[MUD-Dev] Re: Mudschool

John Bertoglio alexb at internetcds.com
Wed May 13 13:15:02 New Zealand Standard Time 1998


From: Richard Woolcock <KaVir at dial.pipex.com>
To: mud-dev at kanga.nu <mud-dev at kanga.nu>
Date: Tuesday, May 12, 1998 11:40 AM


>Ling wrote:
>>
>
>[snip]
>
>> Personally, I think there should also be a 'drop them right in the
middle'
>> option on muds to improve the hook.  This could take the form of
plopping
>> the player into a pre-made character in the middle of a skirmish or some
>> other adrenaline situation.
>
>Hmmm I like that idea...but why use a pre-made character?  How about:
>
>   Enter your name: Bubba
>   New character!  Enter a password: *****
>   [Press enter to enter the game]


<Cut: Description of output from introductry scenario>
>
>The above would give an introduction to combat and to the world, capturing
>the newbie's attention by starting them off in the thick of a fight.


The idea of pre-built intro scenarios is great. Since our character
creation process is quite long and detailed (the stuff on the
www.paper.net/mud/ site is just a small portion), we will use fully
developed NPCs and chunks cut out of the world to train newbies in.

There are several advantages in using a pre-made (NPC) character for these
scenarios.

  --- Exposure to different character types. Dropping into a fully fleshed
out
      character allows the player to see how various races and professions
*feel*.
  --- When your character dies, the additional layers of abstraction
minimize
      the negative feelings associated with the event.
  --- The same applies for less fatal faux pau. No PC is watching you as
you
      tumble down the hill because you forgot to EQUIP you climbing ropes.
  --- Explore different parts of the world. Again, I would also clone real
areas to
      to create the training mini-world. This would let a player get a
glimpse of
      the elven treetop city before an exercise in hunting, tracking and
snaring.
      This makes the world seem much larger than in the typical "Welcome to
Midgard"
      opening for new characters.
  --- Flexible skill ranges. No character can have the skills needed to
test
      and learn all the major life choices in a mud world. Using NPCs allow
the
      player to learn many different skills...even those they decide are
not
      interesting to play. Knowing how a mage casts spells in combat is an
      GoP skill which is useful.
  --- No character generation. A new player does not have a clue about
character
      generation. Looking at the NPC stats (since they have full access to
the
      NPC) gives an idea of how to build their character when they are
ready
      enter the world with a *real* character. Also, there is no delay in
entry.
      Just click and go.
  --- Identify and understand major NPCs. The Ultima CRPGs had a consistant
cast
      of characters. When you met Iolo in a new Ultima, you had a good idea
of
      his skills and what he would bring to your party. This creates a
sense of
      understanding of the world which makes it seem more familier.
  --- Gain respect for the power of NPCs. Since the NPC surrogates are
better
      developed than a starting PC, players will understand their
limitations.
      Example: "If Bubba the Master Hunter had that much trouble with the
bear
      maybe I ought to stick to bunnies for a while."

>> Admittedly, I don't have a clue how to do the
>> same for rp muds, they seem to grow on you gradually (esp as rp = social
=
>> other people).  Though having good rp logs available is not a bad idea.
>> Rp school will probably be shunned by those who aren't interested in the
>> first place.


>Actually I think the above would be quite good as an introduction to a
>roleplaying-based mud as well, although with less emphasis on the combat
>and more on the people and world.


Agreed. I would not try to teach RP, directly. Social pressures will do
that quite efficiently. But the mechanics of the world still need to be
taught. The same model as above applies. Since the character being run has
been cloned from a real NPC and is operating in a limited "mini-world",
these lessons can be learned without disrupting the carefully crafted RP
environment created by seasoned players. Learning these lessons outside of
the game world avoids many innocent OOC slip ups because new players don't
know how to get an arrow from a quiver or track a deer (in terms of game
commands not lacking the skills). Nothing messes up RP faster than someone
typing:
  [ Say "Just type HUNT 10 and you will automatically hunt for ten hours"]

>You could even have a selection of different intro's, either chosen by the
>player, randomly, or dependant on class/race.


Let a person try out any of the above. You will get close identification
with characters and quickly expose the features of your world.

Final thought: Tutorials are not just for newbies. A player contemplating
an expedition the orc caves might want to do the "Orc Lord Assault"
scenario (I prefer scenario over tutorial) to test the power, weapons and
fighting styles of such a creature. Learning how to basic alchemey might
help a player to decide whether to take up the wandering mage's offer to
teach the basics of the skill for a high price (gold and development
points)

>
>KaVir.
>
>--
>MUD-Dev: Advancing an unrealised future.


John Bertoglio



--
MUD-Dev: Advancing an unrealised future.



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