[MUD-Dev] The Player Wimping Guidebook

Malcolm Tester MTester at cambric.com
Tue Aug 1 16:16:56 New Zealand Standard Time 2000

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Matthew Mihaly [mailto:the_logos at achaea.com]
> Sent: Tuesday, August 01, 2000 1:26 PM
> To: mud-dev at kanga.nu
> Subject: RE: [MUD-Dev] The Player Wimping Guidebook
> I'm sorry, but this just seems like poor design to me. One side should
> never be able to "win" irreparably in a persistent world, though it
> doesn't sound to me like you guys are much concerned with player
> persistence.
> --matt

I have to agree with Matt.  As both a designer and a player, I would never
code/play on a MUD that had player wiping.  There's absolutely no excuse for
it.  I can name several muds that I was a player on, and when something
critical was changed, alternatives were given.  The most common "critical"
change was in combat.  The combat system changed so drastically, or perhaps
a new stat was created that would really affect game-play.  Rather than wipe
the player base, the players were given a chance to change their stats.  Or
"roll" for a new set of skills, taking into account their current levels.

There are so many ways to deal with the advent of new code.  Just wiping out
your player base and saying "Oh well, start over" jsut seems to me a poor
excuse for either the laziness on the Admins' part to come up with an
alternative, or just plain ignorance of how to do so.  The only exception to
this, I believe, is as stated in Adam's post where the MUD follows a typical
fantasy "cycle" (Reminds me of the Wheel of Time).  Only in that theme, I
think, it's a valid option.

On the other hand, I do believe that as far as this guidebook is concerned,
the author is being unfair and lame.  Even in a MUD that professes to be
"open" and beyond the beta stage, in order for the mud to grow, it has to
incorporate new code/concepts/ideas/whatnot from time to time.  Else, you
just have Genesis.  So, is it fair to the player to have things suddenly
change?  I think that as long as you notify them ahead of time, sure.  Post
a note.  "Next week, X behavior will change to Y behavior."  Feel free to
elaborate on it as you will, but so long as you've given them fair warning,
then that's that.  Afterall, in the real world, God doesn't tell us ahead of
time that tomorrow we're going to be in a traffic jam or a car accident.  he
doesn't say "oh, btw, I'm going to flood that area next week.  Lookout!"  So
what does the player really have to complain about? Other than learning a
new path or a new method.  Big deal.

A couple of examples of MUDs that had big changes and coped with them:
Midnight Sun, running now for over 8 years I think.  Infinity
(infinitymud.com) running over 7 years now.  Both have had major changes in
the past, and both kept their player bases high.  And they both gave
alternatives that didn't include player wiping.  i don't think either has
ever had a player wipe at all.


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