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

Miroslav Silovic silovic at srce.hr
Thu May 22 22:33:06 New Zealand Standard Time 1997

> Miroslav Silovic wrote:
> > 
> > I don't see it: If I were god, I'd change the world by something
> > that starts with 'let there be *', not by something that starts
> > with @create blah. :)
> Sounds like 'let there be' to me. Most MUSHes will allow:
> 	&cmd_make me=$let there be *:@create %0
> If you really want atmosphere, you can create other neat little commands
> that will let you type 'and let X be given free will' to @set X=PUPPET
> or something.

No, you misunderstand. Command is /separated/ from act here. I.e.
the action, in the game universe, doesn't happen along with the
programming, which is what the original poster suggested. To me, the
only real way to deal with 'godhood' would be to separate programming
from judging (as, by gamemaster) the creation scene.

Guess I'm biased toward PernMUSH here. Dragonriders are bonded with
their dragons (for Pern-clueless: Dragons and their human riders
are a single telepathic entity, created by bonding right after the
dragon is hatched. Dragonets get to choose) on long prepared, carefully
staged event that involves 20-30 participants and 100 or so spectators.

When I did get a dragon, it blew me away. Yes, the experience is that

But players do program their dragons, and their meddling with the code
is completely separated from the code actually taking effect (i.e.
you code things like riding straps on the dragon, but your first
flight with them takes place only /after/ you're done coding).

> > Changing the reality is not the same operation as programming, since
> > the former happens inside the game universe, while the latter happens
> > in Real World. In other words, ordering the reality to change is a
> > game system operation. But implementing the change is event outside
> > the game.
> There's a certain level of trust in MUSH programming, which can be
> abused in much the same way as anything else can. However, it does allow
> the players to take some level of interest in and responsibility for the
> game; while it is true that the occasional dork will walk around with an
> object called the 'Gleaming Sceptre of Instant Death', it's logical to
> assume that people like this would -- in the game world -- be able to
> acquire things that *look* like powerful magic items but are in fact
> only fancy props. The major problem is the abuse of OOC information; for
> example, when someone walks up to me carrying the 'Gleaming Sceptre of
> Instant Death', I can acquire quite easily the object number, owner, and
> flags of the object. Through this, I can determine quite readily that it
> is just a fake; but it is up to me as a player to act as though my
> character has no clue it isn't really magical. This involves trust,
> something which is given freely in the MUSH world, but almost never
> assumed on a MUD.

You are right here, of course. Except, of course, that it also involves
the fact that if you're caught using OOC information for IC purposes,
you loose far more than by character death.

Some things are easily curable. :)

> > > >The similar example: causing commands that failed because of typos to
> > > >have IC consequences (for instance, typing 'west', when there is no
> > > >exit to west, should produce an error, because while player didn't
> > > >know that there is no exit, character certainly did know that.
> I've seen MUSHes (and I dislike this greatly) where commands that fail
> completely do so silently, with no message or other feedback. Would this
> be preferable to you? I for one don't like it, but it has valid concerns
> behind it.

It sounds like a design flaw to me under any circumstances. Refer to the
playability comment from the previous post (which I deleted from this
reply). Things that are 'hard' or 'difficult' or 'require player
involvement' are actually great: they make for a challenging game.
'Irritating' simply makes me look for some other game.

> > > Again this comes back to the question of distinction I posed a couple
> > > days ago (which got very little feedback).  Are you the human merely a
> > > background mentor for the character in the MUD, or is the character in
> > > the MUD merely a proxy for you the human (along with whatever personae
> > > etc you wish to assume)?
> I think it's a combination of the above. You direct your character's
> actions, true, as though he is a proxy; however, the character takes the
> action as he sees fit. If you direct him to do something monumentally
> stupid, he *may* refuse. "I can't do that. What's *wrong* with you?"
> Likewise, if you direct him to do something monumentally stupid by
> mistake, he may go "*shrug* You're the boss!"... like any other person,
> the character is not always predictable.

Err, no. You misunderstand. Character is /not/ a bunch of bytes in the
database. Character is a personality that lives in the player's head.
The messages (and refusals) above are just error messages that driver
*should* print to the player. Otherwise, the games become irritating.
Not more interesting, nor more engaging, nor more real. Just plain
bother to play.

For that matter, don't you hate when people on a MUSH set their
@odesc messages?

> > Since your dillema was posed as a question, here's my take at the answer:
> > If player is assumed to be on the MUD as himself, then the MUD is
> > a strategy game. 
> When I first moved to MUDs from MUSHes, having been away from them a
> long time, I had a difficult time adjusting. I'd walk in and say
> something like 'Greetings, fair maiden. How goes?' and they'd look at me
> a moment and go 'What level are you? Wanna group? I have a good
> damroll.' -- which would be entirely inappropriate and grounds for
> deletion on most MUSHes. It was just appalling. ;)

*laugh* Yes. And when you came back on a MUSH, you tried to pick up
everything that wasn't nailed to the floor, just by the reflex, right? :)

Actually some MUDs impose severe punishments on the people who do that.
(invisible imms are good for something after all). Try Armageddon
if it's still alive. And you do need to apply there. :)

> > The only way to consider MUD a roleplaying game, IMHO,
> > is to assume that player merely gives guidance to the independantly
> > existing character. Since you stated that you never do playing but
> > do mostly coding (correct if I misremembered), I can tell you that the
> > experince is very hard to describe to somebody who never played a
> > high-impact scene. 
> I use two personas on most MUSHes. One for playing, one for coding. It
> tends to give real substance to the IC/OOC question.

With some practice it shouldn't be too hard for you to drop the habbit.
Basically *you* should know what you're doing at any moment.

> > With practice, you learn to build a 'sub-persona'
> > in your mind, and shift gears to it while playing him or her (this is
> > what I do and what most RPers I know do). Splitting one's mind and
> > then watching over your character's shoulder is the most important
> > source of fun for both RPers and actors. But in your view of MUDding,
> > this never happens.
> It's actively discouraged on most MUDs. You can't get into character
> easily when you're surrounded by people that are asking where to get XP
> and complaining that they're never going to level and singing old disco
> tunes on the channels. You just can't suspend disbelief under those
> circumstances. Not a minute goes by that you aren't reminded that this
> is a game, and your level is your score, and there are people out there
> with higher scores than you. 
> <the rest releted. This was getting long>


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