[MUD-Dev] Balance... RPG or Role-Playing Game?

Patrick Dughi dughi at imaxx.net
Wed Jul 26 10:00:40 New Zealand Standard Time 2000


On Tue, 25 Jul 2000, Paul Schwanz - Enterprise Services wrote:

> In fact, it seems that a major focus of many MUDs is to make sure that
> *anyone* can slay a dragon.  They simply have to put in the time.  Some
> have suggested recently that this requirement be removed as well so that
> newbies can slay dragons.  But in so doing, are we providing more or
> less of an opportunity to play the role of a hero?  Oh to be naive
> enough to feel that such an accomplishment made me a hero!  I'm sure I
> would be much more capable of enjoying many of the MUDs out there. 
> 
	
	This has become one of my common arguments on many gaming systems
- and I chalk it up mainly to immediate player gratification.  As you say,
dragon-slaying is commonplace, but I see another related issue besides: 
player stratification. 

	There has been alot of talk recently on this list about how we
ought to not stratify the players, make them all nearly equal in ability,
or lower the effective range of abilities.  Sure, this is great for
encouraging the casual gamer, for many reasons which have been discussed.
However, it discourages the concept of a Hero.  When everyone is nearly
the same, you end up with a world which has the same difficulty for
everyone.  In a system where everyone wants to strive to be a hero, it's
hard for static, alike characters to differentate themselves.  If in the
end you kill a dragon, there's not much to stop your friend from killing
a dragon, and so on.  You're not a hero, you're a regular.  Then it gets
boring.

	Maybe this is one reason quake and other games (AD&D) where the
ranking is immediately obvious are popular.  People can see who's the
best, and in some cases, by how much.  People like being competitive, they
like striving for goals as long as they're attainable, and they're more
entertained with an earned victory than a given - well, some people.

	Of all though, online gamers _really_ enjoy respect and attention. 
I don't have to give examples for this; you've seen it in any multiplayer
game you've ever seen.  Everyone wants to be known, and usually they want
your friendship, admiration, or your fear.  Of course, it's hard to be
respected for being a near-clone in a crowd of clones. 

	Basically, I'm saying that a good step for a mud is to make a
division between your regular, and your hero.  Make it so it takes more
than playing time to be a hero - perhaps a characters max abilities are
set at generation. 

	Returning to our original problem, now it doesn't hurt then, to
make your dragons of heroic proportions.  Only the heros could tackle it. 

					PjD
		




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