[MUD-Dev] Re: Mudschool

J C Lawrence claw at under.engr.sgi.com
Tue May 19 14:18:30 New Zealand Standard Time 1998

On Sun, 17 May 1998 22:17:01 -0500 (CDT) 
Travis S Casey<efindel at io.com> wrote:

> On Friday, 15 May 98, J C Lawrence <claw at under.engr.sgi.com> wrote:

>> Travis S Casey<efindel at io.com> wrote:

>> Your characters have castes (barbarian, warrior, mage etc)?  Why
>> doe he need to decide that when creating the character?  Why can't
>> he delay that until that point when playing the game that he either
>> HAS to or feels the need to specialise?

> If someone desires a realistic mud, they may want to force a choice
> at the start -- after all, becoming a mage, warrior, etc. in a real
> world may take years of training, so it's not very realistic to
> allow someone to wander around the mud for a few days and then
> choose one of these professions.

Possible handling:

  New characters start with a default or selected caste, but may
change that caste _once_ in their lifetimes, as long as that choice is
made within XXX time of the start of play, and before YYY XP

> In such a case, the mud builders might choose to offer other ways of
> getting information about the mud and the various
> professions/castes/whatever: for example, generic "guest"
> characters, web pages with the information, etc.

> (Aside: to me, this is the primary advantage of having web-based
> character generation.  The player can generate a character at a
> leisurely pace, not having to worry about being kicked off for
> taking too long in character generation, and other browser windows
> can be opened to supply help, descriptions of the different classes,
> races, skills, etc., general background information, and anything
> else the player might want to look up.  Since the information
> appears in another window, the player never loses track of where
> he/she is in the character generation process.)

Agreed.  However the problem with this approach is that the values
given in the descriptions and help texts are written by humans who
concentrate much more on their own mental model than they do on the
play experience.

I really don't care that the trolls are <yada yada> and tend to have
<yaday yada> natures etc.  I *really* don't care that they have bad
personal hygeine in a game that has no sense of smell or disease.
What I care about is what a troll is like to actually play.  How does
being a troll affect my play experience?  How important are a troll's
characteristics in playing the game in the way I'd like to play it?

Web pages and help texts can offer this.  It is possible -- I've just
never seen it done, even in commercial offerings.  Heck, even the
descriptions of the various tank types in tank war games don't
actually describe what the in-game play-sense results of your choice
will be and they have a far simpler field to describe.

Yes, do provide the web and other texts.  Its necessary, atmospheric
etc, but also provide means (other than the ineffectual guest account)
for characters to enter the world and get a real taste of play-life
before making some critical decisions.

>> You have races/species?  Again, why can't that be delayed?  Sure,
>> you then need some non-race type, the amorphous non-descript
>> unremarkable humanoid "thing", but you can still allow the decision
>> to be delayed until the point where he can't continue without it.

> The same points apply here -- in a realistic mud, you may not want
> characters wandering around without a race.  You can, however, offer
> guest characters of various races and extensive web-based help so
> players can get information about the different races before making
> a choice.

So, let them change race (at an expense) on the same rules as above
for castes.

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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