[MUD-Dev] Life

Marian Griffith gryphon at iaehv.nl
Mon Jun 2 20:42:41 New Zealand Standard Time 1997


On Sun 01 Jun, Ling wrote:
> On Fri, 30 May 1997 clawrenc at cup.hp.com wrote:

> > In <Marcel-1.09-0529232631-b49Ky&5 at Gryphon.iaehv.nl>, on 05/29/97 
> >    at 07:50 PM, Marian Griffith <gryphon at iaehv.nl> said:

> > >On Wed 28 May, clawrenc at cup.hp.com wrote:
> > >> In <3.0.32.19970527122035.00acea0c at mail.tenetwork.com>, on 05/27/97 
> > >>    at 08:38 PM, Jeff Kesselman <jeffk at tenetwork.com> said:

> > >> >HOWEVER there is a social problem in obnoxsious players online purposely
> > >> >trying to hurt other players by killing their characters for no good
> > >> >Rp reason at all.

> Yep, done that.  I've taken over a mud for a day, every character that
> logged in died (bar mine).  I could always rp and say my character had a
> bad hair day.  But it wasn't a rp mud, it was a game mud and I had nothing
> better to do.  'My character is an extension of my penis'.  Oh, btw, that
> character I used had very poor stats for her level, I managed to kill coz
> I was quicker, knowledgable about the mud and prepared to spend stupid
> amounts of cash just to get a little advantage.  It was just a one off 
> bit of fun. :)

This may have been fun to you, but I somehow doubt that all your victims
thought it was fun.  Whether or not the game was RP or hack and slash or
anything else is somewhat immaterial to the effect on this game.  Unless
we're talking about an unrestricted PK (only) game.  If PK was common on
this game then the effects were probably small,  but if this was frowned
upon then you may have caused some seriously hurt feelings.

> Having said that, I've been to other muds where I was attacked as a newbie
> for no reason at all.  I ran away and met up with more sociable people who
> helped me out.  I didn't mind this, I *need* some bad elements in a mud I
> play, there should be some bad characters, who just kill for sheer thrill.
> I hate muds where it's just too damn friendly, it might as well be a
> talker.  The game turns too easy, 'winning' isn't hard, it just takes a
> stupid amount of time (the solution most muds implement).

What I hope to find is to find a game that isn't about -winning- but about
playing.  I.e. there is no struggle to gain the highest level  or the best
stats, but just a struggle to play the game, perhaps to stay alive.  There
should be real, and perceived, danger in such game.  I don't even rule out
that players fight amongst themselves,  but it shouldn't be the -focus- of
my ideal game. The game (world) should be complete and functional. With or
without any players present.  The goals should be defined  by the players,
not by the game. If somebody wants to be an assassin and kill players they
should be free to do so,  but this must be forced into the context  of the
gameworld. I.e. no mindless slaughtering of newbies, but some highly rank-
ed politician who wants a rival eliminated  hires an assassin to do so. If
there's not enough demand for assassins  then the player must find another
job to keep herself alive, and her skills honed to perfection.
I think this may qualify as roleplaying in a mud setting, even if there is
no 'acting' involved.  Instead, the characters in the game have  no choice
but play the role they have chosen.

> Oops, I've been ranting.

Yes, but that's ok, so have we all.

> > >> If you don't consider the violation of "true RP" a problem, then this
> > >> is less of a problem.  If you're not attempting to run (or enforce) a
> > >> solely immersive RP game, then I can see little reason to get upset at
> > >> the "for no good Rp reason at all."

> > >I don't belief you can get out of this very real concern by saying
> > >that if you don't consider it a problem it isn't. There are some
> > >people who don't want to play at all. 

> > Rephrase that to: "...don't want to roleplay at all."

No. I meant that as I wrote it. There are some players who don't want to
play the game.  Bartle,  in his article for the journal of mud research,
qualifies them as people who want to gain -control-.  If that is control
over the game you end up with powermudders, or tinkerers. If that is how-
ever control over other players you end up with problems.

> This "true RP" thing is getting more and more off putting each time I read
> a new post referring to it.  It seems to be too fake, especially over a
> medium such as the net where the only symbols to communicate with are
> pre-drawn text and graphics.  That's just my personal opinion though. 

there's as many types of roleplaying as there are types of mudding.  At
one extreme you have things like immersive roleplaying, where you adopt
a personality in the gameworld, and act out that person through the en-
counter of a variety of situations (and crises) it meets in that world.
Then you have storyline development, where a group of players are tell-
ing a story, through the use of their characters. Or character develop-
ment games where the primary focus is of improving a character. If this
is rather mechanistic  you approach the realms of the  skill-based muds
or the single user roleplaying games. And there's all kinds of games in
between as well.
This type of game is more suited to text because it is primarily a form
of story telling. But this should not mean it is fake.  Books are text-
only too, and they still can draw you into the story  (and the world it
represents) completely. Good RP is like that too.
Mixing immersive RP and traditional muds is stretching things somewhat,
but  there is no reason why a game can't have more storytelling aspects
along with the gaming.

> > The exact point of my argument is that there is an implicit value
> > structure and unstated standard which is being used here to evaluate
> > and judge games and game designs/approaches -- in this case centric on
> > immersive RP.

> > While I don't argue the validity of that structure and
> > standard, I strenuously object to its being assumed as the default in
> > discussion

> > The whole idea of the list is to move the
> > MUDding _field_ forward, not to merely advance RP'ing as one faction
> > over another, or even to change the balance of the field.  

At the moment muds strongly discourage roleplaying. And mushes strongly
discourage combat-gaming. One way to advance the field is by discussing
ways to better integrate the two types.  This can be done by asking how
roleplaying can be encouraged  in more traditional mud settings,  which
was how this RP discussion started out.  Or by asking how mushes can be
made more alive (i.e. make things happen there automatically)  which is
an equally valid question.

> Hurrah.  So I can stop deleting RP posts without reading them?

> > What I would like to see is constructive discussion of the game design
> > issues on how to approach free PK in such a manner that the rest of
> > the game remains balanced and slaughter-fests can be constrained.

> Having been brought up in a PK environment, I have the same aim.  PK is an
> essential part of a mud I want to play in.  One must 'interact'.

This is a valid discussion, though one I will bow out of (after having
made my opinion on PK clear in another post). I do think it is another
topic and should require a new title.  As it is this thread has wander-
ed off topic too much to be recognisable.

Marian
--
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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