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

J C Lawrence claw at under.engr.sgi.com
Tue May 12 11:49:14 New Zealand Standard Time 1998

On Wed, 6 May 1998 15:50:27 -0700 (PDT) 
Adam Wiggins<adam at angel.com> wrote:

> Absolutely.  I very much enjoy shaking the status-quo on GoP muds
> which have been around for a while and have fallen into the old
> pattern of thinking a certain kind of player is the best (that is,
> most powerful).  New players blindly take the advice of the more
> experienced players when they say, "Oh yeah, make a mage-warrior
> with a high dex, they're the best."  It's amazing how much this
> limits what people play.  Perhaps the most profound effect I've ever
> had on a mud as a whole (at least, without having been a builder or
> staffmember) was AnotherMUD.  Without boring anyone with the
> details, I choose a class that no one played and everyone warned me
> strongly against playing.  Three weeks later people were crying out
> that that class was incredibly unfair and that my character was
> ridiculously overpowered.  I abused no bugs, nor were there any code
> changes between the time when people thought they sucked and when
> they thought I was overpowered.  And of course, with the usual
> short-sightedness of players, they overlooked the fact that I still
> couldn't do many of the things the "best" classes could; but I could
> do many things that they couldn't.  It was a different kind of
> 'power'.  People can't quite comprehend this, however - to them that
> class was now the new 'best class', and everyone started making
> characters using that class.

I've seen this as well.  My assumed cause (given that the various
forms actually were reasonably well balanced) was the differences in
the learning curve and progression rates of each.  

Consider two character types, X and Y.  Both progress to equal "power"
ratings of Q in time T.  However, X rises to 80% of Q within 25% of
time T, and then climbs slowly to Q.  Comparitively, Y climbs to only
10% of Q within the first 80% of time T, and then gains the last 90%
of Q in a rocket rise at the very end.  Now add a third character
type, Z, which also accomplishes Q power in time T, but does it in a
steady linear progression over time.

Which is the "better" character type?

Which is going to be viewed as the better character type?

> Very few GoP muds have ever seemed to avoid the best character-type
> syndrome; Legend was one, Arctic was another.  This is part of what
> sets these two (and others) apart, IMO.

A MUD I don't recall the name of of, among other things offered a
"slime mould" species type.  It moved extremely slowly.  Could carry
or wield nothing, had zero magical ability, could not open doors or
other objects, etc.  It was their best attempt to make something

It was technically unplayable -- but it had one key strength.  Once it
started attacking it was almost impossible to escape.  It, umm, "grew
on you" as it were.  So, a couple quick robots later said slime mould
logged on in the wee hours of every night and munched on the local
Fido equivalents every reset.  Gradually I upgraded him to more
profitable and easily located mobiles.  He ate auite a lot of them --
very slowly.

It took several weeks.

At the end of the day I had one near immortal-class slime mould who
could and *DID* munch on every feared killer in the land with utter
impugnity.  Sure, I couldn't chase them down.  But sit on a main
thoroughfare which connects popular areas (especially ones with no
side-routes), and you're sure to find food for an aspiring lichen.

Of course by that time I was bored with the whole deal, and just let
the robot munch on passer's by.  All it took was changing the
wild-card that previously matched Fido's to something that matched any
moving object (players, mobiles etc).  Lotsa complaints of course.  He 
just didn't grow on people enough for them to like him.

J C Lawrence                               Internet: claw at null.net
(Contractor)                               Internet: coder at ibm.net
---------(*)                     Internet: claw at under.engr.sgi.com
...Honourary Member of Clan McFud -- Teamer's Avenging Monolith...

MUD-Dev: Advancing an unrealised future.

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