Re: Civilized play

Scott R. Turner (
Thu, 01 Oct 92 09:30:12 -0700

Greg seems to be making the point that if obituaries and/or combat
reports from destroyed stacks are eliminated, players will fulfill
these functions themselves (via e-mail and the Times), so we might as
well keep the obituaries. I say that's an untested assumption. For
one thing, it requires that someone like Greg maintain an interest and
spend a lot of time gathering and disseminating that information.
Maybe there will be someone who will do that. Maybe not. But in my
mind, it's up for the players to decide that question, not the game

> Scott Turner thinks that obituaries are bad, but that being able to
> control who moves in and out of a province is important. I don't
> think that it is. My economic operations, by their very nature, are
> stationary. My horse-catching crew, who were making 20,000 gold per
> turn, would have made much less if they had to randomly move in and
> out of the plains province to avoid attack. In order to make money
> by extracting resources, you have to sit still and expose yourself.

This is curious. Are you arguing that control is bad?

It seems to me that you're exactly in the situation where you *want*
to control a region. You're making an (outrageous) amount of money
off a resource. You should want to protect both that resource and
your horse-catching crew. To do that, you want to deny people access
to your region.

> Let's let limited resources drive the conflict. The mechanics are
> there.


> Next, Scott Turner was unhappy that the obits advertised his
> exploits to the players in the Old Lands. This turned out to be
> unimportant. I have 19 combat reports in my possession from that
> time-period, and I was publishing a weekly summary of exactly what
> was going on -- so the players in the Old World had a much better
> set of information than the obituaries provided, courtesy of
> eyewitness accounts and propagated by email. You can't stop this
> kind of information transfer. So the obituaries aren't the
> fundamental problem.

The difference is that everyone knows the Obituaries are true. They
have exact, trustworthy information. Without that, the Old Landers
wouldn't have known who to believe. I could have maintained that I
was being set up, that you in fact were the person behind the
killings. Or any number of other subterfuges. (Probably all futile,
but that's beside the point.)

Rumors, whether automated with errors, or propogated by players via
e-mail or the Times, are fine. I don't think anyone objects to that.
The objection is to the anachronistic, instantaneous distribution of
100% accurate information about the game to players who would not
otherwise have that knowledge.

Why not make every combat report and every unit movement visible to
everyone in the game? The same arguments apply. The players *could*
distribute that information to everyone via e-mail. Rumors would fly.
But its wrong. Its anachronistic and it greatly limits the types of
play and player interactions. And I say that's a bad thing.

-- Scott T.

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