[MUD-Dev] Acting casual about casual gamers

Travis Casey efindel at earthlink.net
Wed Jul 5 10:05:24 New Zealand Standard Time 2000


Friday, June 30, 2000, 8:41:54 PM, rayzam <rayzam at home.com> wrote:
> From: "Travis Casey" <efindel at earthlink.net>
> To: "Michael Tresca" <mud-dev at kanga.nu>

>> I agree with the principle that newbies should have more significant
>> things to do, but I disagree with your statements here.  If any new
>> adventurer can battle demons and kill dragons, how powerful can they
>> be?  How can this be reconciled with tough city guards and/or
>> shopkeepers?  And if you get rid of the tough city guards or
>> shopkeepers, what's to keep newbies from looting in the cities?  (Of
>> course, you can make it simply impossible for them to do so, but that
>> limits the roles they can take on greatly).
>>
>> There are all sorts of significant things that can be done short of
>> killing dragons and demons -- hunting down murderers, fighting off
>> bandits, battling orcs and goblins, rescuing items from
>> zombie-infested graveyards, and so on.  There's no good reason to
>> belittle newbies or have them out battling squirrels and chickens, but
>> that doesn't mean we have to go to the other extreme and have dragons
>> and demons that newbies can take out.
>>
>> Someone need not save the kingdom to be a hero; there's room for
>> heroes who protect villages, hunt down bandits, and rescue princes or
>> princesses as well.  IMHO, becoming too powerful too quickly can turn
>> people off of games as well.

>     I've always felt that an idea for an area should be self-standing. That
> is, it should work for any level of power. If a village is beleagured by a
> beast, it could be done at a very easy level for new characters, harder for
> midlevel characters, and hardest for high level characters. Of course, this
> doesn't mean make 1 version for each. It's just that the thematic idea/plot
> behind the area shouldn't be mentally trapping in terms of area. That's what
> those other examples of demeaning newbies have been, i.e., newbies kill
> chickens or butterflies. And the Dragon Lord must be for high levels. None
> of that needs be true.

Of course none of that needs to be true; these are created realities
-- nothing *needs* to be true.

However, if any area can be taken on by any level of character, with
any character having basically the same chance of succeeding, why have
levels at all?  The only purposes it can serve in such a case are to
show how much one has adventured in the mud and/or to provide
differences in power for character-vs.-character struggles.  (And, if
it does the latter, it makes no sense that it should not affect
PC-vs.-NPC or monster struggles.)

Having a progression of monsters, areas, etc. of various levels of
difficulty serves to give players evidence that their characters have
improved and become more powerful -- what was once difficult is now
easy, and what was once impossible is now possible.  This gives
players a sense that their characters are growing in power, which in
turn gives many players a greater sense of accomplishment.

Of course, there's no reason why characters need to improve or become
more powerful in terms of game mechanics -- but many players and game
creators like it to be so.  And, of course, if characters do not
become more powerful, the only real purpose for any sort of "level"
system is for score-keeping.

I agree that the basic idea of any area should be able to be
implemented for any level of character, but your last three sentences
seem to be stating that there should be no "progression" to
challenges, and I don't agree with that.

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





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