[MUD-Dev] MUD Wimping

Patrick Dughi dughi at imaxx.net
Wed Aug 2 13:22:56 New Zealand Standard Time 2000

On Tue, 1 Aug 2000, Raph Koster wrote:
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: mud-dev-admin at kanga.nu
> > [mailto:mud-dev-admin at kanga.nu]On Behalf Of
> > Dan Shiovitz
> > Sent: Tuesday, August 01, 2000 12:58 AM
> > To: mud-dev at kanga.nu
> > Subject: Re: [MUD-Dev] MUD Wimping
> >
> > 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"?
> Always add, never take away.
> In other words, you can get away with all sorts of sweeping changes as long
> as you always extend the capabilities of players, not reduce them. But if
> you reduce them, then you're in trouble.
> For smaller things, the "always add, never take away" rule works quite well.
> There've been many examples of such in countless muds, it's a tactic known
> to every mud admin I've ever discussed the topic with.

	That's not true.  It works just as poorly as removing something,
because they're both changes.  Some players, somewhere will always
complain about changes, no matter how good or bad they seem to you.  Make
battle harder and combat-oriented players complain - but make it easier
and your non-combat oriented players (bards, mages?, thieves) complain
because of the percieved inbalance between the two orientations.  Add a
useful spell, and non-spell users scream. Change the attack rate of a
weapon, and those that do not use it will cry foul.  Raise every stat for
every player in the game, and someone's going to complain that there's no
challenge anymore, or that now everyone can kill the mega-dragon, not just

	Every change will affect some player, somewhere, negatively, and
you can bet you're going to hear about it.

	I suppose I should put how I deal with this problem but I can't
think of any sweeping general solution.  Every time I see this happen, I
deal with it on a case by case basis.  Sometimes not even successfully by
my own loose standards. The suggestion to attribute changes to a
quest-scenario/etc is one that has been used pretty successfully.  In
general players will accept something that fits very well into what they
(individually) consider a firmly established storyline.  I usually have
OOC discussions (or take part in them) when I know specific groups of
characters are around, and I attempt to take their side; it's easy to hate
someone opposed to you, but if they think you're just like them, they
identify strongly enough that they feel sorry for you having to deal with
people like them. (No joke). 

	The most important thing to remember though is that one solitary
sentance above.  There will ALWAYS be someone to complain about EVERY
change you ever make.  You can't avoid it, so it's time to practice spin
control if you want to appear 'nice', or pratice how to ignore them and
appear 'bad'. 


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