[MUD-Dev] Re: Levels (was: Administrative notes)

Marian Griffith gryphon at iaehv.nl
Tue May 13 22:58:41 New Zealand Standard Time 1997

On Mon 12 May, Todd Lair wrote:
> [On 05/11/97 Jamie Norrish <jamie at sans.vuw.ac.nz> said]

> The only thing I'm using level for is a measure of time between skill
> betterment.  That is it.  I need some means to measure the amount of time
> a player uses his skills out in the field which indicates when he is ready
> for further training.  Out of personal preference, I really don't want to
> simply increase skills from their use.   I think it's a bit unrealistic.

A method I would much prefer is requiring -trainers- to increase skills
and require -usage- to keep the skill from loosing edge. Then if you
have the maximum skill depending on the -current- mastering of more
basic skills you have a system where people need to either spend time
practising skills or spend time raising money to hire trainers to
train them back upto level. This would also open up opportunities for
a system where non-combat related skills can be of value. If everybody
needs money and it isn't created out of thin air through equipment and
shopkeepers then skills that add value to raw materials are of great
use. Even if the game is basically centered around conflicts there's
still room for farmers/traders/smiths/guards/rogues and everything else.

> I do agree with your view about advancement somewhat, and I'm trying to
> remove some of the focus on THE NEXT LEVEL by shifting it toward surviving
> through interaction with your fellow characters and mobiles.  Although, I
> do want to retain the risk involved and supplied by either death,
> insanity, and or anything else I can throw at the character as a
> challenge.  What really puzzles me though is why skill betterment is not
> viewed as advancement?  I am seriously considering hiding level/experience
> from the player entirely, so it would only be a game internal.

It's not just a betterment. It is also a short term goal. Most players
play only for short periods at a time. They prefer simple goals that they
can work towards in that time. That's why many players play for those
'only 124560 points to level' and less play for 'only 5 more levels for that
nifty annihilate spell'. And even less play to actually reach imm levels.
If you hide levels there's only a long term goal left, and a fairly invisible
goal of skill betterment. Unless you put in another short term goal you may
find it hard to attract players (they will consider the game 'hard to get
into' and leave for more simplific muds).

> As far as risk is involved, the main reason I consider a game worth
> playing is if I have a chance at loosing.  If there is no risk of loosing,
> where is the fun?

Depends on what you call 'the game'. If it's about winning then there must
also be a way to lose. If it's about playing this isn't necessarily true.
On pure RP mushes like e.g. pernmush there is no game in the sense of
a match. It is a cooperative environment. A stage if you like, where the
players work together to tell stories. A psychologist will probably
shoot some fairly big holes in the above (I could even do so myself) but
as a generalisation it can stand.

Yes - at last - You. I Choose you. Out of all the world,
out of all the seeking, I have found you, young sister of
my heart! You are mine and I am yours - and never again
will there be loneliness ...

Rolan Choosing Talia,
Arrows of the Queen, by Mercedes Lackey

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