Re: Olympia: Production Values

Rich Skrenta (
Wed, 22 Jul 1992 18:58 EDT
> But until then, my definition of the problem says that we should increase
> the output of work back to the old level of a few turns ago, and then
> make everything else better. I agree that work should not be a way to
> get rich or become a world power.

Well, these two sentences are inconsistent. Here is the problem:

1) Some players want to vacation in Olympia. They're interested
in enjoying the scenery and hate working. If WORK returned
their maintenance cost in 1 week, and gave them plenty to
spend on adventuring in 2, they'd be ecstatic. They'd use
the other 2 weeks to study and roam the countryside.

2) Some players would see the above WORK mechanics and construct
a giant UNIT, MEN and MONEY making machine. They would see
how big they could get, and might stomp some people for fun
along the way.

We like player (1) to be happy. Player (2) is a gremlin in our machine.
Player (2) should be able to power-game and empire-build, but at a rate
of 5-10%/turn. Not 30%/turn.

But if the smart, experienced power-gamer can only grow 10% a turn, how
is (1) going to have any fun, when he doesn't even want to power game,
and the (2) players control all of the now-limited production?

Lately we've been tinkering with production limits to try and reign in
the empire builders. But this hurts player type (1), and has the
side-effect of making Olympia more violent. To its benefit, some say;
to its detriment, others.

>> Warning: some speculation ahead. <<

Olympia is heavily money based at the moment. Perhaps some systems
should be made more independent from the money system, so players who
grew rich wouldn't run away with the game. Then the player who wants
to roleplay a small party of adventurers wouldn't feel stomped on so much.

What sort of ideas do we have to work with? (Please keep in mind that
these are only *ideas*. Don't go insane when you see them.)

o Eliminate the maintenance cost.

Does it cause more player stress than balance?

Can be modeled in other, better ways, such as by having
weapons and armor break in battle, horses die, ships
need repairs, etc.

o Don't use money to restrict study.

This isn't to say, "don't restrict study". But don't
use money for it. What else could be used?

Availability of teachers (npc or player)

Scrolls of knowlege which must be explored
and battled for.

Requirements for advancement. This would be
good, but is hard to get right. Must go on
a quest to advance to combat level 4; must
ride on a ship for two months to reach
shipbulding 7.

(Don't everyone reply and say this idea is great,
I know it is. But it's too nebulous and hard to
implement to work in an industrial-strength study

o In Legends, money doesn't equal units and men. Legends
starts out with gobs of NPC character units which you can
persuade, but doesn't have anything like a FORM command.

Thus, there is no net unit growth, although most npc characters
eventually wind up under a player's control.

Men, however, can increase by population births.

Maybe it should be harder to get units. Perhaps money should
not equal units. If we limit recruit, you can still buy all
the indivdiuals you want for 500 gold a piece.

I thought I had more ideas to work with. Guess not.

Rich Skrenta <>  N2QAV

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