[MUD-Dev] Re: Levels versus Skills, who uses them and when.

Matt Wallace matt at ender.com
Fri Jan 15 15:37:48 New Zealand Daylight Time 1999

On Sat, 16 Jan 1999, Mik Clarke wrote:

> If someone is prepared to put in 100 hours to get a character who can
> provide them with special abilities which they cannot get from anywhere
> else, then I'd say let them keep it.  The fact that no one is playing
> the class full time, would make me suspect that the class is to weak
> (non-competative) to appeal to your normal players.  If the ability
> could be purchased from an NPC alchemist, I suspect that such mules
> might disappear.

Two things:  first, there is an element of roleplay some muds desire to
maintain, which is lost if you simply allow people to play multiple
characters and allow them to "know" about each others equipment and
interact. Second, mules let players circumvent weaknesses in classes, and
that allows them to second guess game balance. For example, warriors might
need to negotiate or befried or perhaps purchase the services of a mage in
order to have their equipment enchanted to be more damaging or protective.
This leverage helps the mage pull his weight, getting him into groups, or
getting him services, perhaps even protection. In a roleplay sense, it is
a way he can build a friendship with other characters. The more well
balanced a game, the more mules disrupt that balance. The more rare a
set of abilities becomes (few players) the more valuable they become
(allowing their rarity to make them valuable). I've witnessed this sort of
rarity in places where sanctuary and protection was rare and limited to a
healer class. The healer class was weak offensively and not great alone,
but consistently they were valued as friends and group members, because
they could transform a party from a set of timid adventurers into a bold
force, by virtue of their ability to protect and heal those who DID have
more offensive capabilities. If you have a set of real "healer" players,
in that circumstance, and a set of "mule" healers, you ruin the players
experience by allowing the mules to make the abilities less valuable.


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