[MUD-Dev] The Player Wimping Guidebook

Greg Underwood gunderwood at donet.com
Wed Aug 2 20:48:27 New Zealand Standard Time 2000


rayzam writes:

> 
>     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.

[...]

I think this might fall into what Tenarius would call an extended Beta
period.
There's a difference between tweaking a game design and adding whole new
skills.
It's a fine line to draw, aye, but I think adding whole new skills falls
outside
the scope of minor tweaks.

>     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. 

[...]

Again, I'd argue that any system that allows for the possibility of
"underused, 
underpowered, obsolete skills" is not in a stable state, and could probably
be
considered still in Beta.  How many games do you buy in the store where
they
change the nature of the game w/o some kind of major patch, etc?  Aye, MUDs
are
not typical games, but that doesn't mean the players will or should view
them
any differently.

BTW: Raph, I agree with your devil's advocate post... whether we as admins
want
to view things this way has no impact on the players, and they're the ones
that
will leave if we mess things up.

>     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!'

Aye, but your argument ignores the key to Tenarius' argument.  It's not
what
you consider wimping, it's what the players do.
 
>     As long as a mudlib expands, there will be reasons to modify skills.

True, but the players probably won't know, won't want to know, or even care
what
those reasons are.

> When a mudlib becomes stagnant, that's when there will be reasons for
> players to leave.

True, but players will also leave if you're changing things too often. 
It's a
very fine balance to achieve, and requires a lot of conversation between
the
players and the admin to get right.  It's just like any other relationship.
Communication, communication and more communication are required to keep
people
from feeling hurt, etc.

-Greg



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