[MUD-Dev] Affecting the world

Miroslav Silovic silovic at mare.zesoi.fer.hr
Mon Sep 8 11:30:23 New Zealand Standard Time 1997


##Make Nylander <thenewt at use.usit.net> writes:

> [Original message sent by Marian Griffith]
> | they are now  it is probably even essential.  Currently they are geared to-
> | wards  what I (cautiously) would call a masculine playing style:  going out
> | and be the strong powerfull hero  by beating monsters and demons.  I do not
> | attach any value to that but I have observed that this is the kind of thing
> | that is primarily enjoyed by males.
> 
> 	The objective of most MUDs being beating monsters and demons is
> 	not necessarily because of any bias towards "male" activities
> 	but simply because of capabilities and limitations of software
> 	implementation. It all boils down to is "what motivates players
> 	to play". I assume majority of male mudders get their satisfaction
> 	out of character advancement (i.e. gaining more power within
> 	the mud world). Correspondingly, maybe "female mudders" get
> 	more enjoyment out of social interaction in the game world.
> 	Representing character advancement through implicit physical
> 	actions (e.g. killing monsters) is easy, you kill a monster,
> 	you gain experience points, you become more powerful.
> 	However, implementing an automated system for rewarding player
> 	characters for social interaction is more difficult.

In addition to this, I also find that there are almost no women on
MUDs when compared to the number of women on MUSHes - PernMUSH, for
instance, has roughly 50% women (just to be precise about the sample
size: it's VERY large MUSH, with about 100-150 players connected at
any time during evenings). There are also many cross-gender
characters, and the practice is not frowned or looked down upon - in
fact, many times taking a character of the opposite sex is endorsed as
a roleplaying challenge.


> | list where it is somewhat inappropriate.  What I -am- trying to say is that
> | to remain interesting in the long run and to attract a more balanced player
> | base a mud needs more diverse goals.
> 
> 	I agree. I've always been more attracted by social than
> 	gaming aspects of mudding, and currently I'm trying to
> 	introduce more diversity into a MUD server I'm
> 	tinkering with. I have a game world with villages, keeps,
> 	castles and fortresses of varying sizes. In the beginning,
> 	all dwellings are controlled by NPCs, but PCs can conquer
> 	and overthrow NPC rulers. Any PC can at any time form an

This is no different from 'kill monsters', as far as the FEEL of the
game is concerned. In other words, as long as most of the goals in the
game are obtained by typing a command and watching the text scrolling
for a while.

I'd like to see a MUD where you can take over a village by earning a
large ammount of gold (by trading, for example), and buying it out, or
by cunning politics, or by becoming a chosen leader of that village.

> 	alliance (in Dikuish terms a "clan") with any other PC or
> 	PCs and wage war against other alliances. I'm trying to
> 	create an environment that promotes player-to-player
> 	interaction (but does not enforce it) and is fun to play,
> 	i.e. is not too complicated or "realistic" ("realistic" and
> 	"fun" aren't, of course, mutually exclusive, it just depends
> 	on your target audience -- mine are "twinkie" mudders, 
> 	because I find them most amusing). 

Heee. :) Guess I shouldn't try to advise you too much, then, as the
only amusement I get from twinky mudders involves sitelocking and
watching them whine.

>	The problem I've run into is how to keep PCs in-game even
> 	when their players aren't online. If I'm to allow a PC to
> 	become the High King/Queen of the Realm, then other PCs should
> 	have a chance to overthrow him/her at any time, not just
> 	when the player happens to be logged in. Turning a PC into
> 	a NPC when the player quits would be the obvious solution,
> 	but probably not the most feasible. I mean, the High King/
> 	Queen would be most royally pissed off to log back in and
> 	find his/her character killed meanwhile. There are several
> 	alternative solutions, but the bottom line is, it's very
> 	difficult to have a persistent mud world when having
> 	non-persistent players :)

Well, pity Chris didn't respond to this before me - but if the player
wants power, I don't see anything bad if that power is abruptly
lost. Provided, of course, that you deal with the problem on a
different level: A king is likely to have a large number of guards.
It just wouldn't do if other PCs because so powerful that they could
kill 100 people (PCs or NPCs) alone.

Getting killed in a war can be fun *if* war in fact looks like war.
Armies, siege, and so on. :)

> 	PCs' actions should have lasting effects on the game world,
> 	but making these effects "irreversible" may not be feasible
> 	or even sensible. When you have new players entering the
> 	game world all the time, how do you keep their interest
> 	if all the powerful monsters have been killed, all valuables
> 	hoarded by a handful of characters (who may have already
> 	quit playing for good)...? My solution is to present players
> 	"an illusion of persistence" -- when they manage to slay
> 	a powerful wizard, instead of falling down dead the wizard
> 	disappears in a cloud of smoke shouting "I'll be back!";
> 	when they kill every single goblin in a forest, the goblins
> 	re-appear gradually, increasing slowly in numbers; when
> 	a character dies, _that_ character is permanently dead, but
> 	the player can create a new character with almost matching
> 	qualities but with different name. Also, I'm presenting them

I like this - many RPing MUSHes do the same (or similar).

> 	"an illusion of power"; player characters advance very little
> 	in physical strength or combat prowess, instead, their power
> 	comes from learning in-game mechanics, contacts and interaction
> 	with other players.

This is not as easy to implement as it looks. The problem with
learning the game mechanics, for example, is that once you learn it,
it's a done deal. Perhaps it'd be better if mechanics were simple, but
tactics and strategy needed to use it properly require a lot of
learning.  This, however, requires heavily interactive combat system
(and many other systems).

The only game I've seen that (IMHO) did it well was the series of
BattleTech MUSHes - when a player who played it for a year fights
somebody who only played it for a few months, stats and mech power
simply DO NOT MATTER. I, for example, can literally tear apart any new
player in almost any combination of my and his stats, mechs and
terrain.

> 	I perceive a MUD more as an interactive social environment
> 	than a simulation of a real world, I believe one can maintain
> 	a sense of wonder and suspension of belief with a lot of simple
> 	little tricks and bells and whistles without making the system
> 	overly complicated or technically sophisticated.

I don't quite agree with this, but this definitely depends on your
target audience.

--
I refuse to use .sig



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