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

Marian Griffith gryphon at iaehv.nl
Wed May 28 00:32:42 New Zealand Standard Time 1997

On Mon 26 May, Adam Wiggins wrote:
> [Chris L:]
> > Yup, Bubba sneaking about the woods is going to get better at
> > sneaking, and his awareness of the difference between poison oak and
> > ivy is likely to increase.  However, Bubba's ability to become a
> > Master Sneaker is likely to be stunted due to his lack of theory and
> > inherited knowledge in the area (received education/skills). 

> I like to think of it less as 'stunting' and more of that some good
> instruction will do wonders for him.  (Maybe this is just a half full/half
> empty argument...)  You can learn normally on your own, although most
> skills require some sort of interaction anyhow.  (If you practise sneaking
> all the time when there's no one around anyhow, you're not going to learn
> all that much.  Sneaking up on deer or other wild animals...now you're
> getting somewhere.)

My personal preference would be that a player starts out with an potential,
of say a quarter of the maximum, ability to learn any skill she has the
talent for (if you have a game where e.g. magic requires a certain inborn
talent to practice it). Without help, but with a lot of practice she can
reach that skill level, but nothing more.
Now a teacher can increase the potential skill level, but will do nothing,
initially, for the actual skill level. What potential level you reach
depends on the teacher's skills, your own skills, your intelligence and some
luck. Unless you're very bright you likely won't quite reach the skill level
of your teacher, but the occasional player will outstrip her teacher.
It still requires practice to realise that potential, and the bigger the
difference between skill and potential the faster you'll learn.
A third possibility is to allow players to invest some rare resources in
improving skills. Or in inventing new ones (at the game-staff's discretion
naturally). This counters the lack of teachers initially, and allows
players to become truly good at some things.
The nice thing is that you don't have to tell players what skills exist.
They can go about and practice something and -make- it exist after a while.

> My point was - the mud comes online.  The first player, *ever*, logs on.
> Where does he learn his skills?  Even after its been up for a while, likely
> there are still a small number of players in the database and most of those
> are probably completely unskilled.

True, by giving her some basic potential at skills (and a hint which simple
skills do exist) she can begin playing. In time she'll be able to teach
other players, and learn from them in turn.

> At any rate, I'm pretty happy with all the methods for learning new skills
> that I've outlined above and in other posts.  Obviously, you're looking
> for something different - I'm wondering what that is?  Something less
> exploration-oriented, perhaps?

Not specifically less exploration oriented. More like less goal oriented.
By forcing student-teacher relations, and requiring partners to excersise
your skills (probably peacefully) you encourage social behaviour and co-
operative gameplay. This is one of the prerequisites of roleplaying.

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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