[MUD-Dev] The Player Wimping Guidebook

Matthew Mihaly the_logos at achaea.com
Thu Aug 3 06:05:21 New Zealand Standard Time 2000

On Wed, 2 Aug 2000, Greg Underwood wrote:

> 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.

Sure, adding whole new skills falls outside of the scope of minor tweaks,
but I'm not sure I see your point. Any good mud is always adding major new
things. Achaea's been out of beta for a year and a half, but yesterday we
added an entire new class (consisting of 90 completely new abilities), for
example. That's just part of running a good mud. A good mud is always
having features and content added to it in my opinion.

> >     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.

Players do view them differently though. We make changes on Achaea every
single day. Most players don't notice most of them, but quite often they
do. Games you buy in the store don't get the nature of them changed daily
for two reasons: 1) It's not practical to ask people to do daily
downloads. 2) In the case of big graphical multiplayer games, a major
patch is a chance to a) get some more box revenue and b) make a publicity

Text muds that run entirely server-side and are accessed through telnet
are not under the practical restrictions imposed by client-side software
in terms of frequent updates.

> > 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.

That's definitely true. It is no doubt a balance between changing things
too slowly and changing them too quickly. Players have to feel like things
are being worked on, but they also have to have time to absorb and adapt
to changes.

"He that is wounded in the testicles, or have his penis cut off, shall not
enter into the congregation of the Lord." Deuteronomy 23:1

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