[MUD-Dev] Re: WIRED: Kilers have more fun

Chris Gray cg at ami-cg.GraySage.Edmonton.AB.CA
Sat Jun 27 11:27:21 New Zealand Standard Time 1998


 >Why do these mechanisms have to require the players to even lift a sword? 
 >A truely well written roleplaying game, will provide characters with the
 >facilities to create jobs that are needed.  Cities could hire characters as
 >watchmen, to catch and prevent crime.  Travellers could hire bodyguards,
 >Lords could build armies to conquer the evil that exists beyond the city
 >walls, thus providing more land for farming and housing.

The question that comes to my mind here, is what is it that the MUD
system itself needs to provide? Perhaps I'm being too cynical, but it
seems to me that in order for such a flexible MUD to work, allowing lots
of people to role-play lots of different types of roles, you need the
cooperation of the player-base so as to not mess up the role-playing.
For example, if someone role-plays a farmer, there are likely lots and
lots of ways where nasty players could mess up that role-play. Burn
the farm, kill the animals, pollute the water supply, pour salt all
over the fields, attack the farmer, etc., etc. If the MUD system is
complex enough, there will be lots of these things that can be done.
All of them will mess up the game for the farmer player, unless perhaps
they are extremely rare and unlikely. Well, the problem goes away if
the MUD system doesn't support any such mechanisms, and everyone goes
off to a Tiny or MUSH or something, and just uses emotes, etc. to do
all of the roleplay.

To my cynical mind, the problems only go away if you can manage to keep
out of the game all those players who would want to mess it up. Assuming
that, what features need to be added to the MUD system to make the
role-play easier? Start with somthing that *just* has emote support - what
would be the next step? What are the sequence of steps that the MUD
builder could go through to make the game more and more fun for the

Sure, you could say things like "implement farming", "implement economies",
"implement ecologies", etc., but those are an immense amount of work, and
we haven't yet proved that such a MUD would be of any interest to anyone.
So, lets start smaller, and make sure that what we could end up with is
of interest to role-players, so that the implementation effort isn't just
going to be wasted.

Chris Gray     cg at ami-cg.GraySage.Edmonton.AB.CA

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