[MUD-Dev] The Player Wimping Guidebook

J C Lawrence claw at kanga.nu
Wed Aug 2 22:28:48 New Zealand Standard Time 2000

On Tue, 1 Aug 2000 16:16:56 -0600  
Malcolm Tester <MTester at cambric.com> wrote:

>> From: Matthew Mihaly

>> 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. 

> 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.  

Assumed orthodoxy!  Assumed orthodoxy!  Assume orthodoxy!

Our automatic assumption is that player accomplishment is important,
and that player advance, player accumulation, growth, and
development within the game is both important and necessary to
preserve.  Why?  Why is that an automatic assumption?  What would
change it it weren't true?

In GoP games (which we mostly seem to end up focusing on), the
concentration is on accomplishment.  "I did X."  "I am now a Y."  "I
am no longer a Z."  What if the focus instead were on activity, on
process?  "I'm planning the campaign."  "I'm fighting the rebels."
"I'm building Kazola's tavern."  Activities of course have end
points, they result in accomplshment.  Yet, listen to your players:
Do they really talk about what they have done, or do they really
want to talk about what they are doing?  Which one gets them more
involved?  Which one are they more interested in?  Which one gets
them to log in again tomorrow?

This has direct (and insidious) parallels to Green's commentary on
ripping advancement out of our games.  How exactly you lead on your
players so that they have an endless sequence of goals, always
accomplishing enough en route to retain morale, but also never
actually accomplishing the ever changing main goal (for that player)
is tar baby I don't know how to discuss.  I don't doubt it can be
done (without an unewlcome deception), I just done uinderstand the
machanics yet.

J C Lawrence                                 Home: claw at kanga.nu
---------(*)                               Other: coder at kanga.nu
http://www.kanga.nu/~claw/        Keys etc: finger claw at kanga.nu
--=| A man is as sane as he is dangerous to his environment |=--

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