Re: Ultimate Goals in Olympia

Greg Lindahl (gl8f@fermi.clas.Virginia.EDU)
Fri, 6 Jan 1995 22:03:42 GMT

In article <3eff6k$>,
Scott Turner <> wrote:

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

It may be true that *you* work that way, but others don't. The
*typical* open-ended game player, in my mind, is someone who likes
growing in power over the long term, and finds that interesting. In
addition, Oleg seems to have plenty of luck waiting for other players
to attack him first. Half the time, he gets screwed, half the time he
does well ;-)

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

Yes and no. You can't do everything, nor can you garrison all the
lands, because you don't have enough Noble Points to do it. This
didn't work as well as I initially imagined because the controlled
units are too useful, and TERRORIZE works awfully well, but it *will*
have an effect on any small group trying for global hegemony.

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

This isn't inevitable, because the map is large, and it's often easy
to scare other players off without attacking them. Yes, Olympia is a
game of competition, but it could be expressed in more ways than
fight-to-the death. Those who live by the sword die by the sword, etc.

In article <3ehsav$>, Scott Turner writes:
> As a faction in Oly, I can do magic,
>castle-building, exploration, trading, beastmastery, etc. all at the
>same time.

This is somewhat limited by noble points. If you buy several magic
users, do you have enough noble points left over to set up and
maintain that castle and lands? I find the NP limit to be more
palatable than faction types. Atlantis 2.0 takes the other approach,
but you'll find that players will simply band into small groups of
cooperating factions, and it's annoying to me to be _forced_ to be
part of a team to succeed, and it's also annoying to constantly have
to interact to be able to do simple things.

> Mystery is more difficult. In my opinion, a problem with Oly is that
> information is too freely exchanged. There's no real benefits to
> keeping information secret. In the design for Arena II, I built in
> reasons for keeping certain information secret.

That's the proper way to deal with it: it does no good to rail against
Oleg's lore archive. However, I wouldn't blame archives for lack of
player interaction; in the earlier Oly games, when I had more time to
play, I interacted with a LOT of players via schmoozing over the
archive, and that played a large part in Oleg's success as a
character. Now I (Greg) don't have time, so I put the damn thing on
the ftp site and forgot about it.

BTW, I wouldn't call Dr. Pain's attack on Oleg "unjustified" -- in
fact it was a good way for Dr. Pain to acquire power and income, at
the expense of possible bad press. Oleg now has a CAUSE to rally the
troops for, something that Dr. Pain has provided before. Oleg without a
cause is kind of boring. Well, Oleg with a cause *still* bores some

-- Greg, not Oleg