[MUD-Dev] Roleplaying in Muds

Josh Anderson joshua18 at home.com
Wed Jul 26 23:26:04 New Zealand Standard Time 2000

On Tue, Jul 26, Erik Jarvi wrote:
> On Tue, Jul 25, 2000 at 09:17:13PM +0300, Solmyr of the Azure Star wrote:
> > Josh Anderson wrote:
> > >
> > > I'm probably the only one left, but I'm still a big proponent of the
> > > are for mudding, chat rooms/ICQ/AIM/whatever for chatting' concept
that (as
> > > a newcomer to the list) I'm sure has been brought up before.  I don't
run a
> > > mud so that people can talk about football or movies.  IMO nothing
hurts RP
> > > more than OOC talking about things like game mechanics or levels,
> > > over a public channel.  Maybe that's just me.
> > >
> > I agree with the above absolutely. In a RP mud prohibiting any talk
> > about game mechanics is probably essential. While other OOC chat may be
> > okay, it should probably be restricted to certain rooms or channels
> > (which can be tuned out by players who don't want to listen to it).
> It been said here a few times, that if you don't supply your community
> ways to communicate, then your players will do so outside of your game.
> I'll restate that: If you prohibit certain types of communication in your
> then your players will find a way around it.
> Question: How do you communicate bugs if game mechanics are prohibited?
> I can't believe that all/most/some players of RP MUDs don't "cheat" with
> "illegal" websites, etc.
> I'm probably a god awful RPer in the eyes of some hardcore RPers but I
> like to stay IC 100% of the time. It's too much work! :)

I'm going to make some quick generalizations here that we probably mostly
can all agree with (dangerous talk, I know), let me know if I'm way off.

1.  There will always be players who will do their darndest to cheat or
abuse parts of the game, be it due to a personality trait of theirs, or some
problem with an admin, etc.
(Please refer here to the very long post on hackers which conveniently
dropped out of nowhere to be reference material for me here)

2.  We as designers will probably never, ever find a way to beat these
people 100% of the time.  Something will always slip through the cracks.
There are ways to help prevent it, but nothing to stop it totally.

With that said, and trying to stay on topic, I am a stalwart and dedicated
user of ICQ.  I think it's a handy program.  I use that to do my OOC
communications with friends so that I don't have to pollute the RP
environment with any issues with extramud things I would like to discuss.
What the individual user does with this communication is something I can not
control in the least, and therefore can't code against it.  What I DO care
about, and bringing me back on topic, is that they aren't saying it ON the
mud and throwing off the spirit of what everyone else is trying to do.

I guess my point here is that I really don't care that they're using them to
communicate with their friends.  That's fine by me.  While yes, this does
eliminate their need for game conventions to allow them to speak to each
other in the mud, it at the same time helps me eliminate the one thing that,
as I said, hurts RP the most, at least in my mind.

As for reporting bugs or things that require speaking about game mechanics
in the confines of the mud...well, that's why the 'bug' command was created
(Assuming here that a command of similar ilk would be found throughout at
least the diku type muds, I'm guessing here...I use Circle myself), to keep
a file of bugs that players find so I can later fix them.  This would be the
persistant communication that was recently discussed here on the list.  I
even went so far as to create a similar 'complain' command to keep whiny
player's non-bug complaints out of my bug file :)

I guess my main point here is that I think that these programs do more to
benefit my mud than hurt them.  It keeps OOC stuff (my arch nemesis) away
from RP, and allows people to get their non-IC time simultaneously, keeping
away the strain of remaining in character constantly.

Josh Anderson
joshua18 at home.com

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