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Mar 08, 2007



The first thing that comes to mind is the solar system model used by Everquest 2. I remember relatively early on a thread showing up in the forums detailing the cycle of the stars, moons, and sun researched and tracked by players. It was in a thread devoted to the easter eggs found by players, ... here.


There's A Tale in in the Desert, of course.


Well, I think you need to differentiate(?) between game mechanics and background here.

If i understand you right, you want to have players discover bits and pieces, which help them in some measureable degree with what they do in the game.

If things to discover are purely story/background related, they wont have a impact on the game mechanic, therefore not yield a measurable change or profit for the player. These activitys are "recreational" (actually funny to use that term on a game, which by definition should be recreational as a whole :) )

If these things are part of the game mechanics, then what you are looking for happens every day, to a varying degree in all MMOs. Usualy the actual Formulas for boni/weapons/manufacture chances/whatever, are not in the "manual" but have to be discovered by the players.

And that can get as scientific as you want. In the case of Eve-online, mathLab is your best friend to find out about some more obscure formulas used.

Point being: As soon as Something has a impact on gameplay, it is part of the game mechanic. and intended.

This is the fundamental diffrence between real life and MMOs, in real life we dont know all rules of the game, and scientists work on discovering these.
As an example, we know a big deal about Physics today, but we still cant say "Hey, we need a new material with these stats, look in the Big Book of Universe Rules, to see what ingredients we need."

So, to conclude, on one hand you allready have what you are looking for, in many MMOs (even if the rules are obvious and very simple, it is still a "scientific effort" to find out about them), but if you want more than that, like to have the Players Discover something truely new, which was not put in the game mechanic/rules, i'm not sure how to acomplish that without using an AI to be the "game master". (and reviewing the player's discovery and changing the rules/mechanic of the game to include it)


In Entropia Universe, players can purchase a scanner from terminals or one that has been crafted. These scanners can be used to scan animals, mutants, robots, and flora in the future.

The act of scanning increases related skills such as intelligence, zoology, botany, and results in learning information of the target.

Entropia uses the 'black box' approach to information and gameplay and reveals very little to its player base. This scanning mechanism is how many have learned about the universe and this information is gathered in various wikis.


I've long felt that the ultimate simulation would be one where you could derive the laws of motion based completely on actions inside the world.

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