Re: Ultimate Goals in Olympia

Tim Whalen (
4 Jan 1995 19:14:32 -0800

In article <3eff6k$> (Scott) writes:

> <editted for brevity> I don't see much
>that will hold a player's long-term interest other than attacking
>other players.

There is certainly a point where every inner location is empty, every
hidden location explored, every province garrisonned and all that is
left to do is to fight it out... On the other hand, if a twenty player
alliance systematically attacked new players on the second turn of the
game it might be considered a sign of attention deficit disorder.

>* Exploration is obviously limited ...

The current #1 "provinces visited" faction will hit all provinces in
20 RL years at the current rate of exploration. This is admittedly
a marginally interesting goal.

>* Becoming a "skill king" doesn't seem to hold much interest.

Agreed. I recommend against reading lore archives as you're just
taking some of the fun out of the game for little added "advantage."
The #1 ranked faction should know all skills around turn 40 (so big
deal.) The top spellcaster knows around a quarter of the spells and
there's still plenty of lore there not in the public domain as well as
many changes from alpha.

>* I don't find trade routes very interesting.

Rare trade good routes are at least a little more fun since you risk
more and it's an eight turn cycle instead of the same old thing every
month but trade isn't for everyone...

>* Building a castle and garrisoning lands is straightforward and will
> inevitably bring you into conflict with other players.

I disagree. I have border agreements with my neighbors and I doubt
we'll fight over them. If someone new shows up four years into the
game and tries to take away what we've already claimed they're in
for trouble but I don't plan to expand beyond what I've already got.
On the other hand I am expecting and planning for outside attacks
since I know it's inevitable. There is no room in some people's gaming
style for other players except their friends.

>Even if you find these things initially interesting, I think it is
>clear that most players will eventually become bored with these things
>and turn towards conflict with the other players, or drop out of the

I think this may be true but pre-emptive "boredom" can be unduly harsh.
My one attack on another player was perhaps too harsh but I think
that it was clearly retaliatory and the purpose was not to "wipe
the faction off the map" but to try to demonstrate that "bad deeds"
can be punished. The editor of Flagship set out to show that "evil
is the way to succeed in Olympia" and a few turns later he quit
the game in a hopeless fugitive position. I hope that other evil
schemers meet with similar success!

The attack on Oleg was IMO unwarrented. I know for a fact that he was
an ex post facto participant only in the "Dogmatix affair" and so that
is a weak excuse. Your excuse of boredom is also pretty lame at this
early phase in the game. It seems to me that Oleg was considered the
primary enemy of the AOO simply because of his prominence in the pbem
community and his "loudmouth" preaching against "bully" alliances. Did
you expect him to disappear quietly after your attack? Of course there
are many players running scared at the thought of a group of twenty
factions moving aggressively to control half the continents in the game!
The question is whether the other 160 factions will stand frozen in the
headlights or organize a coordinated resistance.

>Conflict with other players (and to a certain extent fighting
>monsters) is more interesting because it is both uncertain and

I think that there is a distinction to be made between competition and
conflict. I'd hate to ruin another faction's enjoyment of this wonderful
game just to get ahead unless they'd shown themselves to be a bunch of
mean-spirited little greedheads. I think that destroying other factions
creations because you find no joy in creating something of your own is
a pretty pathetic "Dog-in-a-Manger" attitide to have in a game like this
and I don't think for a minute that that is the only reason that you or
anyone else plays this game.

> -- Scott T.

Tim Whalen