Diversity in Cantr – part II

By   January 26, 2016

In my last article I’ve mentioned main categories of things which, in my opinion, are not promoting diversity in Cantr well enough, which is extremely important for the well-being of game.
In my work in Resources Department I’m working on promoting diversity by the game mechanics – different types of similar objects should have different characteristics, which cause different choices for different people focusing on different aspects of their utility.
At the beginning, it’s of course necessary to think how to encourage (or enforce) making such choices.

Introducing a different way of doing exactly the same is not possible to help at the current stage of the game progression, because at least 80% of people can already use already existing and known way.
Let’s look at bronze. It requires different resources than iron, which are usually hard to get than hematite. It allows to make similar tools and a bit weaker weapons. It lacks something (for example an unique and useful tool), which should encourage people to select the bronze, even if they have the alternative of iron.
It would encourage to increase production and interest in bronze resources, optionally encourage to build suitable infrastructure. Soon after that most of people would be able to produce both iron and bronze.
And there emerges a question: What has it to do with encouraging diversity?
That’s right. It supports resource diversity by encouraging to use these currently not very useful, but it lacks the most important thing: diversity at the level of players’ choices – the game still doesn’t force to think, because it encourages to duplicate the scheme „you can and you have to do build everything”. But what happens when we already have this „everything”?
That’s why consumable goods are better in promoting the diversity. Or at least ones which won’t exist forever. If the resource is really worth being consumed, then it means it’ll be produced multiple times, so it’s the best to select the most effective one from the character’s point of view.
What happens when something is not consumed? In the past building a lighthouse was a quite challenging task, so there were town with and without one. As the time passed, it appeared that eventually every town can build one, or even that lighthouses can mislead the sailors by directing to long abandoned towns. It was incentive to introduce lighthouse fuel.

In theory it’d be perfect to have categories of resources and things, which have previously mentioned properties, but at the same time having them is mutually exclusive. But there emerges a question: how many of such mutually exclusive things (in the context of the single character) do we currently have?
MyślI think there is not even a single one. You don’t have to choose which skill to improve. Unused ones never go down, so it’s easy to „decide” to master all of them. It’s possible to keep almost unlimited number of items, and vehicles, even if only one can be used at once, they never break down, they also use little fuel.
When looking from the perspective of the whole town (location) then it’s a bit better. I can just mention: limited resource slots, deciding between breeding animals and collecting, decision between killing off aggressive animals to extinction or keeping some to have meat. They are not directly connected with limitation of building the infrastructure, and I’d have some comments regarding every one of these, but it’s still better than nothing.

Even if we’d be able to introduce system of mutually exclusive infrastructure in the context of the single town, then all this hard work would mean that exactly one per two settlement in the neighbourhood will be similar to our, and such restriction would really affect only lonely towns in the wilderness. That’s why it’s better to focus on consumption and I treat it as my current priority.

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The article above comes from http://cantr-mmorpg.pl/en_US/blog/roznorodnosc-w-cantr-cz-ii/