I'll reorganize since you have many questions:Edited By: Kay Dallben on Year 16 Day 180 11:58
Driving Force: It depends. Talk to 10 players and you'll get 10 different stories about what pushes them to keep playing. Ultimately everything is player-driven, so if I had to generalize, this game is driven by Player needs/desires, and their capability of fulfilling same. Probably the most common is the Trading/Resource Acquisition (collectively or individually) game, which covers the 'economic' part of this SIM.
Is the game more RP oriented or RPG-oriented?
There is a Rule about IC/OOC separation, so yes the game is RP-oriented, but being IC all the time isn't enforced. All of the Darkness mechanics come together to make it closer to an MMORPG by definition, and it is easy to go your entire time playing without ever really playing properly IC.
Grinding, Competition between Game Chars based on attributes: Yes, all of the above. Hunting is this game's Grinding - what amounts to optimizing your XP gain per hour. There are many games run by players that utilize darkness mechanics or Player attributes. There are many mechanics in Darkness that utilize character attributes. There is significant competition between players and the groups they form (factions) for resources in the game, but the extent of the actual Head-to-Head competition is limited by the Beta-status of Combat, and various rules that restrict conversion (theft/etc.) of assets.
How much do character attributes affect what you can do inside the game?
- A little. So little that it's not worth stressing about trying to min/max. A lack of skills will not prevent you from trying things, and for the most part, actions are only slightly improved with higher skills. Take piloting: Higher skills in piloting save you maybe 5 % of the time you'd otherwise spend.
There are exceptions: CompOps 5 is required for effectively prospecting for raw material deposits. Due to the way the mechanics work, there's no point in prospecting with a CompOps skill of less than 5 (even though you still CAN if you want to).