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

Martin Keegan martin at cam.sri.com
Sun Aug 3 19:35:29 New Zealand Standard Time 1997


On Wed, 2 Jul 1997 clawrenc at cup.hp.com wrote:

> In <Pine.GSO.3.96.970628042112.7843O-100000 at tay>, on 06/27/97 
>    at 08:36 PM, Martin Keegan <martin at cam.sri.com> said:
> 
> >On Wed, 25 Jun 1997 clawrenc at cup.hp.com wrote:
> 
> >> Outside of the faults of repeatability, this is a fault of goal
> >> oriented games where there is a single primary goal.  Shades, MUD1/2,
> >> MIST, and all their descendants more or less suffer the same problems. 
> >> Once you've reached the top there's little to nothing left but the
> >> attack the system itself.
> 
> >What I distill from this is that goal-oriented games are basically
> >single user games like Advent with multiplayer capability. When you
> >finish a SUA, you terminate the game. This doesn't happen with muds,
> >hence the problem.
> 
> Precisely.  Just what is there for a player to do once he's made Wiz
> on a standard MUD other than thumb twiddle or torture the local
> inhabitants?

Nothing. For that player, the game is over. That is NOT to say that it's
badly designed, nor that this isn't a huge problem. I spot an assumed
orthodoxy here.

It took me more than ten years to complete Advent (not continuously, of
course) ... I could never find that pirate in the maze.
 
[ eightfold path / ZenMoo stuff snipped ]

Which "Legend" is everyone referring to?
 
> >	for(i = 0; i < MAXOBJS; i++) {
> >		if(!strcmp(objarr[i][0], some_string)) {
> >			...
> 
> Polling and canning loops are easy to label as Bad Design.

The simple fact of the matter is that the game was not expected to last
longer than six months, and was not therefore coded with maintainability
in mind. Upgrades became progressively more difficult.
 
> >Oh come on! People log onto a non-StockMUD, type a single stock
> >command, and quit when it doesn't work. The diaspora of which you
> >speak last happened with AberMUD spawning Tiny, LP, DUM, Diku and
> >YAMud. Not much else apart from Mordor has happened since 1993.
> 
> I agree, but you're missing the point.  The populations are implicitly
> different.  Specifically the MUD playing population is not static. 
> The percentage of people who are playing MUDs today who were also
> playing MUDs in '93 is *way* under 100% -- my guess would be in the
> 10% - 20% range.  The attrition rate per year is asounding.  Change

My estimate is that there's about a 65-70% annual turnover.

> the early experiences of the new players and the field will change. 
> Sure, there will always be players who only want DIKU-clones or
> LP-clones, or whatever.  Similarly there are a lot of people out there
> who consider anything past the Infocom titles as needless variation on
> a minor theme.  They are a percentage, a vocal percentage to be sure,
> not a driving force over a series of years.

Ok. But it's really depressing for us scratchers to have to hear
unmodified Diku being passed off as original. It's demoralising.

> To an extent Bartle was right: don't worry about losing off players,
> there are always more.  The playing population refreshes itself,
> fractionally, every year.  (I'd be *really* interested in a study on
> what that fraction was.)  As the years pass that fraction accumulates

Hmmm ... I smell the festering seeds of my next controversial research 
paper here ... :)

BTW - can someone post the "Evolution" section of my paper to the list so
that it can be kicked around? (I'm not too brilliant at including text in
this thing)

> and forms the new orthodoxy, the new old timers, the new scoffers at
> new fangled toys.

:) Island even had a saying for this, which went "I remember when ...
waffle ... drone" (a quote from the "old man" mobile)
 
> >> <<remembers: me'n'economists mix about as well as rabid cats and
> >> dogs>>
> >
> >I'll look into this.
> 
> Simple answer: I disagree with their classical definitions of money,
> value, and the purpose of business.

Sounds like your gripe is with political economists, then. Is Malthus more
to your taste? Keynes?
 
> >In recent discussions with EdFromO, it was noted that "We should have
> >had a rule preventing anyone who can't spell "you're" from becoming
> >an arch". I'm surprised the RP people don't lash out at bad spelling
> >for its potential to destroy the suspension of disbelief.
> 
> Two disincentives:
> 
>   1) Most players can't type and/or have atrocious typo rates.
>   2) Many new players spell poorly (and have no concept of grammar).
> 
> RP'ers feature just as heavily in this group as the rest.

He's now referring to "its/it's" as "Advanced You're".

Mk




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