[MUD-Dev] (no subject)

Travis Casey efindel at io.com
Tue Nov 23 21:29:53 New Zealand Daylight Time 1999

On Tuesday, November 23, 1999, Koster, Raph wrote:

> 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.

[Cutting almost everything because I think Raph missed what I was
trying to do.]

I'm not "bemoaning" anything.  And I agree with you that most paper
RPGs were commercial failures outside of a small niche.  And I also
agree that other analogies can be drawn to muds which would indicate
that they would not branch out in variety.  However, none of these
have anything to do with what I was trying to do.

Quite simply, I didn't agree with Marian's reasoning as to *why* a
wider variety of mud game designs haven't proliferated.  I agree that
they haven't, and that they most likely won't, and gave a list of
things that I believe are likely factors in the post I sent out today.

>> 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.

In market share for non-D&D RPGs, it imploded, yes -- but that's not
what I was talking about.  The RPG world *exploded* in variety of game
designs and genres tried, compared to the way muds have developed.
I'm not saying that that's bad, or that mud developers are uncreative
-- only that I think that's true because of the different
circumstances in which muds exist, not because people wouldn't
recognize a mud with a different underlying game system as being a

> 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.

I'll note that these are more analogous to paper RPG campaign types
than game systems -- which is in keeping with my comparison of
individual muds to gaming groups rather than games in the second half
of my post.

       |\      _,,,---,,_        Travis S. Casey  <efindel at io.com>
 ZZzz  /,`.-'`'    -.  ;-;;,_   No one agrees with me.  Not even me.
      |,4-  ) )-,_..;\ (  `'-'
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