[MUD-Dev] "short" Introductory Message (fwd)

Marian Griffith gryphon at iaehv.nl
Wed Jun 18 20:18:46 New Zealand Standard Time 1997

On Tue 17 Jun, Martin Keegan wrote:
> On Sun, 8 Jun 1997 coder at ibm.net wrote:

> Well, the truth is that the majority of people does not want to be
> intellectually challenged, and the majority of people did not enjoy
> Island. I don't share the pessimism of other Islanders who extended this
> to "Most people crave badness with religious fervour", despite the
> compelling statistical evidence.

You don't open a game for the majority of people. You open a game that
-you- like.  Or so most implementors I've spoken with maintain. People
do not particularly craw badness.  They want rewards without having to
work for them.  But preferably with being given the  -impression- that
they have worked fairly hard for it.  Lottery-mud where ten levels are
raffled daily won't be very popular.
Maybe I should rephrase that to: "players don't like challenges.  They
like results. And preferably those results should come sooner for them
than they come for the other players."

> > >At the moment I'm writing a mud (from scratch, unsurprisingly) which
> > >allows building at a proportional cost to the player, rather than
> > >being based on rank. (Or letting everyone build, or no-one at all).

This is one of the things I would like to see very much. On a mush the
right to build is basically earned by hanging around long enough.  And
only if the game doesn't restrict the number of objects you own. But I
believe that building could also be used to replace  levels/experience
as the basic reward.
Players can own any number of objects.  But they have to pay an upkeep
for the objects they do own.  So the armourer can create equipment but
must sell it too, or will gradually find the plate mail eroding in his
shop.  And the city's mayor must collect enough taxes or the wild will
slowly take back the city.  And the king of the realm effectively owns
everything inside it,  and must therefore have coffers deep enough  to
pay all those guards, maintenance and everything else  that keep it in
a reasonable state. Or find dukes and earls to do part of his work for
him.  Probably a bit too involved for the majority of players... but a
girl must have a dream.

> This system seems like a thought experiment but it's actually a reaction
> against what I call "higher order imbalance" in many muds. In some muds,
> powerful players can promote lowly players to high ranks, as much as they
> want - they have limitless power. In a mud with levels, a level 100 player
> could promote a level 10 player to level 80 - as many times as she wanted.
> Really, she ought to use up sufficient power to *drop* 70 levels.

*grin* you should like the following system then:
Don't have ranks handed out by the game after amassing enough experience
points (or whatever thing the player must collect). Instead have rank be
handed out by the organisation the player is a member of.  If the player
is member of the 'thieves guild' then it will be up to the other thieves
to promote her to higher ranks (and associated rights and abilities). Of
course the catch should be that there is only a limited number of posit-
ions open at each rank and they won't be opened  unless a player holding
that rank currently is promoted. Or dies.  This offers wonderfull oppor-
tunities for meaningfull player-to-player conflicts, political assasina-
tion and scheming to gain more following.

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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