[MUD-Dev] Roleplaying in Muds

Matthew Mihaly the_logos at achaea.com
Sat Jul 22 03:47:03 New Zealand Standard Time 2000

On Fri, 21 Jul 2000, Caliban Tiresias Darklock wrote:

> Ben wrote:
> > 
> >     Many MUDs make the mistake of assuming that the role everyone wants to
> > play is that of a hack-n-slashing mass murderer... not everybody feels that
> > way.  
> Not necessarily. But you get what you measure. When you point at any
> given thing and say "this is what we will examine to determine a
> player's rank", you are effectively saying "this is what you must do in
> order to succeed". All the peripheral things related to it are also made
> requirements. 
> In most MUDs, level is rank. Level is obtained through experience. Since
> experience is gained from killing things, killing things is power. With
> most RP-based status indicators being power-based -- you must be 20th
> level to join this guild, you must be 30th level to have this title,
> etc. -- anyone who wants any sort of game status must either go out and
> kill things or get the local staff to hand them levels on the sly. 

I agree. In most MUDs, level is rank. That doesn't mean there is any need
to turn around and say "let's get rid of levels!" The problem is that in
too many muds the only way to gain any recognition is through levels.
Levels are also generally way too important.

Achaea has levels, for instance, and while they do have some meaning, they
are hardly the major goal for most players. In fact, one of the most
prominent players in the game right now (leader one of the major cities,
and a leader of the Church) is ranked, level-wise, 206th among active

Taking a diku and getting rid of levels just makes it a crap game, because
there is nothing else to do. There's no other way for people to
distinguish themselves. Provide other ways, and perhaps make levels a
little less important in terms of game mechanics (ie make them less
important in terms of the power of a character), and you'll quickly find
that levels are not that important. 

I firmly believe that what many players crave is the admiration and
respect of their fellow players. Level is a horrible way to force them to
try and get this, because some schmuck teenager can just as easily spend
umpteen hours bashing monsters to get that level. If you create a
community where things like leadership and consensus-building are rewarded
by in-game mechanics, I have no doubt that _that_ is what will very very
quickly become much more important than levels.

> > I think that the best way to make a roleplaying MUD is to completely
> > do away with "levels" and the such.  
> I think pretty much all of us have been wanting to do this. ;)

I don't. I like levels. In Achaea, getting levels is secondary to real
goals, but it does allow people to always have something to shoot for
which they can work at at any time.


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