[MUD-Dev] Re: MUD-Dev digest, Vol 1 #163 - 25 msgs

Raph Koster rkoster at austin.rr.com
Sun Jul 16 00:01:40 New Zealand Standard Time 2000


Mud Imp, you picked the wrong guy to question on his grasp of online gaming
history (he was there for most of it). :) Before he jumps on ya, allow me to
correct a few things from my far less broad knowledge. My data drawn from my
timeline at http://www.legendmud.org/raph/gaming/mudtimeline.html.

> -----Original Message-----
> From: mud-dev-admin at kanga.nu
> [mailto:mud-dev-admin at kanga.nu]On Behalf Of
> Mud Imp
> Sent: Saturday, July 15, 2000 9:31 PM
> To: mud-dev at kanga.nu
> Subject: Re: [MUD-Dev] Re: MUD-Dev digest, Vol 1 #163 - 25 msgs
>
>
> On Sat, 15 Jul 2000, Dr. Cat wrote:
>
> > The dominance of combat-oriented muds is a temporary
> phenomenon, caused
> > largely by the fact that the small minority of the human
> population that
>
> actualy it's a long standing phenomenon stemming from the
> fact that the first game, adventure,

Spacewar on the PDP-1 predates the first version of ADVENT by a decade
(1962). You must mean first text adventure.

> was written for people playing D&D.

Adventure wasn't the first mud, of course. It was written for MIT geeks by
an MIT geek, one of the guys who wrote the guts of the first router, and he
happened to be an avid caver. The first publication of the Fantasy
Supplement to Chainmail is the same year as he wrote it, too. D&D didn't
come out as such until the next year, and then only as typewritten rulesets.

Now, Richard (Bartle) has stated that he was in fact playing D&D a lot prior
to MUD1 (76-78), though he doesn't think that Trubshaw was. He also stated
directly, "The only real impact it made on MUD1 was the "levels" system,
though, which I thought was a neat way to give players short-to-medium term
goals." Later mud systems certainly did leverage D&D rules more directly
(particularly Diku) but that's another decade later.

> and it's not likely to change anytime soon.

Last I checked (which has admittedly been a while) a good 50% of the text
mud populace played on non-combat muds. At I guess, I'd say that prior to
Diku and LP codebases, there were more players on the various forms of Tiny
codebases than there were on combat muds. Currently, the ratio is much
higher in favor of combat muds because the comemrcial graphical muds may
well account for 50% of the total mudding population right now. This is,
however, as Cat points out, liable to change. The commercial market is going
to continue to dominate the overall mud population, and will eventually
dwarf the hobbyist audience. And the commercial guys ARE chasing after those
socializers as hard as they know how (they don't currently know how, which
is why nothing much is happening. Yet. Give them time, they have
billion-dollar incentives).

> And if you go look at most of the core code
> of most of the mud's out there you'll find that mobs still carry the xDx+x
> dice roll variables (you'll also find a whole lot of other D&D related
> things buried in places in most mud codes).

This just shows a lack of experience with non-combat mud codebases. Most of
them do not even have a combat loop, and not many dice roll variables.

> Even games like Ultima echo D&D.

Of course, Ultima sprang in large part from Richard's (Garriott this time)
D&D experiences.

-Raph




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