[MUD-Dev] RE: stuff that makes me leave (was Re: In game bulleti

Matt Chatterley matt at mpc.dyn.ml.org
Wed Jun 17 15:57:24 New Zealand Standard Time 1998


On 14-Jun-98 Dan Shiovitz wrote:
> On Sun, 14 Jun 1998, Matt Chatterley wrote:

>> If I log into a game, and typing 'help <fairly obvious or partial topic
>> name>' does not work, and one or two reasonable variations do not work, I
>> leave. I will not visit a webpage to obtain help on a game (it's a
>> hassle!). If basic help were available (or rather, all the help in a basic
>> form), I might peruse an enhanced (hyperlinked, prettied up) version at my
>> leisure. When I first log in, I want to know what I need to know in order
>> to dive in.
> Have we already had a "stuff that makes me leave" thread? Now that

Not to my memory.. I think we've had one now, though. ;)

> it's summer and I have more free time, I've been poking around for a
> mud to play. Perhaps my standards are too high or something. I messed
> around at Shattered Kingdoms (mud.vividnet.net 1996) and left because,
> although the world and skill system were cool, the simulation was
> lousy (eg, standard merc/diku combat where you can cut off your
> opponent's arms and legs and it's still not dead). The simulation was
> much better at Forest's Edge (forestsedge.com 23) but there were so
> few areas it was crowded and I kept getting pkilled by passing
> strangers in the middle of town. So now I'm stuck again. Anyway, I
> tried a few more places but didn't stay long for various reasons,
> like: 

I often feel the same; perhaps it is high standard, or just a series of
nitpicks. Who knows - folks on this list tend to represent those gamers who are
into games which are more sophisticated than the majority which currently

> - having too many races as initial choices (never seen a good mud that
>   offered more than a dozen initial races. at least, not one where the
>   races had any meaning besides points.)

This was one thing we cut down drastically on Caffeine; originally we had about
15 player races slated (worth note that our races are configured in quite a
complex manner and do play /very/ differently to each other, if these configs
are suitably different). That list has now been reduced to 10, and these 10 are
being kept for variety (different races begin in different geographical
locations, typically, too).
> - offering stupid races (kender. say no more.)

Unless its an AD&D/Dragonlance mud. :) Tying in with the next point, I hate it
when I am not told what is special about a race, OR what the significant of my
racial choice is - on Caffeine it will affect the start skills you can select,
your stats (dramatically), your starting location, prejudices that other
players and NPCs will hold to you, areas that are safe to traverse..
> - not having a way to get help on the races or classes or stats before
>   having to assign them (as Matt says, no help --> I leave.)

Aye. Working on a 'walk through' model for Caffeines Character generation
(hopefully not too lengthy or complex), so that the full help browser is always
accessible.. help matches substrings too, so that 'help race' will match 'help
races' and so forth. This together with reasonably intuitive help file names,
and perhaps even hyperlinking and a search engine should eliminate problems
getting to and reading the help. :)
> - requiring too much detail to get started (Harshlands, eg, requires
>   ridiculous amounts of detail to even get into the game considering I
>   don't know if I want to play there or not yet) 

The problem here is: How do you define 'too much' detail? Everyone will have
different ideas as to how much time they are prepared to spend generating a
character; I'd say its true that the longer your Chargen takes to complete, the
fewer (or more select) your players will be, but OTOH this is a good thing in
many cases. A long and boring and laborious chargen will upset a variety of
players; while one requiring a little thought and time will 'trim' the
'flotsam' away from the playerbase.
> - wandering around a bit and finding out there's no clear pointer as
>   to where to get started (this, I admit, is a little tricky. I don't
>   want to end up in a "go north for mud school and the newbie zone!"
>   sort of handholding situation, but I also don't want to get plopped
>   down in the middle of the world with no guidance whatsoever. 
>   Forest's Edge hits the correct mid-point between these really well,
>   with a guide that'll say "hi, if you're new, here are a few places
>   to check out", but you can do whatever you want if those don't
>   strike your fancy.)

Currently pondering a way to approach this. Currently we drop you into a town,
which is designed as a starting town in some ways, contains NPCs who drop hints
as to where guilds and suitable adventuring realms can be found. You get given
some suitable starting gear and a purse of little coins, and can explore the
town to your pleasing.

Might throw in a 'pre-game' area of some sort where you can practise elements
of playing, like a mudschool, suffering no 'real' damage.

- -- 
        -Matt Chatterley
"You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one.." -John Lennon (Imagine)

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