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I was happy today when I looked at the active topics in the forum. However, I seldom have been lately. It seems as if half of the topics are discussing creature trades, and others are disinteresting to me, to say the least. I am relatively old (as a player) and I can remember great topics that were thought provoking. And as I remembered something I had thought about long ago, I decided to try to provide the forum with another such topic. If I fail, please pardon me.

First, I'll quote the announcement Mur made long ago that provoked this topic.

[quote]Improvements made to the player "DNA" system, this is what determines changes based on player and its a string almost unique to all players (slim chance of getting two identical strings). This so called DNA of your character is responsable of many things you dont knwo they were suppose to happen on purpose and its like a birth signature determined when you register but changes slightly as you play. Unfortunalty i can not disclose the exact effects of this improvement but it feels good to let you know somethign good happend.
[/quote]

At the time, I had recently read about Lamarckism, an alternative theory of evolution to Darwin's now generally accepted theory. I saw similarities between this theory and what Mur had unveiled about MagicDuel's system. Writing this post, I had to reread some information on the topic.

The article "Lamarckism" on Wikipedia, speaks of the two main ideas Lamarck incorporated into his theory:

[list=1]
[*]Use and disuse – Individuals lose characteristics they do not require (or use) and develop characteristics that are useful.
[*]Inheritance of acquired traits – Individuals inherit the traits of their ancestors.
[/list]
I am most interested in the first idea. While the second is interesting, there are no mechanics that support reproduction in MagicDuel, at least at the moment. (If you want to discuss children, go elsewhere: [url="http://magicduel.invisionzone.com/topic/4424-children/"]http://magicduel.invisionzone.com/topic/4424-children/[/url])

Not only does Mur's secret system supposedly support this idea, but the combat system does also. Stats can be raised through sacrificing and fighting, and now lost through similar means.

And now I've lost my train of thought...

So, I must ask:

[list]
[*]Do you accept the theory of Lamarck as seemingly accurate in MagicDuel?
[*]If so, will this impact your roleplay?
[*]And would it be reasonable to expect me to develop gills if I swam every day on Fenth's Beach?
[/list]

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[quote name='Ivorak' date='27 August 2009 - 10:39 PM' timestamp='1251405556' post='40353']
Not only does Mur's secret system supposedly support this idea, but the combat system does also. Stats can be raised through sacrificing and fighting, and now lost through similar means.

And now I've lost my train of thought...

So, I must ask:

[list]
[*]Do you accept the theory of Lamarck as seemingly accurate in MagicDuel?
[*]If so, will this impact your roleplay?
[*]And would it be reasonable to expect me to develop gills if I swam every day on Fenth's Beach?
[/list]
[/quote]
I agree that the secret system, as described, feels Lamarck like.

For combat and stats, both Lamarck and Darwin feel equally adequate to me. Darwin never refuted that people who train become better at a skill, but he rejected the idea that if your father spent his whole life playing the violin, you would be born with that amount of experience and be a violin prodigy. He'd obviously be a good teacher and example and you might take up the violin at early age, being inspired by your parent and actually become good at it, but it is not a talent that is inherited at birth.
Which theory is more accurate, depends on whether you relate combat and stats to skills or to genes. (Neither Lamarck nor Darwin ever knew about genes though.)
On the subject of stats & biology... what would you relate picking a new principle when doing story mode to? I suppose you could see it as a caterpillar evolving into a butterfly, however which principle you choose is not determined by game mechanics but by your own will.

I never let stats influence my roleplay before; the one that would make most sense to train is tradesense... I don't think anyone ever tried to grind that one.

MD is a magic world, it doesn't sound impossible to develop gills.

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[quote]For combat and stats, both Lamarck and Darwin feel equally adequate to me. Darwin never refuted that people who train become better at a skill, but he rejected the idea that if your father spent his whole life playing the violin, you would be born with that amount of experience and be a violin prodigy. He'd obviously be a good teacher and example and you might take up the violin at early age, being inspired by your parent and actually become good at it, but it is not a talent that is inherited at birth.[/quote]

Of course, this is correct and probably why I lost my train of thought. When I was taught about Lamarckism, the idea of acquiring traits was caricatured and hence stuck in my mind. For example a giraffe reaching for food and therefore acquiring a long neck was the topic of our discussion with no emphasis on time frame.

[quote]On the subject of stats & biology... what would you relate picking a new principle when doing story mode to? I suppose you could see it as a caterpillar evolving into a butterfly, however which principle you choose is not determined by game mechanics but by your own will.[/quote]

I had trouble seeing what you meant by the caterpillar to butterfly comparison at first, but I think I get it now. It would be like picking up an instrument at a young age, and becoming a skilled musician by practicing. If one chooses a violin, and sticks with it, they will likely become skilled as a violinist. Also, while a young child would usually be able to learn multiple instruments easily, once they age and gain proficiency in one instrument, they could likely do the same with other instruments with some practice (comparable to gaining mindpower levels).

Although, that takes the biology aspect out of the comparison.

[quote]I never let stats influence my roleplay before; the one that would make most sense to train is tradesense... I don't think anyone ever tried to grind that one.[/quote]

The funny thing is that tradesense is one of the stats that represents something that needs not be automatized. We don't have any skills that represent charisma, intelligence, or other "mind attributes" because they are not needed. Players have minds that manifest in their characters.

[quote]MD is a magic world, it doesn't sound impossible to develop gills.[/quote]

That affirmation is pleasing to hear.

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[quote name='Ivorak' date='28 August 2009 - 07:39 AM' timestamp='1251405556' post='40353']
So, I must ask:

[list]
[*]Do you accept the theory of Lamarck as seemingly accurate in MagicDuel?
[*]If so, will this impact your roleplay?
[*]And would it be reasonable to expect me to develop gills if I swam every day on Fenth's Beach?
[/list]
[/quote]
Will the way items are commonly distributed as a reward for consistent and good RP, I think that this supports the idea that you could grow gills.

However, I don't see it as Evolution affecting RP, but your RP effecting your evolution. In that regard, I do see it as being akin to Lamarckian theory, which is action re-action driven, rather than Darwinian theory, which is reaction exclusion driven.

(sorry for coming late to the topic, I only just stumbled upon it)

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