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

Dave Rickey daver at mythicgames.com
Fri Jul 21 09:49:38 New Zealand Standard Time 2000


-----Original Message-----
From: Travis Nixon <tnixon at avalanchesoftware.com>
To: mud-dev at kanga.nu <mud-dev at kanga.nu>
Date: Thursday, July 20, 2000 9:19 PM
Subject: Re: [MUD-Dev] Re: MUD-Dev digest, Vol 1 #163 - 25 msgs


>I honestly think this is a dead-end in rpgs.  You cannot make a game that
is
>completely independant of the players' skill.  It is impossible.  Yes, you
>can minimize how much the players' skill (knowledge, reflexes,
understanding
>of mechanics, etc) affects the game, but most of those paths lead to a game
>that is inherently more boring.

    I agree.  There's a *reason* System Shock 2 made every candidate list
for "RPG of the Year", and why Deus Ex will probably do the same.

>Of course, then the question becomes, "How far do you take it, and how far
>can you take it before you really just end up with quake?".

    If serious, die-hard RPG'ers can say "Deus Ex is really an RPG", then
you can take it pretty far.

>
>I guess the point I'm trying to make is that you can only take "in
>character" so far.  There are simply many things that require player
>"skill", and I think by discounting the possibility of using any of those,
>you're throwing out entire universes of possibilities.  Social climbing is
a
>good example of this.  It's very easy for somebody to "roleplay" a
>personality similar to their own.  I would venture a guess that most people
>that play computer games are capable of this.  It takes quite a different
>breed to roleplay a personality that's completely different.  So in a world
>of politics, you're simply going to have people that don't go anywhere,
>because they don't have the experience or the knowledge to roleplay a
>position of power.  So in the idea of "keeping true to roleplay", should we
>completely throw away ideas of political systems?
>
    This is the Gnome Illusionist "problem".  At RPGA events, people who
play funny, memorable, eccentric characters always seem to win the awards
for best RPG'er.  The fact is, you can't play such a character unless you
are innately a funny, eccentric, memorable character yourself, which
supposedly would mean you were a *worse* roleplayer, you were just playing
yourself with a wierd accent.  The perfect rendition of the morose, brooding
warrior that has a grudge against one or two of the party-members is lucky
if they don't get kicked out of the group.

    The game system can't make a "general" that other players will follow
into battle.  I "played" a taciturn, apolitical, highly effective trainer of
'Mech pilots in MPBT.  It wasn't a roleplaying game, yet I don't know how
you can call what I was doing anything else.

--Dave Rickey




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