[MUD-Dev] Re: MUD-Dev digest, Vol 1 #163 - 25 msgs
daver at mythicgames.com
Sun Jul 16 13:38:16 New Zealand Standard Time 2000
From: Brian 'Psychochild' Green <brian at psychochild.org>
To: mud-dev at kanga.nu <mud-dev at kanga.nu>
Date: Sunday, July 16, 2000 12:27 PM
Subject: Re: [MUD-Dev] Re: MUD-Dev digest, Vol 1 #163 - 25 msgs
>Raph Koster wrote:
>> > From: Dr. Cat
>> > I don't even need to quote the message, my reaction to this was
>> > mainly by just seeing the tacit assumption in the message title.
>> To be honest, I was a little surprised to see Brian's title to his post,
>> given that I don't see any particular neglect towards socializers going
>> *except* in the "MMRORPG" world, where of course, it's not the initial
>> target market.
>I'm trying to take a more generalist approach to my rants, for the
>benefit of all participants here. I've had a more commercial focus in
>the past, and am trying to include all MUDs in these article. Yes,
>commercial MUDs (including those that prefer to go by that dreadful
>acronym, MMORPG) are the worst offenders, but I know there's a good
>share of free MUDs that do the same when it comes to exclusion of
>Also, MUD-Dev has historically not had much discussion about
>Socializers. We go on endlessly about Killers, talk about Achievers,
>wonder how to keep Explorers happy, but we don't talk much about
>Socializers (with a few notable exceptions). My goal is to start
>discussions and to get some of the unspoken gestalt out in the open.
Right now in the design of Camelot's economy and trade skills, I'm
pursuing a theory that the "Player Merchant" route of playing is potentially
attractive to the SE, SA, or SK type of player. The attraction of trade
skills to Explorer/Builders is fairly obvious, but the Socializer side of it
may be even more critical, IMHO, because Explorers treat trades like they
treat all other aspects of the game, they try everything they offer and move
on. Once you strip away player-to-NPC money-pumps, the key to being a
successful merchant turns on establishing and cultivating relationships with
your fellow players. *Being* a merchant means maintaining an inventory,
sacrificing achievement (in form of both leveling time and in Camelot,
combat ability), securing sources of raw material (which in Camelot, will
mean buying things that have been looted by other players), and establishing
distribution networks (which in Camelot, will mean getting other players to
spread the word, and possibly act as agents for sales).
To this end, I've made *no* provisions for sources of major raw material
that doesn't come in the form of loot, there will be no vendors, advancement
in trade skills *will* be tied to overall level, and although the decision
to become a tradesman will not be crippling, there will be an obvious loss
of PvE and PvP ability because of the choice. On the other hand, it will be
literally impossible for *anyone* to pursue PvE and PvP without doing
business with player craftsmen in some form.
The point of all of this is that I'm not asking "What do Socializers
*do* in these games?", I'm asking "How do Socializers *play* these games?"
In-game message-boards, player-to-player mail, yes, these are tools for the
Socializer, but they all amount to saying "Socializers chat a lot, so how
can we give them more ways to chat?" The real question should be "How do we
give them something meaningful to chat *about*, give other players incentive
to chat *with* them, and reward the Socializers in the game context?"
IMHO, that's been the problem, we've been assuming that the Socializer's
reward system was entirely internal, the warm fuzzy feeling of knowing and
being known by a lot of people. They can get the warm fuzzy feeling from
message boards or IRC, they don't need a game for it.
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