[MUD-Dev] The Player Wimping Guidebook

rayzam rayzam at home.com
Tue Aug 1 22:49:13 New Zealand Standard Time 2000

----- Original Message -----
From: "J C Lawrence" <claw at kanga.nu>
To: <mud-dev at kanga.nu>
Sent: Tuesday, August 01, 2000 1:19 AM
Subject: [MUD-Dev] The Player Wimping Guidebook

> http://www.best.com/~tenarius/mudwimping.html
> --<cut>--
>       Wimping: is the act of taking away from a player's skills,
>       spells, or effectiveness in some other way, such as reducing
>       weapon effectiveness or boosting mobs (computer generated
>       monsters) to an incredible degree. It can also refer to the
>       reduction of gold.  Wimping is called nerfing or blunting in
>       many circles.

    Why I change skills, by an Administrator.

    Skills in a game are related to the mudlib. Why have a swimming skill,
if there's no drowning code? As a mud progresses and evolves, it adds extra
features and abilities to the game. This is more than just adding areas, or
adjusting the interface. As these new features and abilites are added,
skills [and spells] can be added that modify it.
    Now that we have a movement cost associated with large scale
[outer]world travel, there are a variety of skills that reduce the cost of
travel in various terrains, such as forestry or mountaineering.
    At the same time, new features and new skills may then interact with old
skills. This interaction may cause a skill to become a lot more powerful or
do more than originally intended.  When this happens, it should be modified.
Here's an example: shove skill. It does some damage to your target. And it
gives a message that they fall on their rear-end. That's how they take the
damage. But then the mud evolves, and adds 'knockdown' code. You can be
knocked off your feet, which interrupts any skill or spell you are currently
trying to perform, and makes you an easier target to hit in combat [both
melee and ranged], while decreasing your ability to hit or defend in combat.
So shove gets modified to have that code, as that's what the message says.
In return, the damage done immediately should be reduced and/or the cost of
performing a shove should increase.

    Of course, this goes against Tenarius' claim that if players have used a
skill for a while, it should never be changed. But the converse would be,
even if the mud changes, a skill shouldn't. That is, even if new abilities
or features are added, a skill should never change and do more, or do
something else. That would make for underused, underpowered, obsolete
skills. Which of course, would get a deserved amount of player complaints.
You can't have it both ways, or at least, you shouldn't be able to. Going
back to the shove and knockdown example, either shove should not use the
knockdown code, i.e. remain static because it was used for a while without
being a problem and should never be changed [paraphrasing mudwimping there],
or the change in the skill, ie. the reduction in damage or increased cost,
is completely justified.

    It seems reasonable to think that modifying shove wouldn't be considered
'mudwimping', except that what may happen is that it is changed to use the
new code, without knowing how to tweak it into balance. And then it's
tweaked later, and that causes a cry of 'mudwimping!' or 'blunting!'

    As long as a mudlib expands, there will be reasons to modify skills.
When a mudlib becomes stagnant, that's when there will be reasons for
players to leave. Some players however, will never be satisfied by any
changes. In my experience, they *don't* leave, and instead just be vocal
about it.


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