28 February 2011

Skill cap and MMOs

Specifically grouped content.

When the skill cap is low, one logical conclusion once someone has reached their individual potential is that they would spend their time doing other fun things. However, if the goal is to complete group content, the difficulty of assessing that the skill cap has been reached manifests as effort to contribute to the group's success by progress in areas that do not require skill.

In this sense, offering non-skill increases in effectiveness, either permanent or temporary, are only harmful to enjoyment if goals are set which cannot be accomplished solely by increase of skill. From a competitive standpoint, if every individual player eventually reaches a personal skill cap, then any interaction has the potential to demonstrate incremental improvement without the need for a long-term goal.

By increasing the perceived skill cap and significance of each isolated victory, there can be greater 'depth' of non-skill progress offered (either permanent, or temporary) without the feeling of those elements being required to participate in group content.

This, in turn, requires not only the possibility of discerning whether an increase in skill has taken place, but also that the individual can benefit from this progression, which is not measured by the game. The easiest way to do this is, as mentioned before, congruence of individual goals with group benefit.

The second implication of the skill cap is social patterns of voluntary grouping. A higher skill cap, meaning greater variance in performance, implies easier completion by a group that's better than normal. However, there are two possibilities that may prevent extreme divergence of group performance in the population that would complicate content difficulty tuning: a higher skill cap means less reason to avoid the situation of the previously-mentioned non-skill progression elements feeling required in a group that is not progressing, since instead of "farming more potions" someone can just play better at the moment an encounter takes place, if the reason for playing a game is for challenge instead of in-game rewards; and also when rest of the game has sufficient justification to improve even for those who do not have challenge as the primary goal, decreasing the variation in performance in the population by increasing average competence as time goes on.

17 February 2011


Systems are designed to have certain modes of interaction. The assumption by the user is that the observable controls will have the intended result. The reason this is possible is the prior analysis of the entire system and removal of variation of performance from actions which are not intended to have an effect. Sometimes it's necessary to question to what extent this planning was done effectively, but in many cases without prior experience with similar situations the available modes of interaction must be taken as presented.

In a 'living' environment characterized by energy input and systematic replication, there are a greater number of ways to produce results and more ways to make mistakes. It helps to have experience with both designed systems, and natural environments.

12 February 2011

How2fix Income Disparity in Capitalist Economy

First X hours gives higher compensation. Rate, and size of X depends on development of economy. Legislative reduction of X also increases salary/wages so that total income from working X hours remains constant, with same multiplier for work done after X hours, so that changes in X have a balanced effect on an economy that can support it.

Explanation/tl;dr: {Those who feel they have 'sufficient' income will not agree to employment under terms that require them to work more than X hours, for high income occupations. Those who do not feel they have sufficient income will work longer than X, and either not accept jobs or will lobby for pay increases in occupations where the marginal compensation for working beyond X hours is not 'fair'. Even when the multiplier is no where near the size of income disparity, the contraction would affect all levels of the economy where choices are made to forgo expensive goods in favor of cheap goods of the same benefit regardless of the income or wealth of the purchaser.

Cannot be done instantly from the inverse of working hour limitations and overtime that addressed the working conditions during the time of the industrial revolution, because spending habits, item price leveling, wage normalization, and creation of new production and employment niches can only happen from market forces that need time to take effect.}

No pressure for this to happen until world resource depletion lowers 'standard of living' in developed countries, since currently survival and comfort is easily possible at less than 1/10th of per-capita income.


Protip from Amazon: silk or satin pillowcases prevent 'bed hair' for people with long hair.