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

Caliban Tiresias Darklock caliban at darklock.com
Mon Jan 25 14:37:23 New Zealand Daylight Time 1999

-----Original Message-----
From: Marian Griffith <gryphon at iaehv.nl>
To: Mud Dev Mailing list <mud-dev at kanga.nu>
Date: Monday, January 25, 1999 1:54 PM
Subject: [MUD-Dev] Re: META: List "peerage"

>I truly never considered myself anything of the elite  you mentioned.
>For one thing  because I know next to nothing about coding,  and only
>know about muds as a player.

I just wanted to drive home that this is a VERY valuable perspective. Your
perception of a concept is arguably more important than any designer's,
because you're the public. You're representative of the people who are
*playing* the games. It is a near-impossible task to look at any MUD design
with the eyes of a player after you've hacked up and rebuilt a few servers;
while some of us try very hard to look at our designs with a player's eyes,
we still end up seeing differently than the average player does.

The major lament I have is that if you spend enough time here, you'll turn
into a designer too, and then we'll lose that perspective. So quit learning,
dammit. ;)

>It may be that we should make it more clear that this particular list
>is not meant for the 'how to' questions, but for the 'supppose we do'

But then there are the 'how to' questions that *fit* here. Like 'how to'
make a popular game. Or 'how to' prevent player infighting. Granted, it's
more "in character" on this list to provide a tentative solution as a
starting point, but sometimes you're just plain lost and don't have one.

I'm in that situation with the game I'm working on; the game balance is
going to be TREMENDOUSLY impacted now that it's moving away from an
environment where each player was restricted to playing for about an hour a
day. Given the easy scriptability of the system, a player could just run a
complex macro for a week and a half, then come back to his buffed-out and
fantastically wealthy ship without the attendant discipline that he would
have had were he running the ship for a prolonged period of time. The sense
of urgency has gone away, and I don't really know how to get it back without
sticking the time limit back on. (The game economy also doesn't drain
effectively in all cases, but online economies are hard.)

I guess what I'm saying is, sometimes you don't have a supposition. That
shouldn't automatically make the question inappropriate to the list, though.
I like the philosophical nature of discussion here, the idea that there
really aren't any wrong answers. The intimidation factor probably
contributes to that; knowing that the person you're talking to may very well
be a thirty-year veteran of game design, you're a lot less likely to say
"you dumb schmuck" in front of everyone else.

>It is easier to be on equal footing if everybody is speculating
>as opposed to lecturing how to do things.  Still, it is hard to argue
>with experience.

Guilty. Whenever I put my two cents in, I hammer on it nice and hard; it's
important to me, because it's mine, but I do try to remain aware that no
matter how proud I am of it... it's still just two cents. That and a nickel
can almost get you a gumball. ;)

| Caliban Tiresias Darklock            caliban at darklock.com
| Darklock Communications          http://www.darklock.com/
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