[MUD-Dev] Re: mudschools

Marian Griffith gryphon at iaehv.nl
Sun May 24 18:52:08 New Zealand Standard Time 1998

On Sun 24 May, Mike Sellers wrote:
> At 12:40 PM 5/24/98 +0100, Marian Griffith wrote:

> >On Sat 16 May, jacob langthorn wrote:

> >> All mud's have zones,
> >> whether they called dungeons or cities is irrelevant. Why not have a
> >> starting city that is just like the rest of the world only tame, and
> >> then a main city for every one else.

> >This is more or less what the 'arena' part of the typical mudschool is.  It
> >is a place were the new players can get some experience with the game with-
> >out the risk of going out in the big bad world.  If you are hunting rabbits
> >and lizards or a (fake) townspeople is less relevant. Of course being asked
> >to chase rabbits, butterflies and similar harmless anmals  is somewhat con-
> >descending, and players tend to resent that.

> I still think the whole idea of mudschools is condescending and tends to
> decrease rather than increase someone's initial interest in a MUD.  It's
> kind of like saying, "glad you want to play -- please fill out these forms,
> memorize these arcane commands, make these decisions though you don't know
> the consequences, and go through this artificial and pointless process --
> and then you can play!"

Depends on how new you are to mudding and how the mudschool was designed
does it not?  First time players certainly would not agree with you. And
highly changed games usually make you realise that that mudschool (if it
is rewritten) was probably a good idea.
Forcing somebody through it is not a good idea however.

> Here's an idea: why not use the age-old apprenticeship program?  Just as
> many (esp older) muds have quest requirements for getting to high levels,
> why not introduce a requirement that says that you must help <n> newbies
> get to a certain percentage in your primary skill area before you can
> advance?  This would give higher-level people an incentive to find newbies
> and help them out, including equipping them, helping them learn the ropes,
> etc.

The big problem with this is that it creates 'oldbies' players who are
fairly high level but are basically clueless.  They have been taken by
the hand by a couple of high level players,  grouped while their guide
took out some pretty tough monsters and have not learned nothing about
the game itself.  By the time they are on their own  they are clueless
still and revert to either newbie behaviour  or give up after they are
killed a couple of times.

> The human touch is _much_ better than a cookie-cutter mudschool, IMO

There is no denying this. However making it happen is not so simple :(

> (and it gives a reason for the more powerful characters to be interested in
> equipment and parts of the game that would otherwise be irrelevant to
> them).

Well, it is still irrelevant to them,  but now they are forced through
it so they can advance. I would not expect highly motivated mentors in
this way.  However  the idea to make old and new players work together
in some way is a sound one, regardless how it is done.

Yes - at last - You. I Choose you. Out of all the world,
out of all the seeking, I have found you, young sister of
my heart! You are mine and I am yours - and never again
will there be loneliness ...

Rolan Choosing Talia,
Arrows of the Queen, by Mercedes Lackey

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