[MUD-Dev] MUD Wimping

Lazarus lazarus at ourplace.org
Thu Aug 3 00:05:55 New Zealand Standard Time 2000


On Wednesday, August 02, 2000 9:19 PM
J C Lawrence <claw at kanga.nu> said:

<lots of good intro snipped>

>
> Tenarius' assertions seems to give player expectation an almost holy
> value, that once something becomes reasonably "expected" it also
> becomes sacrosanct.  I'm not comfortable with that.  I'm also not
> comfortable with the above questions.  We're dealing with Human
> Emotion and Reaction -- predictably fickle stuff.
>
> I wonder if a grandfather approach wouldn't do better; where
> expected values are retained and gradually merged with intended
> values:
>
>   The GooGoo spell is vastly overpowered.

<details of solution snipped>

> The intent is to give adaptation time for those players whose "right
> to expectation" would be broken by a sudden change.

Very tough problem, one that many have faced and noone has come up with a
good solution.  Let me present the same problem and your solution slightly
differently.

The players find a sword of god killing that was designed before the admins
knew what limit were.  There are 20 or 30 of these swords of god killing on
your mud (oh, the evils of zone resets), all at 2/3 max level (ahh, the
evils of level based equipment) with stats better than your limits permit on
max level equipment.  You are faced with a number of choices (that do not
include getting rid of resets and levels):

1. Remove the overpowered item from the mud.
2. wimp the overpowered item.  This might be a one time wimp or a gradual
wimp.
3. grandfather the overpowered item.
4. Redefine your limits to allow the item, then go and edit all remaining
equipment on the mud to match new guidelines.  This also entails either
editing all the mobs to be appropriately stronger automatically boosting all
mobs on the mud by an appropriate factor.
5. Redefine your limits to allow the item, let builders make even better
equipment at higher levels.

Choice 1 breaks the 'don't take away' in a big way.  Buffy may only own one
weapon and your taking it away can put them at a heap of hurt.

Choice 2 is what many people do.  Some do it in one fell swoop and get major
whining and some player loss.  Some do it as you recommend and shave some
off one week, more off the next week, more the next and so forth until it is
to level.  I have experimented with both techniques and found the following.

a. Some players will not tolerate any wimping at all and will leave at the
first sign of wimping.  Take 1 dam off the weapon or 10 and they are
history.
b. Most players will tolerate some wimping but have a low tolerance.  Do it
once and they grumble.  Do it 10 times and they are gone.
c. Some players will stick by you through thick and thin no matter what you
do to them.

I did a major wimp of a popular item and had some losses.  About a year and
a half later, I tried the gradual reduction technique.  About half way
though the 'reduction process' a group of players (those left, we lost half
our base) said a major wimp would have been much, MUCH smarter.  I wonder
what basis you have for suggesting that multiple small wimps would be better
received than one big one?

Choice 3 will loose all your good players.  Playing on a mud where the 'good
old boys' get 'favors from the imms' is no fun.  I played on one for a while
till I learned how things worked.  Never went back.

Choice 4 would appear the superior solution.  I am considering giving it a
try to see how many people see through the ruse.  Players are only fooled by
the message they see when their slash hits their opponent staying the same
for so long before they notice that it takes 20 slashes to kill big-old-mob
instead of 15.  Is boosting the mobs really any different from wimping the
equipment?  I don't know about your players but mine see through it :(

Choice 5 is considered unacceptable on most level based muds as the time to
get to maxlevel on second and third chars gets absurd.  I once quit what I
though was a pretty good mud when I watched a player get 30 levels an hour
after I spent 20 hrs getting 10 levels just to be told 'oh, he is just bored
and has all the <old equipment>'.

I agree that mud wimping is not a good thing, but it is often the lesser of
the evils.  Cutting out parts of your body is no fun.  It hurts.  It MAY
kill you, but leaving cancer in your body WILL kill you.  Clearly avoidance
is the preferred solution and should be the stated objective.  But, what do
you do after the mistake has already been made and the cancer has been
located?






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