[MUD-Dev] Affect of personalizing cannon fodder mobs

Lazarus lazarus at ourplace.org
Tue Oct 12 17:49:40 New Zealand Daylight Time 1999

I recently ran into a rather interesting RPG tool for generating a tavern
full of NPC's.  Clicking on http://www.irony.com/mktavern.html lets you
build a basic tavern and
http://spitfire.ausys.se/johan/npcmaker/default.stm will create mobiles
for it.  This got me to thinking about using a name generator to give
names to all the cannon fodder mobs commonly used in a hack and slash mud.

I think I need to start off with some background perspective for this
question.  This question is posed in the context of a hack and slash mud
where mobs repopulate every 'tick'.  Players achieve advancement in this
mud by killing large numbers of these 'mobs'.  I realize that many members
of this forum find such limitless supply of mobs unrealistic but this does
form the background of this question. 

Given a hack and slash mud with unlimited supplies of mobs to kill, what
is the psychological impact of giving these mobs 'unique names'?  Is
hacking a mob known only as "a guard" with your sword or demolishing them
with a blast of acid any less psychotic than slaying the same mob known as
"Gdeuviugr"?  Is there any noticable difference in the psychological
impact on our young players between "You thrash the dwarven guard with
your sword" and "You thrash Gdwuviugr with your sword"?  Does
personalizing the opponent (or impersonalizing them) make any significant

Giving the mobs unique names is a cheesy way to address the unrealistic
nature of unlimited mobs.  One could say that there is a huge area that
players can not enter full of hard working mobs who come to town to drink
in the tavern.  You may kill "Gdwuviugr" tonight but he will be replace by
his brother "Rhoofr" tomorrow.  Thus you can realistically explain the
virtually unlimited supply of cannon fodder.  The question still remains. 
How does personalizing the abstract opponent of a players aggression
affect their psychological development?  This is particularly important
when we consider that most mudders are teen age males. 

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

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