MUD universe

Felix A. Croes felix at xs1.simplex.nl
Thu Aug 28 18:31:57 New Zealand Standard Time 1997


clawrenc at cup.hp.com wrote:
>[...]
> I don't like the idea that I'm taking an incredibly flexible system
> and working like crazy to only implement a variation on the world I
> spend the rest of my waking hours in.  Why would I want to recreate RL
> with a twist?  Why not take advantage of the flexibility that is
> inherent in the system and create a different sort of universe where
> the base rules *really* are different.
>
> A few ideas that have been dropped on the list afore:

One that may or may not have been mentioned before: alternate universes.
The mud encompasses parallel universes, including some in which different
physical laws apply, and including ways to fork off new alternate
realities.

I arrived at these ideas in an attempt to deal with LPmud's reset problem.
In a typical LPmud, there are two things that players can do: killing
monsters and solving quests, where a quest may involve more killing
but usually also requires some thought.  A while after the monster has
been killed or the quest solved, the area resets.  Players advance in
level by doing the same thing over and over.

Removing resets leads towards a mud ecology, as far as killing monsters
is concerned.  But if quests do not reset, it means that you can only do
them once.  But that implies that a quest can only be solved by a single
person, unless each solved quest forks off a new alternate universe: one
in which this particular player has solved the quest.

For example, Boffin the Quest-Solver enters the castle and eventually
dispatches the dragon that has set up shop in the courtyard by kicking
away a loose keystone, causing the north-east tower to collapse on the
unwary beast.  The grateful residents of the castle elect Boffin as
their new protector, and a new alternate reality has been created.
>From now on, upon entering the general area, Boffin will always find
himself in the world where he liberated the castle, whereas Boffo will
find the dragon still in place and the north-east tower only somewhat
leaning over.

Boffo the Killer may charge the dragon headlong, or could strike up
a deal and smuggle in virgins in exchange for gold.  But whatever he
does, he cannot normally enter Boffin's private world, just like Boffin
cannot enter his.  The larger world could be organized as a common area
shared by everyone, with access to more isolated places with forking-off
capacity.

Following Roger Zelazny's Amber books, the mud could provide a uniform
method for communication and transportation between different worlds.
Those worlds can also have varying laws of physics, allowing for high-
tech and magical gadgets in the same mud.

Another fascinating view of alternate realities that could be used to
provide the background is that of Keith Laumer, in his "Worlds of the
Imperium" books.

Felix Croes



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