[MUD-Dev] Re: PermaDeath

Ola Fosheim Grøstad <olag@ifi.uio.no> Ola Fosheim Grøstad <olag@ifi.uio.no>
Fri Feb 19 17:49:11 New Zealand Daylight Time 1999

Sayeed wrote:

> If you're talking about 'immersiveness' from the point of view of a
> Role-Player, forms of permadeath implementation seem pretty attractive.
> As I see it, the goal of Role-Players is to totally divorce the idea of
> a Game from a Mud, and to completely immerse themselves in the mud
> WORLD.  There, they enjoy a world of excitement and escape from the
> everyday.  If they are completely immersed in the mud as a realistic
> world, then it provides enjoyment and has longevity with them.

I wasn't strictly talking about immersion as a roleplayer, but being
immersed into the environment. That is, feeling present, being in control
of your own body (my character's body is my body, and it is the real me
you are offending) etc.

There are a wide variety of roleplaying types. You have those that
roll-play (stat/strategy driven), those that go for in-context simulation
(based on history or fiction), those that go for creating a dramatic
context, those that go for mindgames etc. I am personally of the
dramatic/create-your-own-story/mindgames type, not of the simulation type
that are willing to work in the fields. I don't think immersion depends
on "realism" (newbies being an exception).  I don't think roleplaying
depends upon the environment either, although the environment can provide
a good stage, with nice props and tools.

> Though all games cross over into our real lives in some ways, role-players
> want muds to do solely this.  They want muds to, as much as possible, BE
> our real worlds.  This is a role-player's immersion.

Hmm... If somebody harass in-character it is more easily accepted,
probably because it is not seen as being motivated by an objective
judgement about the person being harassed... MUDs are real (IRC is real
too), perhaps more real for non-roleplayers than for the roleplayers?
Roleplayers actually believe that the MUD-world IS different from the
physical world, that it is and should be entirely disconnected and
preserved as a valid "unreality". In the roleplaying paradigm no
character or moral has more intrinsic value than another which indeed is
extremely unreal compared to how we otherwise reason... Evil is not
really evil, jerks are not really jerks. If they happen to be real jerks
it doesn't matter because it is still perceived as valid as long as all
out-of-context references are avoided. (It is a paradox that being a jerk
is ok as long as we don't know that you really are a jerk :-) Perhaps I
misinterpret you here.

> Therefore,
> for role-players to be immersed in a fantasy world, for it to be their
> real world, there needs to be risk in those worlds.

Hmm... No, what I need is other people.  Not dismissing risk as a tool,
but it isn't necessary... Rollplayers need risk, because rollplayers
depend upon their stats to keep them (somewhat) in character. *evil grin*
(Meaning, I don't fully agree with your "risk makes real" argument.
Making love to a physical girl is more real than having sex with a
martian robot, but HIV doesn't make it more real? What makes it real is
that having sex with a girl is something that I value and are fully
willing to participate in and believe in as a reality. Freaks that walks
around having sex with robots from outer space and talking about their
sexual stats and super bowl is something which doesn't fit into the world
which I want to believe in, I see them as the physical world snerts they
are and the immersion is ruined)

You don't need risk, but you need focus and engagement. Managing risk can
be something to focus on. When you focus on managing risk, you are less
aware of other disturbing aspects of the situation.  What you need is to
"mentally remove" the components that contradicts the reality you are
immersing yourself into. Especially the unfitting ties to the physical

> Using a good 'reward justifies risk' implementation, permadeath could be a
> very viable option in some muds.

Yes, but the trouble is that in player versus player, you do not seek
risk. The risk seeks you! If all you want is to let monsters deal out
different types of damage, with the most dangerous monsters in the
deepest dungeons being able to permakill then the concept becomes fairly

Ola Fosheim Groestad,Norway      http://www.stud.ifi.uio.no/~olag/

MUD-Dev maillist  -  MUD-Dev at kanga.nu

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