[MUD-Dev] MUD Wimping

Dan Shiovitz dans at drizzle.com
Mon Jul 31 22:58:19 New Zealand Standard Time 2000


On Sun, 30 Jul 2000, Michael Tresca wrote:
> Every once in awhile, a disgruntled player posts this.  I've seen it on our
> MUD and others:
> 
> http://www.best.com/~tenarius/mudwimping.html
[..] 
> My primary concern is that Tenarius states there should be an inherent level
> of static quality in an online game -- once achieved, game developers do not
> have the right to "go back and fix it."  I can appreciate the concept, but I
> think it's more than a little misguided.
> 
> It seems that one of the fundamentals of multi-player games is their
> evolution.  Asheron's Call has changed quite a bit since its inception, and
[..]

My reading is not that Tenarius wants a minimum static level of quality,
but that he feels there's an implied guarantee that time investment by the
players in certain areas is never wasted (the obvious area being skill
gain; an obvious area where's there's no such guarantee is experience
points, assuming you can lose those in the game). I think this is
reasonable, but, ok, it's also absolutely the case that unbalancing stuff
is going to be introduced into the game, either by bug or error.

So if you don't do the kind of kind of wimping he hates, I don't think
there's any alternative to doing regular player wipes. The win that way is
it's scheduled; the players can know it, plan for it, have little goodbye
parties. 

You can say "ok, we'll just make a different guarantee with the players,
we'll tell them everything, including skills, can change without 
notice". But it won't work, I promise. People can't play under that sort
of setup, so what they'll do is they'll look at the guarantee and what
they'll read is still "We promise not to change the way skills work".

Anyone have an example of a player base taking a largish code change well,
and saying "man, that was a good change even if it hurt in the short
term"?

> Michael "Talien" Tresca
--
Dan Shiovitz :: dbs at cs.wisc.edu :: http://www.drizzle.com/~dans
"He settled down to dictate a letter to the Consolidated Nailfile and
Eyebrow Tweezer Corporation of Scranton, Pa., which would make them
realize that life is stern and earnest and Nailfile and Eyebrow Tweezer
Corporations are not put in this world for pleasure alone." -PGW





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