[MUD-Dev] Re: Issues from the digests and Wout's list

Ling K.L.Lo-94 at student.lut.ac.uk
Fri Apr 25 05:13:28 New Zealand Standard Time 1997


On Wed, 23 Apr 1997, Adam Wiggins wrote:

> > As for players being oriental, I don't think it would be a cause for concern u
> > there are major disadvantages between being oriental and being whatever the
> > alternatives are.  There has to be some sort of balancing.
> 
> Well, I think the problem here is that you are then forced to make some sort
> of a judgement call about the given sub-species.  Ie, do you make it so
> that black humans get +1 strength and asian humans +1 int?  This sort of
> thing is dangerous ground, and really it's not something I want to worry
> about in a mud where I'm trying to get *away* from the 'real world'.
> Much easier to just make swamp trolls which get +1 str and woodland trolls
> which get +1 int...people don't get all riled up about that, and it's more
> interesting anyhow.

The plan was to make the majority of people oriental in appearance and
mannerism, the mud is set on a colony established during the early
expansion period.  I figured that if there was a 'gold rush' to set up new
colonies on other solar systems, there *will* be ethnic colonies.  I
wasn't going to give the characters any advantage, well, possibily less
chance of being discreet if you're a minority.  The thing is, I remember
reading somewhere that the Chinese are possibily the most racist nation.
:)  To carry on that tradition, when I figure out the distribution of
other human sub-species in the social ladder, I'll bias it chronically.

For stat differences, I was intending on the stats depend pretty much on
lifepath, though appearance is everything in social standing.  A character
who grew up in the slums would be more likely to have a good physique than
someone who was born with a silver spoon in her mouth.

As for other species...  Could have fun with those. :)  I've decided I
won't force people to rpg but doing so would lead to rewards.  Imagine
aliens, the players will have a helluva hard time trying to act out one.
Especially as I intend to go into quite some detail on the aliens (I hate
it when aliens are really humans with a bucket on their heads and one
trait exaggerated to stupid proportions, I suppose it works commercially).

[Chris L:]
[My mailer can't handle more replies to more than one person]

While not directly associated, an idea I have been playing with
(derived from Vance's Big Planet AFAIR) is a MUD where the player
characters are a physically weak and ineffectual, unarmoured,
generally unaggressive, prey species.  Say roughly the equivalent of
field mice.  The surround them with large numbers of active,
aggressive, massively more capable and aware, and very effective
preditors.  Reverse the game from "Me biggum honcho!  Lookum size-um
genitalia!" to one where circumspection, indirect manipulation, and
appropriate use of minimal resources are key to survival.  It would be
interesting.  I also doubt it would have more than 3 players.

[My response]

Sounds like Aliens, everyone love that film but very few people will want
to be the Marines.  It's too subtle and intellectually stimulating on your
average mudder (which to me means: 13, acne ridden american; or penniless
british student).

This reminds me of one of the first games I designed but never programmed. 
It was on the lines of a board game called Ogre/GEV.  The player controls
one tank of 12 (company) with missions varying from hit and run to deep
objective raids to scout duty, the main emphasis being on run, don't get
detected, run, shoot, run, sacrifice a fellow tank, run, die. 
Unfortunately the C64 couldn't handle it and artificial intelligence
wasn't a buzzword yet (for tanks and global ai). 

Anyway, the point is that I've always liked the idea of the player not
being the centre of attraction.  To be just one unit in a battlegroup, to
attack the enemy singlehandedly would be foolish, my games tended to
orientate around getting the CPU friendlies to act as sacrificial decoys.

Hope that's not how the mud turns out. ;)  (I'll have to employ lots of
NPCs wearing red uniforms who'll get beamed down to the planet and die.)

  |	Ling			"I can't take it, you really work my mind,
_O_O_	Freshwater fish		 double overtime, let my spirit free"




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