[MUD-Dev] (no subject)

Koster Koster
Tue Nov 23 11:59:57 New Zealand Daylight Time 1999


> -----Original Message-----
> From: Travis Casey [mailto:efindel at io.com]
> Sent: Monday, November 22, 1999 11:02 PM
> To: mud-dev at kanga.nu
> Subject: Re[4]: [MUD-Dev] (no subject)
> 

Hate to disagree with ya, Travis, but... I disagree with ya. ;)
 
> All this was within 6 years of D&D's publication.  It's now been 25
> years -- and the RPG "state of the art" has advanced such that someone
> who introduced an RPG like the original D&D today would be laughed at
> by most paper RPG gamers.

It's worth noting that all of those other ones were, with the exception of
the White Wolf stuff, comemrcial failures and are now dead and gone except
in an extreme niche. To this day, the majority of gamers who have tried a
paper RPG, play D&D or AD&D. Worth arguing about why (eg, marketing had a
lot to do with it?), but to my mind, you have to acknowledge this fact
before bemoaning the lack of variety in muds.

> Now, contrast this with muds -- what sort of muds were out there 6
> years after the first one?  Note that after about 20 years of mud
> development, people can put up a new mud that's of about the same
> level of sophistication as the original muds, and most mudders will
> consider it a decent mud.

The first time I read Mercedes Lackey's "Arrows of the Queen" (her first
book IIRC) I enjoyed it a lot. Then after thinking about it, I realized that
it was:

- girl in an oppressive family environment
- forms mystical bond with supernatural creature
- runs off to a big city where she becomes a student in a dormitory
- she is a star student and must adapt to being backwards in other ways
- by the end of the book she has rendered a major service to the community

--eg, almost chapter by chapter a clone of Anne McCaffrey's "Dragonsinger".

To clone a paragraph of yours above:

"Now, contrast this with fantasy novels -- what sort of fantasy novels were
out there 20 years after Tolkien? Note that after about 40 years of fantasy
novel development, people can sell a new fantasy novel that is about the
same level of sophistication as LOTR with the same themes and same rich
backgrounds and same evil-in-a-direction-of-your-choice, and most readers
will still consider it a decent book."

> What's the difference here?  Why did paper RPGs explode in different
> directions so much faster than muds?  Well.... I have a few thoughts,
> but the clock is ringing midnight here, and I have to go to work in
> the morning.  More later.

IMHO, paper RPGing IMploded. What got mainstreamed was only D&D, and later
on, the Storyteller system. To think otherwise betrays, to my mind, someone
who is too close to the papergaming world to think otherwise.

The mud world is *fortunate* that there are as many viable paradigms as
there are. Talker, full-immersion roleacting MUSH, user-crafted MOO,
academic MOO, goal-oriented PvEnvironment mud, player-vs-player mud,
quest-driven adventure game mud, full-on virtual world. That's a nice array.
Certainly there are more types remaining to be developed more fully, but
let's not be dismissive of what we have.

-Raph



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