[MUD-Dev] The great crusade....

J C Lawrence claw at under.engr.sgi.com
Mon Jun 15 18:14:58 New Zealand Standard Time 1998



The great crusade.... 

As you know, this column deals with online gaming. In particular, much
attention has been devoted towards MUDs, both text and graphical. In
this week's article, I intend to continue in this direction, and
discuss the issue of role-playing as well as "realism" within a world
along with my crusade to located what I would consider to be the
perfect MUD. For some, though, this idea of a MUD being extremely
realistic is pointless, for no matter how you change the code, you
will always fight "monsters." For others, including myself, realism
and a strong sense of role-playing is something we feel is crucial
towards creating a world where one can feel as though they have
entered an alternate reality.

For my self, The MUD I was searching for was one which could be summed
up as a "working, non-buggy, role-played Ultima Online." I wanted a
MUD which not only stressed role-playing (as many do), but rather
enforced it. I understood that a MUD such as this would be hard to
find, as it is extremely hard for one to require individuals to play
in a certain way. In any case, I did a large amount of searching
through newsgroup postings, search engines and various poorly updated
WWW pages. Finally, after many hours of wading through some MUDs which
claimed to offer a "role-playing environment" yet had no one logged on
at prime time, I found the needle in the haystack. For the sake of
this article, and for my own personal reasons, I will not reveal the
name of this MUD. As I stated in the introduction, realism and
enforced role-playing is something I wanted to find in a MUD. I wanted
a MUD where you were required to be in character every moment you were
logged on, whether you were in a private channel with one other
person, or were walking the streets of a city. I wanted a place where
while numbers, stats and levels existed, but they were not talked
about openly by the population. The gem I found had all these
elements, however it occurred to me that in order to create such a
world many aspects of MUDs which others find enjoyable would have to
be removed, if not banned completely.

While I find role-playing on this MUD to be extremely enjoyable, this
is something which may not appeal to everyone. In fact, I believe that
many individuals would be completely opposed to this MUD in
particular. On the MUD I found, which I will now refer to as the "gem
MUD," getting purged by the gods was extremely easy. Many actions
which might bring you only a warning on a normal MUD would be punished
by a harsh and public humiliation by the gods before a nuke. Even more
surprisingly, this was a hidden fact.  Whenever a player was
humiliated and "deleted," a log was kept of the entire incident. There
files were then available for all to read as help files. For example,
one individual was caught multiplaying. He was then questioned by the
gods on a public channel, and was made a fool out of, eventually to be
purged. On the "gem MUD," a policy exists banning
multiplaying. However, by multiplaying, they mean not only being
logged on at the same time as two characters, but actually owning two
characters on the world! At first, this seemed quite ridiculous to me,
but I soon realized the point of such a rule. The basic idea behind
just rule was that if you owned more than one character, you would
have the ability and the knowledge to create a better low level
character then a brand new player.

At the end, it all came down to one thing. It seemed that in finding a
true role-playing MUD, you also found a place where much freedom was
given up.  You lost the liberty to speak what you felt, or hold a
friendly chat with a friend on a topic not concerning the MUD. On the
other hand, you lived a true alternate life, one where you felt as
though you were actually adventuring with mature gamers who had the
same desire as yourself. It really depends on which you put more
weight on.


He claims, BTW, to be a high schooler.

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...

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