[MUD-Dev] Re: CGDC, a summary

J C Lawrence claw at under.engr.sgi.com
Thu May 14 16:55:55 New Zealand Standard Time 1998

On Mon, 11 May 1998 10:15:23 -0500 
Koster, Raph<rkoster at origin.ea.com> wrote:

> While built-in rites of passage are important, one also has to
> acknowledge that players will make their own ANYWAY. Common ones on
> UO involve guild initiations, for example. A creating "pomp and
> ceremony" in code often fails. How many of us felt the "go back to
> town to your guild and gain" routine was actually a powerful ritual? 
> Yet that is exactly the sort of thing that rites of passage
> means. More commentary on how to accomplish this would be welcomed
> by me on the list!

First thoughts:

  If you use a levelling system, even if its a model variation (cf
Mayor of Yew, quest compleation, etc), then provide the lucky winner
with some special highly visible one-time activity he can then do.

  If the punk just made corporal, give him a BFG and a case of
firework shells.  Let him light up the sky with fireworks and other
pyrotechnics in celebration.   

  Want another?  Let him literally paint the town red (or his
selection of colour) in paint that will wash off in the next rain.

Sure, it has no lasting effect in the game world, but it adds social
context and a sense of public reward and acknowledgment.

>> The second and most interesting class I attended was a round table,
>> hosted by Amy Jo Kim, who seems to be in high regard with a few
>> folks on this list.  [snip]

>> 6. Events.  This is the one topic she hit on that I don't think
>> we've ever discussed here in any depth (or at all?).  She started
>> by asking what major community that has ever existed that didn't
>> have regular, repeating events - ie, holidays.

I should note that I've played various MUDs and other games which had
various in-game game-world derived periodic events/holidays (Shades
did some neat stuff in this regard).  However, I both never considered
them valuable, and typically used them as a reason to avoid the game
during those periods.

Asocial game player?  Yep.

What I found much more valuable were in-game changes which mapped RL
calenders.  Shades for instance introduced snowballs which could be
thrown at other players (anywhere in the game, much like a TELL) every
christmas.  For Valentines they turned on a variety of new amorous
socials and toy objects ("A bunch of flowers" etc).  Ditto for other
RL holiday periods.  To me at the time, this has an enourmous "Oooo!
Neat!" factor -- far far more than Laser's Pomp&Circumstance marches
down the main drag.

> LegendMUD celebrates a number of holidays, including the annual
> April Fools' "change the mud around" day, the Easter egg hunt,
> Christmas, and many others, with special events. These have become
> very popular. We also have hosted quarterly trivia competitions, pk
> tourneys, etc. And I don't think Legend is particularly unique in
> this regard--many muds have run similar programs. Renegade Outpost
> used to do Chaos Nights, where the whole server was made PvP for a
> night and then the DB was rolled back the next day, so nothing
> counted. Meridian 59 lifted this idea and did something similar
> involving a blood red sky...

I forget which game it was, but I recall a MUD where the "Queen"
cycled between a number of castles of residence depending on the
internal MUD calender, with vast progressions, band playings etc
concomittant to every transfer.  _That_ I found annoying more than
anything else.  It seemed pure frippery that had no relation to any
necessary game process, and no relevance to any player activities.

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.

More information about the MUD-Dev mailing list