[MUD-Dev] Fair/Unfair? Scenarios (fwd)

Scatter scatter at thevortex.com
Wed Dec 22 20:44:20 New Zealand Daylight Time 1999

"Quzah" <quzah at hotmail.com> wrote:
>From: Scatter <scatter at thevortex.com>
>> "Quzah" <quzah at hotmail.com> wrote:
>> > The result: DeathTrap. Lions ripped me to shreads. I was pissed.
>> > The reason: I like to explore. If there is a room, I'll go there.
>> A wise explorer might have invested in lion-repellant first? Nothing
>> personal, but my response to a complaint about this would be along
>> the lines of "given the dire warning, what precautions did you take?
>> None? Well, duh!"
>A) They didn't have lion repellant.

That was a joke. :)

>B) They didn't even have actual mobs in the room. Bam, deal X damage
>   to whoever enters.

That's bad design, IMO. If they are going to have lions rip you
apart then they ought to have lion mobs in there that rip you apart.
This comes under what I'll call 'game-world realism' - if I have
some in-game ability that should let me survive, then I ought to be
able to go down there and survive.

>C) It was in an area where nothing could really harm me, thus the
>   threat of dying instantaniously never crossed my mind. Especially
>   since it was for all practical purposes, a standard DIKU based
>   MUD.

I haven't really been applying my thoughts to the average DIKU mud.
They are more really what I think should be than what is, in a lot
of cases. My suggested response was something that would not be 
appropriate on a mud that wasn't build to my quality standards in
the first place. Obviously my own guidelines on warnings aren't going to
be appropriate everywhere, even in my own mud, let alone the hundreds
of stock muds.

>Except for the fact that muds with stock areas often have rooms
>which say "oooh, big and scary, you are sure to die here" and you
>can kill the level 5 warrior in the blink of an eye because you
>are 30th level...

Again, this is something I would fail at quality control. If something
on my mud says something is 'big and scary' then it damn well better
have done some size and ability checking first.

>> > > road, but perhaps npc rumours that bandits are known to be in
>> > > the area.
>> > Which just serves to antagonize the would be hero.
>> How do you mean, antagonize?
>More like tease. The would be hero, feeling high and mighty
>charges out to pound on some sissy bandits (who then beat his

This is down to player expectation - should the player have any
expectation that the bandits will be sissy ones when npcs have just
be talking about how dangerous the road is these days? IMO, no.

>What I am saying that more often than not, if your NPCs
>sit around and spread rumors of danger and mystery, it only will
>serve to lure the PC out to their doom, rather than keep them
>away from the area. Or, if they are overly cautious, they will
>wait forever to go out there and it will be far to easy once they
>do go there.

That's a good point. My npc rumours are intended to perform
that dual purpose - warn those who are too inexperienced of
danger, and encourage those who are ready to go out and have
an adventure. This may be a tricky balance to achieve. However,
npcs can vary their comments based on percieved ability in the
player (skill checks or otherwise) or could respond more specifically
if questioned.

>> If there are bandits there, chances are that they are there because
>> sooner or later a player hero is supposed to go there and clear
>> them out - or join them, or whatever.
>So in effect they are more of a plot enhancer/story lead rather
>than a true to life warning. (Which was the whole point of the
>thread if I recall correctly--unfairness versus ample warning.)

Everything in the mud is a plot enhancer/story lead (or a definite
plot/story event). I won't do out-of-place warnings, they jar and
destroy suspension of disbelief. I do think warnings are necessary
in some circumstances though and if they are going to be there they
have to be in-character as it were.

>> This is an interesting possibility. Perhaps the login system should
>> behave a little more intelligently and, for example, allow the player
>> to view the location he's about to appear in before entering.
>Nod. I've thought of this before. Place the player in the room with
>more or less a "ghost" mode until they type "ready", at which point
>they'll be in "real" mode. In "ghost" they can (or not) be seen and
>can use limited commands (such as look, who, inventory, etc) so that
>they are not totally caught unaware.

I don't like the evesdropping possibilities if they can't be seen.
Other than that it's promising. :)

Scatter ///\oo/\\\

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

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