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  • Through the 20 years that we were creating ultimas, we were simulating the dungeons and dragons social experience that we would have at home on the weekends.


  • And so we were motivated and we're constantly looking for how and when we would make what we were originally called, Multnomah, I'm Richard Garrett, the creator of ultima online and we spent three years creating a masterpiece feature that the players destroyed the moment the game went live.

    是以,我們很有動力,我們不斷地尋找如何和何時製作我們最初的名字,Multnomah,我是理查德-加勒特,ultima online的創造者,我們花了三年時間創造了一個傑作功能,玩家在遊戲上線的那一刻就破壞了。

  • Yeah, the year is 1995 when we are building what became ultima online in earnest.

    是的,這一年是1995年,我們正在認真地建立後來的ultima online。

  • The best pcs you could get generally, we're running a Pentium maybe had, you know, 10 megabytes of memory inside.


  • And it was also right when the very first ever three three D graphics cards were being shipped but a very primitive version compared to what we have today.


  • Star Long.


  • And I knew that this was the moment to strike because we knew that we were moving from expensive rare dial up to ubiquitous direct connection to the internet fairly quickly.


  • There were a few things we realized we needed in the game and a few things we thought would really help the game.


  • For example, I think correctly, early on we determined that in the long run, our small team, we assumed and hoped would be too small to continue to create content nearly as fast as the players would be able to consume it since we knew we would eventually lose that foot race, we decided to try to build some automated systems to help fill in that gap.


  • And one of those that we created was what we called the virtual ecology.


  • The map itself, the terrain and the vegetation on the terrain would actually grow and create food for one set of creatures in the game, which I broadly call the herbivores.


  • So the deer and rabbits would roam the countryside and they would multiply to a degree that would come into balance with the rate of vegetation that was produced in any general area.


  • So you find more deer and rabbits and the forests and grasslands and fewer of the mountains, the deserts.


  • And we would spawn the carnivores up in the mountains or farther away, more remote places and they would wander around looking for meat to eat, which generally would be the herbivores.


  • And if they emptied out the population of sheep and rabbits, they want everything to eat and so they couldn't reproduce.


  • And so therefore they would come into a natural balance.


  • Also, when a herbivore found a piece of vegetation, iii a tall piece of grass, they would consume it and it would become a short piece of grass.


  • In fact, that was one of the beauties to watch is to watch, you know, the rabbit just going around mowing the grass for the goats and the deer running running around slowly mowing the grass and then running out in one area and then identifying in some distant area, another place to go graze, just like real animals do.


  • The real trick was how to make sure that that balance, then how did that interact with carnivores, who could wipe them out, but then wouldn't care for the grass.


  • So the grass will become, you know, er, basis again.


  • And conversely, you know, players could kill either the herbivores, which we thought in our minds eye, they wouldn't do very much because there wasn't much value in those herbivores.


  • And instead we assume that they would tend to fight the carnivores, not only because the carnivores would be attacking them, but also we had created quests to where the pelts of the carnivores were worth more.


  • And so we assumed that that was sort of the leapfrog target that everyone would take on the same way we rationally were playing the game, we thought frankly the service didn't work at o so many levels.


  • What we discovered the moment the game went live was that players ran over the world like a swarm of ants that consumed every living thing as fast as it was possible to spawn it, they killed every creature.


  • So as soon as a deer or a rabbit or a wolf showed up on the map, the nearest person to it killed it skinned it took its meat and took its hide instantaneously and the fact that the wolf was worth more than the deer or the rabbit was irrelevant just the fact that it was fun to kill, have been enough for them to eradicate all life all living things on the surface and we spent the next few months trying to figure a solution out by either decreasing the value of the deer, of the rabbits or increasing the spawn rates to try to make them be so plentiful.


  • The players couldn't kill them all.


  • We actually could not keep up with the rate that the players would massacre anything and everything that moved.


  • So we actually changed the fiction of the game and introduced a hack, going back to ultima one where in ultima one, the way you defeated the Dark wizard mundane was by destroying the gym of immortality and you broke it into shards.


  • And so we decided that that moment also splintered the world into copies in these shards and that was the fiction for shards which are now used by other MOS and even database operators around the globe who don't have anything to with gaming and have no idea where the word shards came from.


  • So we knew we'd go past 100,000 players.


  • However, we really had no idea that it would quickly ramp to a million.


  • It was also obvious immediately that we had this problem with the virtual ecology because this proverbial swarm of ants was unstoppable.


  • We could thin the population in certain areas, but we couldn't do that on the main map.


  • The main map needed everyone to be present.


  • After months of attempting to rebalance or re envision this virtual ecology, sadly in the end, we literally just ripped all the code out of the game.


  • And the saddest part of all of this is that outside of people hearing the story directly, like I'm telling you right now, none of the players ever even knew it was there.


  • The the lesson of the virtual ecology was to us that testing the game in house is an entirely inadequate test.


  • In contrast to the reality of being in the hands of players, not only our players going to face the experience differently, they will think about it differently than we do in house, but also by sheer numbers.


  • They will crush or test things in a very different way in a virtual world where you give the players swords and weapons to commit mass murder.


  • I think that a virtual ecology is going to be going to prove very difficult.


Through the 20 years that we were creating ultimas, we were simulating the dungeons and dragons social experience that we would have at home on the weekends.


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    林宜悉 發佈於 2022 年 10 月 07 日