[MUD-Dev] Community Relations

Raph Raph
Tue Jan 18 21:11:46 New Zealand Daylight Time 2000

----- Original Message -----
From: Matthew Mihaly <diablo at best.com>
To: <mud-dev at kanga.nu>
Sent: Tuesday, January 18, 2000 3:22 PM
Subject: Re: [MUD-Dev] Community Relations

> On Tue, 18 Jan 2000, Eli Stevens (Grey) wrote:
> > I know that I would want a player to at least make a token
> > of the favor I was doing them - offering them a place to have fun.
> > The other players, however, are not explicitly providing the
> > and so are not as deserving of respect _in that sense_.

The fundamental mistake is that the players ARE explicitly providing the
environment. The server and data you supply are basically incidental. They
are there to amuse the players when the other players aren't doing so. The
gameplay on most muds does NOT compare to a standalone game experience in
any way. The combat is simpler, the environments are less compelling, the
puzzles simplistic... what a mud generally supplies is a context for social
interaction that is more compelling than the blankness of an IRC chat room.

Now, I know there are exceptions (before you jump up to defend Achaea's
combat system, Matt ;). But by and large, a simple examination of the
playing patterns of mudders, and of the typical retention and migration
patterns, shows that people are mostly there for the other people. And they
leave when the other people leave.

> Remember though that many of us are involved in commercial endeavours, and
> that attitude is not appropriate for most commercial endeavours.

It is misguided regardless of whether the venture is a for-profit mud or

> Personally, even though Achaea is commercial, I am sometimes
> willing to lose customers who irritate me, simply because I don't answer
> to any corporate management above myself.

And if they irritate large groups of players, it is smart business to get
rid of them.

>  Being able to do that
> occassionally is a good outlet for the frustration all admins sometimes
> feel. However, I'm quite sure that Simutronics, for example, would be most
> upset to find out that one of their GMs was treating players as if he
> expects the player to be grateful to him.

Motive for dismissal at any comemrcial system I know of, if the GM is
actually matching actions to that expectation.

> No one starts a volunteer project with
> the goal of getting spit on.

People caring for the homeless or the mentally deficient? Civil rights
volunteers in a segregated society? Sure they do. It's just a difference of
knowing in advance that's what they were doing. Most mud admins don't seem
to realize what it is that they are actually making. A game is the least of


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