Joined: 27 Jun 2005
|Posted: Mon Aug 08, 2005 8:54 pm Post subject: Mudtime vs Real Time
|I think there are a couple of aspects to look at...
Does time really matter in the mud?
a. Shops open at certain times?
Does every location have to be in the same "timezone"? If you can get an item at only one location, it may not matter if the player has to wait, but for generic items, they can 'astral walk' or whatever. It also provides some basis to barter between players if you have to wait, or can provide some benefit for player owned stores that choose to stay open late or open early, etc.
b. Progressive Storylines
In this case, you really need to look at the ratio. You might be best served by looking at the frequency at which your players log in, and how long they player for in determining this. Tune toward the masses.
c. Time windows for mobs or quests
Need to at least make the windows long enough so they don't disappear in just a minute or two real time. The baby in RL needs it's diaper changed and the wife is sleeping, you can't just pause. There are RL distractions, network lag, etc. But if your windows are to long, may as well not even have windows. Also, if you have vampires, giving them a 10 minute period where they are more effective doesn't allow them to get much done. You need enough time to actually accomplish something during the windows of opportunity.
d. Age affecting character performance
I'm of the belief that characters should not age into perma-death. You spend all this time on a character, just to have them keel over and die on you with no way to prevent it? Good way to lose players real fast. Also, if the clock continues to move forward while you are logged out, what happens when you have a hard semester and have to take a short break from the MUD to keep your grades up or finish a project at work? Oops, you come back to a half dead character w/ alzheimers....decidedly not fun.
A few things that I think are good to do w/ time....
1. Different timezones....realistic in a good way.
2. Build time based character affects into 'played time' not 'passed time'
3. Build in seasons, but make them matter. In fact, climate zones, which act differently in different seasons. If you are running around in a loincloth in the middle of winter in the mountains....you may not last very long, heat indexing on EQ. Same goes w/ wearing fur coats in in the scorching heat.
4. Different store hours on different days of the week.
I think that time should be woven through the entire mud, where players actually care what time and date it is. Not as a bolt on piece, but every bit as integrated as the combat system or magic system. But, it has to be balanced w/ the demands of real life, or it becomes to onerous and will drive away players.