[MUD-Dev] Re: [DESIGN] To kill or not to kill?

Michael.Willey at abnamro.com Michael.Willey at abnamro.com
Mon Oct 5 12:06:45 New Zealand Daylight Time 1998

Wildman wrote:
>On Sat, 3 Oct 1998, Marian Griffith wrote:
>> Actually, I wrote the Tailor scenario to highlight much the same
>> point you seem to be trying to adress: How can a game accomodate
>> the players who do not want to be fighters, without forcing them
>> to become fighters? (the tailor in the scenario is not interest-
>> ed in fighting, is obviously not good at it anyway, and the game
>> should not force her to become a fighter just to be able to play
>> the game).
>> At least two of us (that is Dr.Cat and me) feel that perhaps the
>> only solution lies in removing combat  as much as possible  from
>> the game.
>Well, the difference is that my game avoids the tailor problem.
[combat example snipped]
>Okay, so that was a bit MORE than mere combat. It also included
>the consequences, such as a lobotomy. Also, Bob has been revived,
>making it all for naught.

A good solution for your scenario, and far more fitting
in with the concept than simply disallowing combat entirely
- Patrick MacGoohan was an action hero as much as a dramatic
actor, and the series made room for a good fight scene
nearly every episode.  The difference between this and
typical mud combat?  These combats were (almost) never

Why?  I think it's a direct result of the very constrained
environment you're working with.  Three factors make
combat an ineffective and undesirable problem solving

1.  There is a severe lack of weaponry in the Village.
Nobody appears to be wielding a gun, knife, sword, or
even a stick except in a very few circumstances (and I
don't believe any of those occurred in The Village proper).
This makes unarmed combat the norm, which is far less
deadly than hacking at each other with swords.

2.  Factors of the environment conspire against deadly
combat.  There's constant surveillance and a perfect method
of enforcement (Rover) available to break up combat before
it becomes deadly.

3.  The "game system" in place appears to be balanced
so that multiple opponents of lesser skill can overbear
an opponent of greater skill, and that combat skill
superiority isn't a guarantee of success.  No. 6 appears
to be quite good with his fists, but is challenged by
single opponents of lesser skill and is easily conquered
by multiple attackers.  Compare this to a Jackie Chan
movie, and rate which an average mud's system falls closer

These three factors contrast greatly with typical muddom,
where unrestricted violent combat is the norm, and a
skilled combatant can destroy an army in minutes.  I
think that this gives your particular situation a better
chance of avoiding the Tailor problem, through conditioning
the players that violence is useless.  It doesn't help
as much with the simulationists in the crowd, although
factors #1 and #3 are arguably more realistic than the
current norm.  Even #2 could play a much greater factor -
although perfect surveillance and enforcement isn't
realistic, it could be better than it usually is.

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