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Old 02-23-2010, 09:39 PM   #1
aegora
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Farming: the new obsession

It occurred to me the other day while deleting a plethora of farm-whatever app requests from my ffaceboof friends that perhaps something slightly similar might already exist on a MU somewhere..

has anyone implented a farm that grows yet? I'd be interested in hearing your responses.
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Old 02-23-2010, 10:51 PM   #2
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Re: Farming: the new obsession

We have farming in Maiden Desmodus.

In the spring, players are able to sow seeds into fields to plant them. Right now we have hop seed, flax seed, and wheat seed. Once planted, the crops will grow over the course of the spring and summer, and can be harvested in the autumn. Harvesting your crops will give you hops, flax, or wheat from each planted field, along with seed so you can plant again come spring.

We'll probably expand farming in the future, but right now it yields the resources used in tailoring (by weaving flax into cloth used for making clothing), in brewing (using hops as an ingredient to make beer used to boost the morale of military troops and for social drinking), and wheat is used to provision troops in our mass-warfare system so you can move them throughout the game.

Related to farming, we also have over thirty different herbs that can be planted in various terrains. The plants grow over time, producing more herbs that can be picked. So long as the initial plant isn't picked to zero herbs or planted over, it'll continue growing until it reaches its maximum yield. The herbs produced range from having medical properties (anything from healing to curing a headache), as poisons, etc.

Last edited by Wade_Gustafson : 02-23-2010 at 10:52 PM. Reason: Fixed a typo
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Old 02-23-2010, 11:13 PM   #3
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Re: Farming: the new obsession

It's been implemented on some RPIs for near to if not far more than a decade. Back when I was on the staff of SoI, agriculture was one of the areas under my administrative oversight (it had already existed however for years prior to my time on staff). While I left staff before I ever got the system to the finalized version I envisioned I understand several modifications were later made which were closer to what I'd aimed for (though I can't say for certain as I don't have a full overview of what their system is like nowadays).
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Old 02-24-2010, 07:32 AM   #4
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Re: Farming: the new obsession

Yeah but it's not the same if you can't have a pink tractor and elephants.
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Old 02-25-2010, 12:29 PM   #5
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Re: Farming: the new obsession

Farming? That's old school. Try going on a caravan that is run by a merchant (a guild in NWA) and actually brings food into the city and can be attacked by robbers, thiefs, and (gasp) other players. First caravan I went on in New Worlds was over run by a group trying to steal the loads on the wagons. I died of course, but what an experience with 15 of us trying to defend it!
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Old 02-25-2010, 07:48 PM   #6
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Re: Farming: the new obsession

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Originally Posted by Dedwulf View Post
Farming? That's old school. Try going on a caravan that is run by a merchant (a guild in NWA) and actually brings food into the city and can be attacked by robbers, thiefs, and (gasp) other players. First caravan I went on in New Worlds was over run by a group trying to steal the loads on the wagons. I died of course, but what an experience with 15 of us trying to defend it!
He's asking about farming, not caravans.

And for the record, caravans are old school as well.

On topic, I did a keyword search of "farming" on TMC and came up with three games. Toss on Wade's and the three more RPIs which have farming and the list looks like this:

The Southlands
Star Wars: Uprising
Daedal Macabre
Maiden Desmodus
Shadows of Isildur
Harshlands
Armageddon
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Old 02-25-2010, 08:23 PM   #7
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Re: Farming: the new obsession

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Originally Posted by prof1515 View Post
He's asking about farming, not caravans...
and the three more RPIs which have farming...
Um, he's asking about MUDs not your definition of RPIs.

Don't worry Dedwulf, this guy just likes to make comments like that and post the term RPI in about 90% of his posts which is 75% of the time off topic but promotes the RPI term. Lamely, I might add.

Back on topic. Dedwulf may not know, but NWA has farming as well as fishing, baking, grilling, planting, and so do probably 50% of the MUD's out there. I just don't think they put that in the information page.
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Old 02-25-2010, 08:49 PM   #8
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Re: Farming: the new obsession

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Originally Posted by Newworlds View Post
Um, he's asking about MUDs not your definition of RPIs.

Don't worry Dedwulf, this guy just likes to make comments like that and post the term RPI in about 90% of his posts which is 75% of the time off topic but promotes the RPI term. Lamely, I might add.

Back on topic. Dedwulf may not know, but NWA has farming as well as fishing, baking, grilling, planting, and so do probably 50% of the MUD's out there. I just don't think they put that in the information page.
Maybe he should change his name to RPIProph1515
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Old 02-25-2010, 09:47 PM   #9
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Re: Farming: the new obsession

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Originally Posted by Newworlds View Post
Um, he's asking about MUDs not your definition of RPIs.
Nor did I detail the definition of RPI for him. He asked, "has anyone implented a farm that grows yet? I'd be interested in hearing your responses" and I pointed out that RPIs have done so, some for more than decade. In other words, I answered his question and provided him some reference as to at least how long that it has been done.

Quote:
...so do probably 50% of the MUD's out there. I just don't think they put that in the information page.
A figure of 50% is highly unlikely. 50% of role-playing MUDs perhaps (though I suspect even that would be too high of an estimate) but not MUDs in general.
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Old 02-25-2010, 10:31 PM   #10
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Re: Farming: the new obsession

Armageddon does not have a farming system, to my knowledge. It has locations called farming villages with descriptions that imply that farming is done, but it is done virtually, and not codedly.
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Old 02-25-2010, 11:18 PM   #11
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Re: Farming: the new obsession

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Originally Posted by Jazuela View Post
Armageddon does not have a farming system, to my knowledge. It has locations called farming villages with descriptions that imply that farming is done, but it is done virtually, and not codedly.
There was a farm outside Allanak which produced eggs and had livestock. There was also farmland that hired workers for cotton-picking. I'm afraid I'm not sure of all the details but it was described to me as farming back when I played Arm (albeit that was 2001-2005 so it may not be so anymore).

Last edited by prof1515 : 02-26-2010 at 06:26 AM.
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Old 02-26-2010, 08:39 AM   #12
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Re: Farming: the new obsession

The farm is a coded location, that hires *virtual* workers to produce *virtual* grain, that in turn shows up as "sack of flour" in the coded grocery shop in the city. There is no farm-boss who hires PC workers, there is no actual grain that PCs can plant, sow, water, harvest. It's all virtual, part of the game's atmosphere.

Cotton picking is a -new- feature, that isn't even in the south where the docs say it it, and it also isn't farming. PCs can't plant cotton, sow cotton, or water cotton. They can't weed the field, there are no cotton seeds. It's just picking cotton that was virtually grown by virtual farmers and codedly available for you to pick. The virtual farmers are virtual, so they're not hiring you to pick cotton for them. You can't be employed as a farmer, in a coded sense.
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Old 02-26-2010, 10:04 AM   #13
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Re: Farming: the new obsession

In GodWars1 there was a mogwai-like creature who would follow players around and beg for food. If you fed him, he'd turn into cocoon which would eventually hatch into a gremlin. The gremlin would then hunt and eat other mobs, laying eggs which hatched into stronger gremlins, and those gremlins would do the same again. The third and strongest generation of gremlin would lay small crystallised eggs which could be collected and eaten for bonuses (a bit like potions).

Some players would take the mogwai creature to an isolated part of the mud, seed the area with food, then come back later to "harvest" the small eggs. I guess you could consider that a form of farming.
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Old 02-26-2010, 10:33 AM   #14
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Re: Farming: the new obsession

Quote:
Originally Posted by KaVir View Post
In GodWars1 there was a mogwai-like creature who would follow players around and beg for food. If you fed him, he'd turn into cocoon which would eventually hatch into a gremlin. The gremlin would then hunt and eat other mobs, laying eggs which hatched into stronger gremlins, and those gremlins would do the same again. The third and strongest generation of gremlin would lay small crystallised eggs which could be collected and eaten for bonuses (a bit like potions).

Some players would take the mogwai creature to an isolated part of the mud, seed the area with food, then come back later to "harvest" the small eggs. I guess you could consider that a form of farming.
I remember this. It was both hilarious and awesome.

---

I'm going to say that there's not really a need to bash Prof here. He may have only listed RPIs as his answer, but he still provided information on several MUDs that offer farming. There are quite a few out there, with many different kinds of systems. Some, like Old Godwars', are more imaginative than others. Some are more realistic than others.

If the poster is asking whether or not anyone has implemented a social-based farming mini-game/system that emulates the simplistic farming Facebook apps that are designed to churn advertising dollars by making you click through many pages to achieve simple tasks, then my answer would probably be ... I doubt it. The system, as it is, appeals to people's infatuation with web-surfing at their own pace and clicking on things. I'm not sure that such a system would be very successful on a MUD, because a) most MUDs don't offer click-and-point functionality that ties in with web-pages and b) part of the "fun" of those social apps are involving a large list of friends and competing with the millions of people who play them worldwide, at a leisurely pace. Since MUDs don't support this size of playerbase, I doubt that there would be much draw or excitement to implementing such a system ... although, with MXP support, you certainly -could- do it. I just doubt that it would be very popular. If the currently popular application design style were designed to be a good game instead of a means to make advertising dollars (these games are usually funded by massive investment corporations, not gaming companies), then the gameplay would be better. If anything, these applications are a very real threat to future generations of potential MUDers.
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Old 02-28-2010, 06:50 PM   #15
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Re: Farming: the new obsession

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Originally Posted by DonathinFrye View Post
If anything, these applications are a very real threat to future generations of potential MUDers.
... or a boon to future generations, if we shepherd our hobby so it evolves to incorporate those concepts.

Not that we should simplify our muds into point-and-click games. But we could potentially use that as a way to draw in new markets.

Imagine a facebook app where you can grow your farm - just like the existing ones.
Now imagine if there was a button there that said "Visit your farm" and it logged you into a mud (with a webpage interface still on the facebook page) - and you can look around the farm, see the sheep bleating and the corn waving in the wind. Maybe find extra information (examine the corn and notice insects before your facebook farm would warn you about the locusts, so you can clear them out early...) - from there, it's just a small step to having a path from your farm to the village commons. And from that central area, you've got the opportunity to draw these new players into your roleplay.

Not all will like it, most will just want the brainless clicking. But get enough players trying it out, and you'll have a percentage that will enjoy the muds, and just wouldn't have known about them before. Heck, I stumbled onto muds myself by accident when looking up articles on game design. Most of the students in my postgraduate university games design course had never played a text adventure.

Our largest challenge isn't competing with the other game types. It's just making the players aware that we exist. And I think these silly farming apps and facebook games could be a great opportunity.

Now... anyone know how to code 'em up?
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Old 03-01-2010, 06:40 AM   #16
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Re: Farming: the new obsession

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... or a boon to future generations, if we shepherd our hobby so it evolves to incorporate those concepts.
I discussed the idea of mud minigames as facebook applications a few months ago - I do think it has potential, although I think the facebook application would need to be something nice and simple. My favoured idea would be some sort of dungeon or city building application, turning those point-and-click facebook users into unwitting content writers for my mud!
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Old 03-03-2010, 04:06 PM   #17
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Re: Farming: the new obsession

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Originally Posted by KaVir View Post
My favoured idea would be some sort of dungeon or city building application, turning those point-and-click facebook users into unwitting content writers for my mud!
On the surface that sounds great, but with more thought...egads, you really want that content on your game?
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Old 03-03-2010, 06:28 PM   #18
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Re: Farming: the new obsession

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On the surface that sounds great, but with more thought...egads, you really want that content on your game?
I agree that there are many problems with player-generated content, but there also many benefits. City of Heroes certainly had teething problems when it took this route, but the fact still remains that within 24 hours of introducing player-generated content their players had created more content than the entire development team had created during the game's five year existence.
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Old 03-04-2010, 03:14 AM   #19
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Re: Farming: the new obsession

We've had farming and gardening for a very long time in 4d, both are slightly interactive in that the crops don't just grow, you also have to protect them against various pests. The crops can of course be sold or developed further.

The closest we've come to player generated content is mining, where the players dig their own tunnels, looking for ore and gemstones. The rooms in the mine are premade, but the players choose which direction to dig in, and the tunnels sometimes collapse behind you, (or on top of you), so the layout of the mine is never the same. For quite a while we had just about every player in the mud working hard in the tunnels, which was somewhat amusing to watch.

The problem with features like this is that they can become obsessive for a while, to an extent where the players also will try all sorts of tricks to abuse them. But sooner or later they tire of it, and return to the usual mob grinding, and the feature gets forgotten until some new player discovers it, and it gets popular again for some time.

In the long run they will always chose the task that yields the biggest reward. The only reason why they never stop mining in our Mud is, that there is an unusually good magical sword in the heart of the mountain, which is extremely difficult to get, since it also involves several steps of a hard Quest. Everybody knows about the sword, but very few have managed to get it, which is what keeps the rest of them digging tunnels long after they stopped collecting the ore.

I guess random drops is another way of keeping the interest up. The point is that unless the reward is conceived as big enough, the feature won't be used in the long run. Maybe it's different in RP extensive games, but as soon as there is competition involved, they'll spend their main time on what they think gives them the most exp or the best equipment, to ultimately reach the biggest power.
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Old 03-04-2010, 04:19 PM   #20
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Re: Farming: the new obsession

My two reservations about farming/mining features are that: (1) it encourages hours of autobotting if the mechanics are too repetitive (plow, plow, plow, plant, plant, plant, harvest, harvest, harvest), and (2) if commodities are an important part of the gameworld, it can become burdensome to balance how many commodities are being produced (does the world really need 1 million units of grain?) and forces players to grind through the mechanics (see 1) in order to get these needed commodities.

In Lusternia, commodities are produced in villages. By performing commodity quests, you can increase production of some of these commodities. For example, you can catch chickens and take them to the chicken coop (for a gold/xp award) which also increases egg production in that village. Player organizations then compete over who controls those villages and thus the commodities that the villages produce. It works well for us!
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