unconcious and then dragging him off to the barracks to be fitted for a uniform before he wakes up.   :P  An undesirable PC will have to prove himself -before- he can get hired.  He has to prove that he is useful, trustworthy, and isn't going to be an embarassment to the uniform.  It seems like all a basic human has to do to get most jobs is avoid drooling, passing out, or soiling his pants durring the "interview" . . . not exactly the best of the best.

Clan jobs should be desireable and sought after, something you work for, not something you run away from.  In order to be valuable a thing has to be rare and hard to get.  If diamonds were as common as gravel, then nobody would want them.


Angela Christine
Treat the other man's faith gently; it is all he has to believe with."     Henry S. Haskins

Armaddict

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Grittiness and Harshness
« Reply #32 on: May 03, 2005, 09:23:17 PM »
In reply to all these posts I keep seeing regarding independents/commoners who just live a long time being decked out in silks, I'm sorry, but I scoff at you.

Getting the wealth to spend on that -can- be a hassle, but the reason why people are still doing it, and consistently, is because they're -safe- doing it.

What I've got to say on the matter is this:  Yes, Allanak and Tuluk are very efficient with their law.  However, these are enormous cities, with areas very akin to slums/the lowest standard of living.  Make mugging more -practical- to do.  Make it -safer- for the thug who's doing what he can to make a living (That's the true grit, I think.  People doing the 'unthinkable' because the payoff is too much to ignore.)  Everyone see that big dude and his skinny friend beating the shit out of that other guy who's decked out in silks?  Hell, those boots would feed my family for a couple weeks, let's join in!

Blammo, those independents who, currently, are ruthlessly defended with the very -lives- of these soldiers who work for sometimes very corrupt templars, are no longer so safe doing such.  They're a target.  They don't have backup, they don't have political ties.

Now, that noble aide over there, who's been working for Lord Fancypants for six or seven years, steadily, given rewards of jewelry and some nice looking clothing.  Going to mug -that- chap?  Fuck no.  You'll have noble guards and militia breaking through your door to stomp on you and eat your firstborn.

To make things grittier, don't make things so -safe- for everyone.  Security is a privelege of very few, generally those -lucky- enough to get in with some noble house who can and will exact retribution for fucking with it's loyal servants.

If you want silk to be a rarer occurrence, make it rarer.  Right now, it's just as available as linen to people with money, and once you have it, it's safe as long as you don't do something stupid.  It's lines of logic...people who -can- afford better -will- afford better.

Edited to add:  Sorry, I derailed from the original post by Xygax.  But the frequency of this particular subdiscussion made me want to comment.
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Bardex

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Grittiness and Harshness
« Reply #33 on: May 03, 2005, 09:48:07 PM »
Armaddict brings up a good point. Each city should have a lawless area.. where the NPCs won't chase silk wearers down, or interfere if a PC local guy decides he wants that silk. That's pretty much the law of the land outside the city and muggings and others happen there enough to keep the sids moving. Inside the cities I don't know of any such places accessable to anyone who is dumb (or brave or strong) enough to wander in.

Everyone knows the rinth would be lawless except they have a law of their own and enforcers as well. But maybe a place that has no NPCs to get in the way of all that fun mugging. Where there are npcs, but they aren't coded to protect locals or chase after outsiders unless they're attacked directly.
ugar and Spice

nameless

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Grittiness and Harshness
« Reply #34 on: May 04, 2005, 12:50:31 AM »
Quote from: "Bardex"

Everyone knows the rinth would be lawless except they have a law of their own and enforcers as well. But maybe a place that has no NPCs to get in the way of all that fun mugging. Where there are npcs, but they aren't coded to protect locals or chase after outsiders unless they're attacked directly.


My current character is a rinther, being first character in the rinth I can tell you I haven't had more fun or felt more gritty.

Akaramu

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Grittiness and Harshness
« Reply #35 on: May 04, 2005, 03:29:34 AM »
Quote from: "Angela Christine"
I think the key to making clan jobs more valued it is to make it harder to get those clan jobs, not make it harder to stay independant.  You don't want people thinking "I'm not good enough to make it as an independant,  so I guess I'll have to work for Borsail.

Clan jobs should be desireable and sought after, something you work for, not something you run away from.  In order to be valuable a thing has to be rare and hard to get.


Quote from: "Cuusardo"
I've found that there are PCs who recruit for the noble houses who are far less picky than they should be. Some of the people I've seen who were being offered and given employment by some of these recruiters just boggled my mind! It does not matter if you feel the clan needs more PCs. Quality is what matters, not quantity.


I agree. So much. It has been awhile since I agreed with anyone so strongly.

Certain jobs just should not be open for nearly anyone if they just walk up to the recruiter and say "Hi.... I need a job." I would like to see less insta-recruiting and instead more tasks given out for evaluation before doing the coded clanning.

Instead, I see an attitude like... "We dont yet have 8 pit fighters in our team, lets get 3 more - I dont care if the Byn is suffering from lack of PCs".

What I find worse is the fact that some players seem to get extremely offended and feel personally attacked on an OOC level when some PCs try to cut down on the undemanding mass recruiting for 'elite' jobs with IC means. Recruiter positions are not so much about recruiting as many people as possible, it is more about picking a few and taking care of them as well as keeping them entertained.

Linedel

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Grittiness and Harshness
« Reply #36 on: May 04, 2005, 09:23:38 AM »
I hate to post almost the same thing again... but the discussion is going even more heavily into "make recruiters more selective" directions..

If all recruiters are more selective, players will begin to create characters based on knowledge that recruiters will use the contents of that class-detecting thread... "House X only accepts fairy sorcerers for Y role."  Now you've not only promoted some form of class detection (either IC or OOC, the result is the same), but you've affected some people's character creation.  It will also force selection of people with peak playtime, and some minimum number of hours per week (not that this is necessarily a bad thing.)

If this is done, "recruiters" must be more carefully policed, or given to more trusted players than currently.

I strongly recommend only applying this to high prestige roles (and thus only applying the additional staff monitoring required to those), and letting Kadius (and some set of other "less prestigious" houses) hire as many hunters, crafters, people that play off-peak and other assorted trash as they want.

JollyGreenGiant

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Grittiness and Harshness
« Reply #37 on: May 04, 2005, 11:54:18 AM »
I started a post on this subject yesterday.  It was a simple suggestion, but I realized that it affected another part of the game as well, and that area would benefit from some changes... before I knew it, the idea had mutated into a monstrosity, each area daisy-chaining into some other related change.  I came to a conclusion: no single change would suffice to orient the game in a more gritty direction, and that even seemingly small, simple changes could have far-reaching consequences (or no effect at all.)  It's difficult to predict exactly how a change will affect the game world, because of some hard limits that you run up against and the occasional contradiction between what you need and what resources are available.  I think the game could benefit from a bit more grit in the works, though, so I'll try to organize my suggestions a bit.  I really only talk about noble Houses, since that's where I have most of my experience, but I'm sure some of these things would be applicable to other areas.

Going with the theme of keeping things organized, let's list out a few things we know about nobles and noble Houses.
- Nobles need guards.  They don't (generally) do their own fighting, nor should they.
- Every noble House has a similar military.  Not in theory, mind you, but in practice.
- There's a lot of "keeping up with the Joneses" when it comes to the number of PCs in a clan.  If House X has 10 PCs in it and House Y has 4, House Y will either complain bitterly (ICly or OOCly), go on a hiring spree and cram themselves full of people, or both.
- Guards get free food, water, storage, and usually gear as well - in addition to a decent salary, which generally ends up spent on armor, weapons, apartments, and so on.
- The structure of most House Guard/military units is identical.
- Nobles have a tendency to overuse (and overtrust) NPC guards, and underuse (and distrust) PC guards.
- PC guards aren't to be used for "dirty" work.

There's a place for noble militia organizations, but not every House needs to be the same.  If we're going to tweak one thing, we might as well tweak them all.  First, let's separate out the Houses that have formal militaries from those that don't, and talk about them separately - they're two different types of organizations after all.  

Second, let's look at a tradeoff between power (or degree of control) and responsibility.  Simply put, who pays the salary calls the shots.  If we rest the responsibility for paying and equipping a guard on the House, the House gets to call the shots for how the guard is used.  If we put that responsibility on the noble instead, then the noble calls the shots and answers for the shots called, both of which I believe promote a grittier feel to the game.

Common changes to both

Let's strip out the idea that guards aren't to be used for "dirty" work.  These are the minions of the evil empire - they're JACK-BOOTED THUGS in uniform with a get out of jail free card courtesy of the House name, as long as they're not too extreme.  At least, that's how I'd like to see them :)

Reduce access to the NPCs by making them accessible only to ranking nobles, nobles on official House business, and other necessary uses.  How does this make the world more gritty?  Well, it acknowledges that Houses don't have unlimited manpower.  In fact, junior nobles might have to go out without additional protection!  It also puts nobles in a position to interact more with their own House PCs, which is always a good thing.

Non-military personnel (such as aides) would be paid from the noble's stipend - provided that they worked for an individual noble and not the House as a whole.  Aside from some form of identifying garb (such as a cloak, coat, etc), it would be up to the nobles to provide their aides with equipment.  House personnel would of course be outfitted by the House as appropriate.  

Non-military Houses

These Houses get something of a makeover.  Most Houses have a use for their own internal military to protect their assets, but there's no reason that these forces should be anything but virtual or NPC.  The military houses are going to provide the coverage for playing that type of PC, if you want to.  So let's scrap the idea of a coherent "House Guard", and let nobles hire their own bodyguards, out of their own stipend.  Instead of having formal arrangements for rank, bodyguard rank could be dependent on the noble they work for.  Aside from identifying garb (cloak, etc), the nobles would be responsible for outfitting their guards - and if they so chose, could order uniforms from Salarr, etc.

This might require bumping noble's stipends up a bit - or perhaps just offering more opportunities for them to "earn" more.  In my opinion, that's more of a feature than an obstacle.  There's also a balance here - nobles no longer have a "pool" of guards to draw from whenever they're on, but on the other hand, with their newfound flexibility on hiring, they should be able to pick people whose playing times fit their own.  House rules would still apply to the guards (going outside, etc.) but the "training schedule" would be more like a guideline for when training was taking place, since PC guards would (in theory) now be more focused on the nobles who hired them.

Oh, and I see no reason that a noble couldn't purchase a bodyguard slave (PC or NPC).  This would be a reasonable alternate for those who absolutely refuse to use anything but NPC guards, as well as adding some business interaction to the slaving Houses.

Military Houses

There aren't really any changes specific just to the military Houses.  Because of the size of the playerbase, we don't really have enough people to split out both a military in the House and have nobles hiring their own bodyguards.  Therefore, these organizations would continue to exist in essentially their current form with only the changes common to both types of noble House implemented.

That's about all I've got.
quote="Larrath"]"On the 5th day of the Ascending Sun, in the Month of Whira's Very Annoying And Nearly Unreachable Itch, Lord Templar Mha Dceks set the Barrel on fire. The fire was hot".[/quote]

Xygax

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Grittiness and Harshness
« Reply #38 on: May 04, 2005, 02:21:32 PM »
Glad to see this thread is still going strong.  Some thought for focus:

I think the "guard vs. independent" situation is relatively well-covered.  A lot of good suggestions have been made here with respect to both staff-handling of these roles, and player management of their own clans' recruiting.  Let's go ahead and close off that line, for now.

Silks.  Some good ideas have emerged from this, and yes, I DO think the amount of silk worn inappropriately in the game has been worth discussion.  Yeah, silk is only part of the problem, but it DOES change the feel of things to look at "the scarred rinth-rat" (yes, that's not a possible sdesc) and see that he's wearing a lovely black-silk blouse.  We probably need to do a better job of providing lower-end non-silk alternatives, and I am in agreement with others who have mentioned being more cautious about how you choose your own clothing:  does silk really fit your idiom?  Let's go ahead and move away from this line of discussion for now, as well.

One thing that I think hasn't been touched on enough is roleplay techniques for making your own character's life more difficult and more real.  I know some of the obvious ones, spice, alcohol, etc., and I think they're awesome.  What other ideas do you guys have for this?  How can we codedly or otherwise make vices like this more interesting?  One thing we've talked about amongst ourselves in the last couple of days is making intoxication last for a briefer period of time (and also causing people to stumble and fall less), but also adding some of the other effects of alcohol poisoning, like say vomiting (which would maybe have all sorts of interesting consequences, but would also result in you sobering up faster).  What are some other ideas of purely RP-based lifestyle choices we could be making as RPers along these lines?  And what are some code-supported (or data-supported) features that would make getting drunk, spiced-up, buying a whore, etc., more interesting?

I like the idea of implementing a more full-featured disease/disorder system, and I don't think it's necessary to expound on that here, but other, similar, ideas may also be worth exploring.

-- X

ps-  I have, as promised earlier, ruthlessly moderated a few short posts which were either "I agree" style posts, or were slightly off-topic...  Please, don't take offense if you were hit by that.  :)

Cuusardo

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Grittiness and Harshness
« Reply #39 on: May 04, 2005, 02:38:20 PM »
I like the idea of implementing the effects of alcohol poisoning.  Getting drunk enough should make people vomit, and they should suffer the effects of it (dehydration in particular.)  I also think that it should be possible to die of alcohol poisoning if one drinks enough.

Also, perhaps the coded withdrawl effects of spice could be intensified, or perhaps too much spice.  (I once witnessed a PC roleplay out vomiting because of having too much spice, which I thought was a pretty cool addition to the scene) Since there is also coded alcohol tolerance, why not add coded spice tolerance?  That would make spice addicts have to buy more and more, because they need more and more to get the same effects.  That, in turn, would cause more money to be spent on spice and give a more realistic addiction.
Quote from: Anael
You know what I love about the word panic?  In Czech, it's the word for "male virgin".

amoeba

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Grittiness and Harshness
« Reply #40 on: May 04, 2005, 02:57:18 PM »
Quote from: "Xygax"

One thing that I think hasn't been touched on enough is roleplay techniques for making your own character's life more difficult and more real.  I know some of the obvious ones, spice, alcohol, etc., and I think they're awesome.


In terms of spice, one is that some need to be much more addictive.  And in the same vein something I have not seen are 'pushers'.   in RL society these people do a hell of a lot of damage, give away product for free and get the people hooked.  Also the recrational ones should be more entertaining, and pervasive. Yes there is the inital 'you feel yada yada..." ,  then the signoff later on, but I think it would be helpful to have pervasive messages popup periodically, both on the why are you taking it side, and the why is this a bad thing side.  I think there should be some variablity between one user and another as to the intensity and duration of said effect.
quote="Morgenes"]
Quote from: "The Philosopher Jagger"
You can't always get what you want.
[/quote]

JollyGreenGiant

  • Posts: 1406
Grittiness and Harshness
« Reply #41 on: May 04, 2005, 03:04:04 PM »
Along the lines of disease, how about coded heat exhaustion?  I'm not talking about just dehydration, but the fact that at some point, your body just can't shed heat fast enough.  Stand around in the sun for too long, end up Krath-struck.  That might be interesting.
quote="Larrath"]"On the 5th day of the Ascending Sun, in the Month of Whira's Very Annoying And Nearly Unreachable Itch, Lord Templar Mha Dceks set the Barrel on fire. The fire was hot".[/quote]

Akaramu

  • Posts: 6184
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Grittiness and Harshness
« Reply #42 on: May 04, 2005, 04:19:35 PM »
Zalanthan life is easily made difficult. :wink:

Just keep playing when you are too sleepy to make any sense, and watch other PCs freak out over all the nonsense you produce.

Or try and ignore some OOC knowledge. Make an assassin who believes he is a hunter, and is afraid of leaving the city unless he finds someone to teach him and show him around.

Focus less on skills. Keep your skills at a crappy level for 10 days played. Dont branch any spells until 5 - 10 days played.

Piss some people off. Dont be the friendly person who always perfectly controls themselves and has dozens of loving friends. Be arrogant for no reason. Be vain, and greedy, and dont always hide it so well that no one will ever notice.

Get drunk and be rude. Forget to put your coin into your pack. Or your apartment keys. Be ugly. Have missing teeth instead of a perfect f-me figure.

Stop playing such perfect PCs, and life will all of a sudden be much harsher.

Angela Christine

  • Posts: 6595
Grittiness and Harshness
« Reply #43 on: May 04, 2005, 05:54:28 PM »
I think spice would be more popular if there was more feedback about it from the MUD.  

Right now all you get is:

    1. A primary effect message when you take the spice.
    2. A secondary effect message later.
    3. Stat line "You are currently affected by: Spice."
    4. If it is a spice that affects attributes, you might or might not notice the small change in an attribute.


Telling me I'm affected by spice doesn't tell me much, and I may not remember what the latest effect echo said, especially if I'm still spiced from last time I logged in.   I sometimes miss the secondary effect message if there is a lot of scroll, so I might be mistakenly still roleplaying the primary effect.  Telling me which spices I'm affected by would help.


I would like another line in addition to the "affected by" line, either as part of the normal Stat or Score messages, or perhaps a new command.  Something like; "You feel: elated, numb and anxious" or whatever the appropriate current effects from the spices affecting you are.  Possibly with modifiers like the hunger and thirst message, depending on how much spice you took and how long ago you took it.  "You feel: a little elated, numb, and very anxious."   That way I could have a reminder about what I'm affected by at anytime, just like I do for food, water, and alchohol.

To me that would make the effects of Spice seem more important than they do now.
Treat the other man's faith gently; it is all he has to believe with."     Henry S. Haskins

jmordetsky

  • Posts: 2026
Grittiness and Harshness
« Reply #44 on: May 04, 2005, 08:28:49 PM »
My take:

1)   Fix the economy
a.   Give Nobles more money
b.   Make Silks MUCH more expensive, so that only nobles can buy them.
c.   Inflation is good.


2)   Add more Tembos, Bahaments, Silt Worms, Raptors, Silt Horrors and other things you don’t want to run into.
a.   I know people think that it’s better make it harder to get into clans, but
   clans suck till you have people, which is something you’ll never get past.

b.   People will never be extra selective, and even if they were it will bring us full circle where everyone is a well mannered, well groomed aide or house guard just to get in a clan. Which bites….

c.   Life on Zalanthas is hard, if you’re not holding it down with a group, your probably going to die and the world should reflect that. Solo-miners, solo-hunters, and solo-foragers should be ”Lunch”, not “Rich”.

d.   Not until Zalanthas is a world that is so gritty that everyone is desperate to be in a noble or merchant house, will being an employee of a noble house be a position that is raised to the status it should be. Why should I lick a nobles nuts while that rinthi half-elf make 1k a day on mining and carru hides?

3)   Make it harder to get in a clan. (yea, I know, I’m a big ball of contradictions)
a.   I’m thinking, make an OC cap on who can be in a noble or miltia clan.
b.   When I say OC cap, I mean like all players in noble clan X must be X days old before being considered for the clan.

4)   Make it easier to be a mugger
a.   This is a big deal…See a indy guy in the commoners quarter wearing silks? Think he should be turning a few heads? That sort of thing doesn’t go down in the rinth….Because people in the rinth will kill you and your mother for a nice silk shirt.

b.   Things really shouldn’t be *that* different in the commoner’s quarters. Sure you’re better off then Rinthi’s but that silk suit on guardless indy’s back still represents a chunk of change. When someone walks into the Bard’s barrel wearing silks and doesn’t have a hulking killer guard next to him, people in there should be thinking the same thing that a silt horror thinks about the solo hunter…Lunch.

c.   There should definitely be more “lawless” areas in Allanak and Tuluk where criminal can duck out and hide and where people would be seriously afraid to wear silks. More shadowy back alleys and the like.

5)   Don’t trust in the players to make the “right” choice.
a.   I’m glad you have such faith in me, but if I’m playing the game, I want to play seamlessly, I tend to get that far into my characters. The last thing I want to do is say, “Would my character realistically buy that?” or “Would my character realistically make this much money?”. I don’t want to think that way…When I’m playing I am my character, with all of it’s neurosis

b.   If you were a starving rinth rat would you figured out that Kadius was going to give you one hunrdred sid for a shiny rock that you can find 2 leagues from the gate, would you realistically do it? Fuck yes. Don’t make me come out of character to think that through. That’s not cool.

c.   To keep players from doing unrealistic things that take away from the grittiness of the game, asking players to self regulate imho is cop out. For the world to feel grittier, it needs to be harsher. Plain and simple. Things that have been mentioned about are awesome ideas...coded heat exhaustion, food that rots away, food that is salted and doesn't rot away causing you to need more water....great ideas.

my 2 dimes.
If you gaze for long enough into the abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.

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John

  • Posts: 3975
Grittiness and Harshness
« Reply #45 on: May 04, 2005, 08:42:18 PM »
Quote from: "Xygax"
I know some of the obvious ones, spice, alcohol, etc., and I think they're awesome.  What other ideas do you guys have for this?  How can we codedly or otherwise make vices like this more interesting?
Make the spice-messages more detailed. I guess they're vague at the moment to allow for roleplay, but I know I have no idea how to roleplay spice properly, so I avoid this vice. At the moment I take some spice and get a vague message like "you feel at one with the elements" or something like that. Now what the feck does that mean? All I do is make my character act more mellow. He doesn't suddenly feel happier, or sadder, he doesn't burst out laughing or crying. He doesn't become paranoid. He just acts mellow, sits there with a dazed look on his face. For me, that's boring with a capital B ;)

Some ideas to make spice more interesting:
* Does it make your current mood more forceful? If so, echo something to that effect. So if I'm happy when I take the spice, I can roleplay being ecstatic. If I'm a bit scared, I become paranoid.
* What are long-term spice effects? Does different spice have different effects? Document these a little bit. Perhaps if I take spice X a lot, I become paranoid. I don't know if this is the case, and unless I get echoes to this effect I won't know ;)

Another great vice is gambling. This doesn't happen enough in-game. I've seen a couple of players do it, and I think us players should gamble more. To do this, make the tools cheaper. At the moment there are two types of dice, both of them cost the same (and at a price new characters aren't likely to afford), I've yet to find a pack of cards in-game from an easy to access place (in Allanak anyway). Dart boards tend to have no darts (I think because people were stealing the darts  :roll:). Perhaps have an NPC that is willing to play a game of cards or dice or darts.

I'd suggest having NPC-run arena games every now and then, but it seems to me players don't enjoy arena RPTs too much. Probably because they don't gamble ;)
Quote from: RogueGunslinger
On Zalanthas most sweat would evaporate instantly and cool you easier, because there is no humidity. The extra air-flow of a kilt would also keep things dry.

Xygax

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  • Posts: 1667
Grittiness and Harshness
« Reply #46 on: May 04, 2005, 08:58:51 PM »
jmordetsky:  Your post is pretty terse, so it's hard to address your points specifically, but I think I disagree with some of them, so I'll try:


Quote from: "jmordetsky"
My take:
1)   Fix the economy
a.   Give Nobles more money
b.   Make Silks MUCH more expensive, so that only nobles can buy them.
c.   Inflation is good.


I don't think the economy is that broken -- yes, there are ways to abuse it, and yes those individual items should be fixed, but tuning the economy too far will make the game significantly less playable, especially for newbies, but also for players who aren't abusing the economy as it is.  This touches on your trust statement(s) which I'll get to further on.

I am also hesitant to give nobles more money without some idea of what they'll do with it.  If more money came with a lot more responsibility (like actually managing pay, food, and water, benefits, etc., for their clans), then it might be more compelling.

Quote from: "jmordetsky"
2)   Add more Tembos, Bahaments, Silt Worms, Raptors, Silt Horrors and other things you don’t want to run into.
a.   I know people think that it’s better make it harder to get into clans, but clans suck till you have people, which is something you’ll never get past.
b.   People will never be extra selective, and even if they were it will bring us full circle where everyone is a well mannered, well groomed aide or house guard just to get in a clan. Which bites….
c.   Life on Zalanthas is hard, if you’re not holding it down with a group, your probably going to die and the world should reflect that. Solo-miners, solo-hunters, and solo-foragers should be ”Lunch”, not “Rich”.
d.   Not until Zalanthas is a world that is so gritty that everyone is desperate to be in a noble or merchant house, will being an employee of a noble house be a position that is raised to the status it should be. Why should I lick a nobles nuts while that rinthi half-elf make 1k a day on mining and carru hides?


Again, if we go too far with adding tembos, bahamets, etc., we'll make the desert areas of the MUD, which are already very inhospitable, imho, much more difficult to explore.  And we put them there for a reason -- if we didn't want you to travel the deserts, we'd have made them death-flag rooms.  :)

Not sure how a) and b) here are related to silt horrors, but....  I'm not sure I agree with you on the remark that "clans suck till you have people"...  there are a few clans in the game which manage to be very playable (and even downright fun) without enormous populations.  How can we make more clans be more fun with fewer players?  Are there restrictions in place (in code or documentation) that prevent players in disparate clans, or unclanned players from interacting with one another?  Perhaps those should be reviewed.

I would like to our clan recruiters to be selective (ICly) about whom they hire, personally.  They shouldn't be avoiding people because they're newbies, but they should certainly be avoiding people who don't suit the roles they're trying to fill.  If you need a human with massive muscles for a bodyguard, don't hire a half-elven tailor.  Hiring people for jobs they don't fit ICly is a recipe for boredom.

With respect to your point c), maybe.  I think solo-ers die significantly more often than clanned PCs, but I don't currently have data to back up that remark.

As to your last point, I think it's poorly considered.  A lot!  A lot of the PCs in the game currently HAVE indeed chosen noble nut-licking over the alternatives.  Why?


Quote from: "jmordetsky"
3)   Make it harder to get in a clan. (yea, I know, I’m a big ball of contradictions)
a.   I’m thinking, make an OC cap on who can be in a noble or miltia clan.
b.   When I say OC cap, I mean like all players in noble clan X must be X days old before being considered for the clan.


I utterly loathe the idea of imposing OOC caps.  The game shouldn't be driving by OOC mechanics, it should be driven by IC ones.  This is why I like the idea of giving nobles/merchant-family-members more personal, direct responsibility for who gets paid for what, and what benefits their house provides.

Yes, maybe your average clan recruiter should wait until they've seen someone around for a few weeks IC before finally deciding to hire them, and place an enormous amount of trust in them, and yes perhaps that accomplishes one of your OOC goals, but it's really stemming from an IC consideration -- or it should be.

Quote from: "jmordetsky"
4)   Make it easier to be a mugger
a.   This is a big deal…See a indy guy in the commoners quarter wearing silks? Think he should be turning a few heads? That sort of thing doesn’t go down in the rinth….Because people in the rinth will kill you and your mother for a nice silk shirt.
b.   Things really shouldn’t be *that* different in the commoner’s quarters. Sure you’re better off then Rinthi’s but that silk suit on guardless indy’s back still represents a chunk of change. When someone walks into the Bard’s barrel wearing silks and doesn’t have a hulking killer guard next to him, people in there should be thinking the same thing that a silt horror thinks about the solo hunter…Lunch.
c.   There should definitely be more “lawless” areas in Allanak and Tuluk where criminal can duck out and hide and where people would be seriously afraid to wear silks. More shadowy back alleys and the like.


Allanak in the old days had a fairly extensive rooftop system, where a cunning thief could hide out and eventually make an escape, if they planned well enough.  Perhaps this is something we should consider restoring.  I think efforts in this direction should be made with baby-steps, however, because being robbed blind can be very OOCly frustrating, especially for new players.  Remember, we're aiming for more grittiness here, not necessarily more harshness, and especially not more OOC harshness.

Quote from: "jmordetsky"
5)   Don’t trust in the players to make the “right” choice.
a.   I’m glad you have such faith in me, but if I’m playing the game, I want to play seamlessly, I tend to get that far into my characters. The last thing I want to do is say, “Would my character realistically buy that?” or “Would my character realistically make this much money?”. I don’t want to think that way…When I’m playing I am my character, with all of it’s neurosis
b.   If you were a starving rinth rat would you figured out that Kadius was going to give you one hunrdred sid for a shiny rock that you can find 2 leagues from the gate, would you realistically do it? Fuck yes. Don’t make me come out of character to think that through. That’s not cool.
c.   To keep players from doing unrealistic things that take away from the grittiness of the game, asking players to self regulate imho is cop out. For the world to feel grittier, it needs to be harsher. Plain and simple. Things that have been mentioned about are awesome ideas...coded heat exhaustion, food that rots away, food that is salted and doesn't rot away causing you to need more water....great ideas.


We simply don't have enough time to police or codedly control every aspect of your life.  You HAVE to be trustworthy enough to make the choices that are appropriate for your character, his position in life, and his overall attitude.  I think a lot of the process of crafting a believable character takes place OOC...  you're ALWAYS going to be making OOC decisions about whether your character would do this or that.  Even thinking to type "time" is an OOC decision, and you should probably be typing "time" and "weather" a lot, even though your PC would never have to consciously ponder the time or the weather, since those things are all around him.  Deciding that it's IC night-time and your PC would probably want to take a rest from a long day of mining at this point is, frankly, a fully OOC decision.  YOU'RE responsible for playing that realistically, even though you the player aren't as tired/hungry/dehydrated as your alter-ego must be, and yes that requires OOC thought.

That's the same OOC thought you should be engaging in when you direct your ranger on a trip through Welen's Fineries....  really, would a dusty old ranger even _think_ of going in there???

In many ways, this game is built on a mutual trust between the staff and the players; and largely you are left to your own devices, and we trust you to try to play within the guidelines of your character, her race, the city-state she lives in, etc.  I think it would be a sad thing indeed for that situation to change.

-- X

Maybe42or54

  • Posts: 4170
Grittiness and Harshness
« Reply #47 on: May 04, 2005, 10:45:30 PM »
The gambling system could be redone in my opinion.
So far I've seen only that you can bet on darts, ar-wrestle, or find a pc and play a card game that is really hard to do IC.
Arm is evil.  And I love it.  It's like the softest, cuddliest, happy smelling teddy bear in the world, except it is stuffed with meth needles that inject you everytime

jmordetsky

  • Posts: 2026
Grittiness and Harshness
« Reply #48 on: May 04, 2005, 11:15:39 PM »
Quote from: "Xygax"
jmordetsky:  Your post is pretty terse, so it's hard to address your points specifically, but I think I disagree with some of them, so I'll try:


Terse as in short...Yes. Terse as in rude...Didn't mean it like that, but thats not the first time I've gotten that...so...understood... apologies.

Quote from: "Xygax"

I don't think the economy is that broken -- yes, there are ways to abuse it, and yes those individual items should be fixed, but tuning the economy too far will make the game significantly less playable, especially for newbies, but also for players who aren't abusing the economy as it is.  


I actually don't think it's that broken either...A better header for that item would have been: "The economy" or "On fixing the economy". The header was aimed at, my feelings that the theme of the post seems to be semi-focused on non-nobles in silks. My point is basically that increasing the noble stipend and increasing the costs of silks takes care of non-nobles in silks. It seems really simple to me...Silks are non-essential, the majority of players won't be hurt by making them more rare and more expensive.

Quote from: "Xygax"

I am also hesitant to give nobles more money without some idea of what they'll do with it.  If more money came with a lot more responsibility (like actually managing pay, food, and water, benefits, etc., for their clans), then it might be more compelling.


I dig, but it'll be a tough change. Considering the virtual nature of clans and the currentl position and status of junior nobles in the houses. I'm all for having high profile players forced to manage day to day operations of the houses or having tangible period based goals that have failure consequences attached to them. I posted something touching on it a while ago.


Quote from: "Xygax"

Again, if we go too far with adding tembos, bahamets, etc., we'll make the desert areas of the MUD, which are already very inhospitable, imho, much more difficult to explore.  And we put them there for a reason -- if we didn't want you to travel the deserts, we'd have made them death-flag rooms.


Well to an extent. I disagree that the desert is inhospitable. Bahaments and Silt Horrors may be going to far in that these are animals that can kill in a hit. But raptos...pairs of raptors...Things that would pose a problem to a n00b on foot but not a group of trained fighters I think would help force more people into clans and keep them out of the very rich solo hunter roles. (with an emphasis on certain areas...)

Quote from: "Xygax"

Not sure how a) and b) here are related to silt horrors, but....  I'm not sure I agree with you on the remark that "clans suck till you have people"...  there are a few clans in the game which manage to be very playable (and even downright fun) without enormous populations.  How can we make more clans be more fun with fewer players?  Are there restrictions in place (in code or documentation) that prevent players in disparate clans, or unclanned players from interacting with one another?  Perhaps those should be reviewed.


A+B are notions which would push more indies into clans. As for small clans being fun...sure they can be. If you all login at the same time and you're not managing to miss one another. I've played an Indy character with a buddy that was one of my favorite roles of all time. However, in a formal clan leadership position you tend to get people whose login time doesn't match yours, or one anothers etc and similar issues. Here having more people in the clan tends to lead to more people to RP with, more mini-plots conflicts etc. It's nice to be in a big clan.

Quote from: "Xygax"

I would like to our clan recruiters to be selective (ICly) about whom they hire, personally.  They shouldn't be avoiding people because they're newbies, but they should certainly be avoiding people who don't suit the roles they're trying to fill.  If you need a human with massive muscles for a bodyguard, don't hire a half-elven tailor.  Hiring people for jobs they don't fit ICly is a recipe for boredom.


I think this problem really stems from the number of players that you have available to choose from for clan life. I don't think telling clan leaders to be more selective is going to help. I think thats like telling a one-legged dog to run faster. :D

Quote from: "Xygax"

With respect to your point c), maybe.  I think solo-ers die significantly more often than clanned PCs, but I don't currently have data to back up that remark.


I'm sure indies die more the clannies. But there are still uber rich indies. I guess what it comes down to is what is right ratio of dead indies to rich indies. I feel like it's probably now a 70/30 shot of making it as an indy to ending up as raptor bait. I think it should really push 30/70. Maybe even 20/80. In general I would like (personally) to say to myself when I create a character "Well, I could risk the indy hunter path but if I do I'll probably be dead pretty quick." I don't have that level of fear of losing an indy hunter right now. I don't think a good deal of people do.

Quote from: "Xygax"

As to your last point, I think it's poorly considered.  A lot!  A lot of the PCs in the game currently HAVE indeed chosen noble nut-licking over the alternatives.  Why?


True, there's plenty that might attract one to a ball licking role :D... But how many characters who ICly didn't want to lick a nobles nuts chose to do so because they were ICly or OCly afraid of the desert? The psycology of a Zalanthan should be, "I would give my left nut, to lick that nobles balls...because to do so, would mean a great long life."

Quote from: "Xygax"

I utterly loathe the idea of imposing OOC caps.  


Yea, I kinda just threw that out there...

Quote from: "Xygax"

Allanak in the old days had a fairly extensive rooftop system, where a cunning thief could hide out and eventually make an escape, if they planned well enough.  Perhaps this is something we should consider restoring.  I think efforts in this direction should be made with baby-steps, however, because being robbed blind can be very OOCly frustrating, especially for new players.  Remember, we're aiming for more grittiness here, not necessarily more harshness, and especially not more OOC harshness.


I think grittiness can only be achieved through harshness. If you've rped in the rinth...It's pretty gritty. Though, it's also OOCly *very* difficult to survive, so I hear you. I'm not sure where the balance should be struck, but I definately think the commoners quarter could use a dose of some of the mugging scenes that get played out in the rinth. And it would definately cut down on the number of peeps strutting around with 10k worth of gear on.

Quote from: "Xygax"

We simply don't have enough time to police or codedly control every aspect of your life.  You HAVE to be trustworthy enough to make the choices that are appropriate for your character, his position in life, and his overall attitude.....


I cut that quote short to save length...and again, I hear you, but it needs to be a balance. For example, your example of the miner getting tired after a long day of mining returning at night to pub being an OOC decision. In my opinion, thats a great example of something that really could be coded and shouldn't be an OOC decision. If I'm mining all day, I should get tired. Mining should make you lose stamina, maybe it (or other phsyical activities) should increase your need for water etc.

I'm not saying we'll ever achieve a level where you won't have to make any OOC decisions, but I think as a general rule of thumb you won't curb the issues by asking the players to reduce the behavior. You'll acheive some level of success that way, but you can drastically reduce the behaviors by making said behavior codedly unrealistic and thus reflecting that this behavior is unrealistic on zalanthas through the "physical" rules that govern the world.

Of course thats a difficult task in some cases, especially when you consider the scope of some of the tasks, the coding resources available, etc. I think we all understand that some responsibility is the only way to accomplish certain goals, but in response to mass player outcry over an issue been around for a while, I think a code change should definately be considered.
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Angela Christine

  • Posts: 6595
Grittiness and Harshness
« Reply #49 on: May 05, 2005, 12:14:54 AM »
Quote from: "jmordetsky"


A+B are notions which would push more indies into clans.


"Pushing" people into anything makes them resentful and unhappy, which isn't a good thing for a game.  When is the last time you felt good about someone forcing you to do something "for your own good" or even "for the common good?"  It is just a bad idea.

Groups of indies are better than individuals, but you have to be able to survive long enough to make friends -- and making friends you trust enough to be at your back with weapons in a lawless area takes time.  Yes, I DO feel safer digging salt alone and running from anything remotely dangerous than I do when going out with PCs I've just met.  ICly you have virtual friends you've known all your life, and other PCs are people you've just met.

Joining clans is good, but personally I like to survive for a couple-three play days before I join a clan, so that my character has some "real" history outside the clan.  I want to have some non-virtual accomplishments to brag about.  Since indies, at least in the south, often don't make it to three days played, It can be months before I get a character who lives long enough to start trying to join a clan.  

More insta-death isn't going to be helpful for independants.  It isn't going to be helpful for clannies either, because an insta-death trap can usually take out one person before the rest of the group gets organized.  Insta-death sucks for everyone.



Quote
True, there's plenty that might attract one to a ball licking role :D... But how many characters who ICly didn't want to lick a nobles nuts chose to do so because they were ICly or OCly afraid of the desert? The psycology of a Zalanthan should be, "I would give my left nut, to lick that nobles balls...because to do so, would mean a great long life."


Isn't getting a great life the opposite of gritty?  If people enjoy roles that involve them with the upper crust of society (nobles, templars, and major merchant houses) than those roles should be available to them.  But roles on the ass-end of society should be available too.

Some people have more cash than they should, but I've met very few uber-rich people.  Consider that a small home will usually cost more than 50,000 sid in most cities.  A multi-room or multi-floor house will be at least double that.  A property big enough to have a staff and a place to store your own mounts (ie a place big enough to house a minor merchant house) would be more money than anyone I've ever met.  A person who doesn't own anything but the gear they are wearing and a few trinkets in a rented room is NOT rich, not even if they have 20,000 in the bank.

I can get a nice cushy bank balance playing in the 'rinth, without ever getting in a fight or commiting a crime.  All it takes is a little patience.
    1. Wear crappy equipment, so most NPCs will leave you alone.
    2. Run everywhere, unless you are a very good sneaker, to avoid the other NPCs.
    3. Stay out of especially hazardous spots (find out IC).
    4. Learn a couple "safe" places to rest (find out IC).
    5. Collect all the crappy equipment you find laying on the ground after PCs or NPCs wander around killing everything that moves.  Sell it.  Each item will only net a few coins, but those add up since your expenses are negligable.  

A 'rinther has almost no expenses.  You can't blow money on equipment because people will kill you for it.  You are in the city or indoors all the time, so your thirst rate is pretty low, and you can get/make crappy food pretty cheap.  Before you know it you will have too much money to justify staying in the 'rinth.   :P  A 'rinther PC can -survive- just by finding and selling used dark hooded cloaks, which is not hard at all as long as there are a few homocidal people running around.

My point isn't that it should be harder to be a 'rinther, but that people can find an "easy" way to make a living no matter where they are or how hard you make it to live there.  But, and this is the important part, money doesn't matter.


Angela Christine
Treat the other man's faith gently; it is all he has to believe with."     Henry S. Haskins