[MUD-Dev] Critiquing Muds

Jon A. Lambert jlsysinc at ix.netcom.com
Mon Jul 12 00:22:56 New Zealand Standard Time 1999

On 9 Jul 99,, Michael Willey wrote:
> Isn't there a paradox there?  Consent and rudeness are out-of-
> character concerns, and firewalling would mean that these OOC
> concerns shouldn't affect the actions of characters in the game.
> So firewalling would make non-consensual killing a more rude act,
> but it would also mean that the consideration of OOC rudeness
> wouldn't affect the behaviour of the killer.

Well there is a difference.  "Firewalling" is enforced by a GameMaster in 
an FRP game session, whereas on a mud it is more often voluntarily 
policed by players/wizards.  Which results in inconsistent enforcement.  
GameMaster reminders about player/character knowledge become less and 
less necessary within an FRP group which is accustomed to consistent 
attention to this detail by a GM.  I think this type of disembodied view 
of the player/character knowledge issue has to be inculcated into an RP 
mud's core playerbase early on.  More importantly the game judges.  
Assuming you have a good GM, an FRP group is conducive to mentoring this 
style of role-play.  There is a lot less leading by the hand by in an RP 
mud.  It's an RP training issue.  

Now I've had players who itch and search for any IC reason, to redress a 
past OOC grievance.  Usually though they migrate to another FRP group.  
Generally one doesn't PLAY for long with people they take a strong 
disliking too.  I think with the larger the scale of muds there's more 
chance that players will have stronger dislikes and yet have developed 
enough of a core group of friends that "moving on" becomes less likely 
than with a tighter knit FRPG group.  At one point our gaming group 
reached about a dozen regular players.  And after 6 months had split into
two groups.  A gradual migration at first.  This issue.  The role of good
and evil on present character game play because of past game play.  The 
"other" group refused to play evil characters, which was fine.  The 
problem developed when our good characters were treated with equal 
suspicion and disdain because of past sessions in which the group was 
composed largely of villainous characters.   

Enough rambling though.  Somehow I think this dynamic translates to 
large RP muds, especially where PvP interaction occurs and anonymity is 
breached through OOC discovery.  There will be sizeable group of players 
that will be unable to treat Valor the Paladin the same way should they 
discover that the same player is/has played Mungo the Vile Sorcerer.  

There will also be a sizeable group of players who believe the choice of 
character is a DIRECT reflection of that person's personality or 
morality.  Probably a more common assumption made in muds than FTF play, 
because in FTF players usually get to know each other more directly. 

--*     Jon A. Lambert - TychoMUD Email:jlsysinc at ix.netcom.com             *--
--*     Mud Server Developer's Page <http://pw1.netcom.com/~jlsysinc>      *--
--* To fight the empire is to be infected by its derangement. Whosoever    *--
--* defeats part of the empire becomes the empire; it proliferates like a  *--
--* a virus... thereby it becomes its enemies." -- P.K. Dick               *--

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

More information about the MUD-Dev mailing list