[MUD-Dev] The Player Wimping Guidebook

Nathan Clemons nathan at windsofstorm.net
Wed Aug 2 19:01:54 New Zealand Standard Time 2000

On Wed, 2 Aug 2000, Michael Tresca wrote:

> The fundamental difference between Tenarius' post and his concerns is that
> the MUD came first -- the coders sat on an empty shell of a game, and the
> players were drawn to it.  That's about all the control (or credit) Tenarius
> affords the coding staff.  After that, it's a world the coding staff has set
> into motion, and to tinker with it is morally wrong because by doing so the
> coders are harming the social reality the players created.  The MUD's no
> longer the coder's MUD, but the player's MUD exclusively.  I disagree.

The MUD is never the player's, unless it's a pay-per-play. Which is a
different dynamic altogether, IMHO. The 17hour downtime I would shrug off
from a hobbyist MUD I agree with players who feel outrage because of on
EverQuest. Not even so much that it is because it was down for so long,
but because of the methods used (and NOT used). I got involved in a
conversation when EQ came back up after the last patch fiasco and my
opinion was "If I had this big of a problem on my MUD, I'd revert my
changes back to the way they were before, and patch again later. Not leave
the servers unavailable and spend a few hours finding and fixing the

Hell, that's part of the reason I run CVS, is so I can back out if I need

> But it's not the coding staff's MUD exclusively either, which is what 
> Tenarius' rant seems to be about.

Agreed. It's 90% the staff's, and 10% the players, on a non-commercial
MUD. Because the players do contribute to the environment, but players
always shift. New ones will come in, and old ones will go out. Unless
something drastically alters, the MUD remains anyways. When the staff
shifts drastically, that's often when MUDs die. Or when they horribly
screw up such that their population drops below the "critical mass" point
at which new people log on, see that there's noone else on, nothing going
on, nor has there been for a while... and find someplace else for their
new MUD.

> The reality is both coding staff AND players contribute to a MUD's 
> development.

Yes. The players help find some bugs (often imms find the rest, by
watching players, or by playing, or catch it before it goes in). Sometimes
they might even make good suggestions that you follow.

But it's the builders who spend hours and days and weeks and months making
the zones, and the coders who spend years making the code, and it's the
admins and the "Big Cheese" who also spend years trying to keep things
running smoothly (or at least, that's their function). The staff gives
900% more time and personal effort than the players do.

When I'm running (head coder for one MUD, working on my own after a two
year hiatus) my MUD, I won't recommend it for everyone. I will probably
tell the "whiners" that they can either deal, keep quiet, or
quit. However, I do intend to respond to any _constructive_ criticism.
I've found that by and far, most is just criticism, which I tend not to
pay much attention to. Suggestions on how to improve a "bad" situation
have always, and always will, garner more respect from me.

thelastsunrise.net 9000 (http://www.thelastsunrise.net)
windsofstorm.net   4008 (http://winds.windsofstorm.net)
Nathan P. Clemons                       "Peace favor your code."
nathan at windsofstorm.net                 ICQ: 2810688
(v) 401.725.6061			(f) 603.372.9737

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