[MUD-Dev] Re: META: list "peerage"

Andy Cink ranthor at earthlink.net
Mon Jan 25 12:44:41 New Zealand Daylight Time 1999

At 02:25 AM 1/25/99 -0800, Caliban Tiresias Darklock wrote:
>Having been deeply involved in Telmaron, the first reasonably successful
>commercial MUD provider, I take that a little personally. ;)

I have to state that I was referring specifically to mudservices,
and the mudservices clones that have been popping up like weeds in
the last year or two. I meant no offense to your specific provider :)
(Or to anyone's, honestly)

>Our goal at Telmaron was to give people a place to host their MUD where
>they didn't have to try and explain what a MUD was every three days. We
>expected that the MUDs we hosted would be run by knowledgeable people,
>people who were tired of having to switch servers every time someone
>changed jobs or didn't get his [expletive] stroked enough for providing the
>server space. 

The goal of mudservices appears to get more new people into the market.
They have all sorts of webpages with instructions on things like basic
unix syntax, basic mud running, etc. They also offer to install one of
several existing codebases for you to get you started. Lots of things
to entice newbies to get into the market.

>What a lot of providers started thinking, and Telmaron was guilty of this
>as well (which resulted in my leaving the operation), was that hosting MUDs
>could be your day job. I was happy with meeting expenses and having an
>extra couple hundred bucks here and there for upgrades. Yeah, it would have
>been nice to just run MUDs all day for a living, but that wasn't realistic
>-- because the market just wasn't there. 

I don't know, now. There's a lot of demand for mud hosting, as witnessed
by the fact more and more firms are entering the market. I don't think
there's much money to be made, being that a lot of newbie mud implementors
are "high maintenance" and aren't paying a whole lot of money for the
service anyway. Somebody must know something tho, there's quite a bit of
mud hosting available for purchase nowadays.

>>>By way of example, I mentioned once in a thread that I think a well-done
>>>player v. player combat system is the most intense experience one can have
>>>in a MUD. A bunch of people wrote back saying things like, "You don't know
>>>what you're talking about. Player combat is just a matter of getting the
>>>best equipment and then typing KILL <whomever>." It had never crossed
>>>their minds that combat could work otherwise.
>Or, conversely, that if this is what PvP combat boils down to, something is
>seriously wrong with it.

Actually, I think the problem is a lack of balance in the game systems. I've
seen a lot of muds where the players are fairly well balanced against the
mobs, but to make the players strong enough to kill the mobs, the players
wind up being so strong they kill each other way too fast. This seems to
lead to (in many cases) implementing some hack-ish solution that makes it
so players only do half damage to other players. (See UO, just as a most
notable example.. I've also seen it happen on muds)

Maybe the problem isn't balanced PvP, but just general imbalance in the
mud? My oldest and biggest mud pet peeve is that mobs can often do things
that a player cannot do. I don't mind if I get my ass kicked if I'm simply
outclassed. But if a mob kills me by doing something a player cannot do,
then I get mad and feel cheated. My ultimate goal for my mud is to make
it so players and mobiles are as equally balanced as possible; players
and mobs should have the same capabilities, but there will be great
differences in their individual skill levels as well as what skill sets
they choose to develop.

>>I do however think that a major problem is that talent is simply spread too
>>thin out there. 
>Interesting. The MUSH community often whines that all the good MUSH staff
>are concentrated on a few small, popular games. Is the opposite true in the
>combat MUD community?

I may have mis-spoken myself slightly ;) Instead of saying talent, I
probably should have just said people. Every time a new mud starts
up, it spreads the supply of people willing to work on a mud that
much thinner. Every other mud has that much more difficulty finding
builders and coders. Most of the existing talent is probably on
well established games, but the new and developing talent may be
spread thin or wasting away on new muds that will never open.


EARTH FIRST! We'll stripmine the other planets later.
Ranthor at earthlink.net

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