[MUD-Dev] RE: [adv-mud] What good is a hero when nobody knows?

Ben Greear greearb at candelatech.com
Sat Jan 29 23:05:39 New Zealand Daylight Time 2000

J C Lawrence wrote:

>   Participation -- they are involved in group and game-world
>   activities such that they are a "member" to an observable (to
>   them) extent, and thus feel a pleasant sense of obligation and
>   duty toward those activities.
>   Value -- they value their role, its impact, and their
>   participation in in-game activities and the other people there.

One of my favorite activities of all time was a Death Quest on JediMUD.

Basically, seven of the most powerful ppl in the game paid 2mil (a bunch)
to join a group that had a singular goal in mind.  A special, linear zone,
was set up, and populated with large, nasty, imm-controlled (in some cases)
critters.  The goal was very simple, get to the end.  The quest was over
when there was no living player in the zone...  (ie clerics could summon
in other members of the team back in if they had the mana, and
weren't dead themselves.)

Basically, almost all 100 or so of the players online were tuned to the
quest, and one or two of the immortals had the sole responsibility of
'calling' the quest..kinda like a football game or something!

In my two years of playing there, I had the good luck to be involved in
two quests.  We completed neither of them, but I remember having more
fun in those quests than anything else.

As far as I know, only one group EVER finished.  They were legends...and
not some cheesy legend that someone could have just created...it was a
real legend told and retold by the denizens of the MUD, even spreading
to usenet from time to time...

Some of the features I think made it as good as it was:
- There was a real cost.  You didn't get back the $$, and you didn't get
  back any experience.  In addition, most players would spend a good week's
  worth of play gathering potions and such in order to prepare for the quest.
- They were rare, and were unique each time, because the imms set everything
  up by hand.
- The immortals were cruel & unfair, and made no appologies for it. 
  You were almost guaranteed to lose, which made the chance of success all
  the more desirable!
- The entire MUD was interested in them.  This is probably not so much a
  cause, as a result, but it was a positive feedback loop for sure.

I don't think you can just re-produce something like this..the players have
to be 'right', and a million other intangibles have to be there.  However,
hopefully someone can extract an essence and carry it on in other forms...


Ben Greear (greearb at candelatech.com)  http://scry.wanfear.com/~greear 
Author of ScryMUD:  scry.wanfear.com 4444        (Released under GPL)

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

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