Re: Roads,cities, and monsters

Rich Skrenta (
Thu, 9 Dec 93 6:55:25 EST

> My first worry about this is that new players, who don't have the resources
> to build and maintain a set of guards, will be trapped near the places they
> start, where all the resources have already been tied up.

This was precisely the complaint of new players in Olympia I.
However, I think this is the point. Either you can easily leave
and get a big pie for youself, or someone else already has the pie.
There's no reason to fight for a pie, or make a deal to only have
a slice, if you can easily go a few provinces away and get all the
pie you want.

> Having markets shut down in the wilderness also seems counterproductive. It
> reduces the incentive for pure traders if the have to guard the cities at the
> far end before they can sell anything.

I might agree here. The Nasty threat should be sufficient. In fact, cities
might a pocket of civilization in an otherwise wilderness province. So a
trader could breath easy until moving on to the next stop.

> I much prefer the Carrot ideas.

There is nothing in any of the carrot suggestions which stops a single
player from doing them. Chuk will build some libraries for himself, make
a few roads, and still kill anyone who comes near him.

Right now players could ally to build castles or towers, but for the
most part they don't. Why should they, when everyone can have two hundred
province continents to themselves?

The carrot ideas are also all ways to "give away the bank": allow cheap,
fast travel; let skills be learned quicker; allow location owners to make
more money. Since I have the impression that most of these activities are
"well tuned" at the moment, this would simply burn our candle twice as fast.

> If you must have a stick, have it in the form of 'Barbarian hordes' or
> somesuch which are a large army force which would move round slowly,
> pillaging, and attacking buildings and people. It would be big enough that a
> sizeable force would be needed to defeat it - probably organised by several
> factions. It would move slowly enough that traders could avoid it. If it
> captured people, it would probably release them after taking all their goods.
> Think of it as a very large bunch of savages if you like. Just more
> organised, and not subject to the same forms of control.

That's a nice idea, but it either fits into Wilderness/Civilization, or
else the Horde is so localized that you could effectively ignore it unless
it was on your back door. There are over 7,000 provinces; Ten separate
Hordes still wouldn't concern most players.

> Finally, i think if you force people to go round in groups, you will find
> that all that happens is that factions go round in groups, rather than that
> factions cooperate to go round in groups. Which just makes the effective
> world size bigger still. Exploration should be sufficiently safe that people
> will do it readily.

My expectaction is that players will work to expand civilization,
and will go around in tougher groups when they explore.

Rich Skrenta <>

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