[MUD-Dev] Re: PK and my "Mobless MUD" idea

Adam Wiggins adam at angel.com
Mon May 11 17:38:09 New Zealand Standard Time 1998

On Sun, 10 May 1998, Dr. Cat wrote:
> Marian Griffith wrote:
> > I don't agree with you, at least not entirely.  It may be that those
> > who are simply are not very vocal about it. As this is the muddevel-
> > opment list  it seems easier to talk about muds  and that may be why
> > it is done so often.  I do agree with your sentiments about creating
> > games that cater to other tastes than combat (or power play).
> You seem to be assuming that the word "mud" means a game with combat in 
> it.  I've noticed that interpretation of the word coming primarily from 
> players of the combat oriented (Diku/LP/etc.) games in my experience, and 
> they get upset if you refer to a social or roleplaying oriented place as 
> a mud.  Whereas people from the social and roleplaying ones more commonly 
> take "mud" to refer to all of the TinyMUD descendents, with or without 
> combat.  (I've yet to hear one of the combat-crazed, "that's not a mud" 
> people tell me what the name IS for the category of MUSH/MUCK/MOO/MUSE 
> etc., or explain to me why MOO stands for "Mud Object Oriented" if MOOs 
> aren't muds.)

Hrm - that's funny, I've always thought it was the other way around.  As a
matter of fact, I believe it was Caliban (although correct me if I'm
wrong, it's been a while) that threw a fit about RP codebases (MUSH MOO
etc) being classified as 'muds', as this was somehow an insult.

I think we finally decided that 'mud', lower case, was a general term for
any persistent online world wih a (potentially) unlimited number of
players.  This most defintely includes every text server mentioned above.
Furcadia qualifies without question.  The word 'mud' only implies a big
playground for players to interact with each other in; *how* they interact
is not particularly relevant for purposes of this definition.

Isn't this bit in the FAQ by now?

> Anyway, a group of people with interests similar to mine who aren't being 
> vocal might just be wishful thinking.  But whether it is or not is rather 
> moot - a group of people not talking about my interests is a group of 
> people not talking about my interests, and has about the same utility 
> regardless of the reasons.

Well, I doubt this will make you feel any better, but I very much enjoy
hearing about what people are doing whether or not it's something I'm
interested in working on or a discussion I can contribute to.  For
instance, JCL posted quite heavily on his user-scripting stuff early in
the list's history.  I read it all with great interest, even though I
personally would not want to either write or play a game involving heavy
user scripting.

If you are looking for more feedback or comments on what you post, I'd be
happy to go ahead and reply even though it's not my area of expertise or
interest, and I certainly can't provide any "Well, on my server.."
examples.  I might (humbly) suggest that you could probably restructure
your posts a little bit in order to get better response.  It seems to me
that most of your posts have a very defensive tone that makes it difficult
to approach in the form of a reply.  I realize that's probably because you
feel hemmed in by people extolling the virtues of realism and other stuff
that runs crosswise to your design philosophies, but try not to take it
that way.  I doubt Nathan takes it as an insult when you say "Realism is
for the birds"; there's no reason for you to get defensive when someone
else says "No-PK games are for the birds".  Certainly you should never
feel like your posts are unwelcome: unless JC tells you in that booming
"<Writing as list owner>" voice of his that you're off topic, you can
assume that your contributions are apprectiated.

> mine - in some cases just tangentially.  Also, the list seems heavily 
> biased towards a perspective I think of as "let's think up designs with 
> so much detail and complexity that it'll be impossible for us to ever 
> actually complete a working project that does all this stuff."  Blue sky 
> speculation has it's place, but I tend to conserve my time by talking 
> blue sky only with my business partner, and hopefully not too high a 
> percentage of our time.  I need to be a builder, not a talker.  This 

Ah - I look at it the other way around.  When I chat with my partners, we
generally stick to business - the specifics of code interfaces, file
formats, platform issues, and other stuff that is frequently pretty
boring.  When I'm on the list, I'm free to talk about all the crazy ideas
the flit through my head, knowing full well that 99% of them will never
see the light of day.

I see this list as a chance to explore every posibility.  Once you've seen
more options than you could use in a dozen dozen games, then you can pick
and choose those that are best suited for your stuff.  I know that people
have already implemented ideas of mine that I never even considered
trying; and I've gotten great ideas from the list whose originators
probably forgot that they thought it up in the first place.  That's what's
so great about such an open forum.  No one is afraid to mention something
because it's "too crazy", or because it doesn't directly apply to the
exact piece of software they happen to be working on.

> I have enjoyed posting some of my thoughts here, as it's always an 
> excercise that enables me to clarify my own thinking on a particular 
> matter.

Absolutely.  Several times now I have pondered a problem for a while, then
decided to throw it at the list for feedback.  Halfway through composing
the post a solution starts to form in my head, and I end up answering my
own questions at the bottom of the message :)


MUD-Dev: Advancing an unrealised future.

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