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

Mik Clarke mikclrk at ibm.net
Sat Jan 16 00:16:52 New Zealand Daylight Time 1999

J C Lawrence wrote:
> On Thu, 14 Jan 1999 13:31:13 -0800 (PST)
> Adam Wiggins<adam at angel.com> wrote:
> > If people were willing to invest 100 or more hours into a mule
> > character like this whose usefulness is not even all that high,
> > IMO, then I'd say that using the technique Mik describes above is
> > probably going to be fruitless.  It may *reduce* the muling
> > somewhat, but not get rid of it.
> My first thought is that not removing characters from the game upon
> player logout would handle this, but that doesn't work because if
> there's a necessity (and there is) to be able to make characters
> safe during player-absence, then that applies just as well to mules
> while stashed awaiting their next tool-handler.
> Note to Ling:  Need to add mule definition to the FAQ.
> The real problem of course is that mule exploit game design
> weaknesses where certain functionalities are desirable but not worth
> playing with as a regular basis.  Hurm.  More interesting question:

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.
>   Is the existence and use of mules *really* a problem?  Why?
> Mules add complexity, interdependence, and some amount of flavour to
> a game.  They are also tantamount to robots (just player based
> robots).  While not "fun" per se, do they actually *damage* the
> game, or do they really add a value in an area a game is already
> lacking in?

I suspect they are mechanisms that players use to work around
deficencies in the mud.  Most players start out wanting to be heroes. 
They are also a little afraid of complexity.  This leads to them
choosing warriors and other 'front line' classes.  Very few people want
to play support characters because they are perceived as being 'less'
than the front line characters.  If a mud requires such support
characters, expect mules.


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