[MUD-Dev] The Player Wimping Guidebook

Greg Underwood gunderwood at donet.com
Thu Aug 3 14:35:16 New Zealand Standard Time 2000

Matthew Mihaly writes:

> On Wed, 2 Aug 2000, Greg Underwood wrote:
> >


> Sure, adding whole new skills falls outside of the scope of minor tweaks,
> but I'm not sure I see your point.

Part of your confusion is probably a result of my confusion... I'm 
formulating my point as I write.  Forgive me if it takes a few posts to get
things worked out in my own head.  ;)

> 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.

I'll borrow a phrase from JC: "Assumed Orthodoxy!"

Why does it have to be that a MUD is "evolving"?  I'll agree that minor
tweaks are warrented, probably even required to maintain a playable game. 
But do we have to have games that change on such a large scale as to be
called "Evolving"?

Don't get me wrong, I realize that player and admin tastes change. 
However, that doesn't mean you should go off and make every little
"imporvement" you think up.  Heck, you probably shouldn't even make half of
them.  If you really think it's time for a change, maybe you should start
up another game somewhere else.

I guess my point is, if it's going to be a game, design it with certain
goals in mind from the get-go, and don't alter those later on, w/o d*mn
good reason.  IMHO, most MUDs suffer from the philosophy of "constant
evolution is a good thing."


> > 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
> splash.

I think you missed the most important reason of all: c) people don't like
change.  Part of what makes the great games great is that the rules are
established and known.  Pac Man is still an incredible game.  MUDs are
different beasts from arcade games, but that doesn't mean we can't learn
from what arcade games, and other off the shelf games, have to offer.

> 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.

True, but that "freedom" is also a curse.  Just because you can tweak it
daily doesn't necessarily mean you should.


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