[MUD-Dev] Re: Levelless MUDs

John Bertoglio alexb at internetcds.com
Mon Jun 8 20:32:08 New Zealand Standard Time 1998

From: Adam Wiggins <adam at angel.com>
To: mud-dev at kanga.nu <mud-dev at kanga.nu>
Date: Monday, June 08, 1998 6:57 PM

>On Mon, 8 Jun 1998, Holly Sommer wrote:
>> The notion of converting to levelless MUDding is floating around
>> the MUD I admin, and I am curious as to how this is done elsewhere
>> (since I personally have never set foot in a levelless MUD).
>Levelless muds are hard to come by in the GoP field.  Skill-based muds
>which have levels that do almost nothing (except for providing players
>with easy-to-understand feedback) are much more common.
>Right off the top of my head, the two completely level-less muds I'd check
>out would be YaMUD (if it's still around, it goes up and down) and, of
>course, Ultima Online.

UO has levels. They are described by prose instead on numbers and are (as
of this week) defined by a sophisticated two dimentional matrix...but they
are still levels.

I am certain Raph will have something to say on the point so I will leave
the subject. (BTW, the new rep system is UO appears to be working...looks
like a winner).

>Muds very skill/spell/gold/eq-oriented to the point of rendering levels
>almost moot include Legend and Arctic.  On Legend, levels are really only
>practice points (one point per level).  On Arctic, levels only affect how
>high your skills max out - if it wasn't for that, I'd never bother to gain
>levels there.  (As it is, you don't "work" on gaining levels, you "work"
>on getting up your skills and learning new skills, and gain levels by

This is how levels should function. After elementry school, people stop
talking about grade *levels*. People who have just received a Phd. do not
speak of graduating from the 19th (or whatever) grade, they describe their
specific accomplishment. All games which allow for improvement have levels.
Those designed by people with limited imagination (or a mechanistic POV)
use numbers. It is far more satisfiying to look at a character whose war
necklace has 4 dragon incisors, a glowing orb, 16 human ears with earrings
of famous warrior clans and gold wedding band. This, along with the proper
facial and body tatoos would suggest that this bad puppy is a high level
character with a bad attitude. He doesn't have to claim to be a level 65
fighter...he either is one or is putting on a good show (which is itself
interesting from a game POV).

>As both a player and an admin I despise levels.  I find it far easier to
>design, code, and play a game without such kludges.

>Be forewarned,
>however, that it makes game *balance* far more difficult to tune.
Adam: Why would this be? Unless you are talking about things like players
can only fight other players within 5 levels or other artifical
stuff...those kind of meat axe tuning short cuts are clearly easy to tune
but the results are usually a joke.

<Snipped: interesting commentary I have no experience to comment on.>
>MUD-Dev: Advancing an unrealised future.

John Bertoglio

"I have given up the search for truth and am now looking for a good

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